Israel's Netanyahu defuses coalition crisis on broadcaster

Israel's prime minister has reached a deal with his finance minister over the fate of the country's state-run broadcasting authority, defusing a crisis that threatened to force early elections but drawing criticism that he was trying to weaken a critical media.

At issue is the future of the struggling state-run Israel Broadcasting Authority.

Benjamin Netanyahu had initially ordered it shut down and replaced with a new corporation, only to reverse course once its emerging personnel did not seem favorable to his administration. The crisis drew speculation Netanyahu's coalition could fall.

Thursday's compromise will have a new broadcaster airing soon but without a news division. Netanyahu has long tried to curb his many detractors in the media.

Opposition lawmaker Zahava Galon said the move gives Netanyahu "unprecedented control over news broadcasts."