CAIRO: Head of the Shoura Council and Higher Press Council, Safwat El-Sherif, met with the four chairmen of state-run newspapers regarding an upcoming top management shuffle.
El-Sherif discussed the need to restructure the organizations’ administration with Morsi Attallah, chairman of Al-Ahram; Karam Gabr, chairman of Rose El-Youssef; Abdel Kader Shohaib, chairman of Dar Al-Hilal and Mohamed Ahdy Fadly, chairman of Al-Akhbar.
According to press reports, El-Sherif stipulated that no chairman can remain in office past the age of 65.
This effectively brings Attallah’s tenure to an end because he is above the age limit.
While some attribute the decision not to renew his term to recent internal conflicts at Al-Ahram, Louis Greiss, member of Higher Press Council, denies such claims.
“According to the law, the chairman can’t be over the age of 65, which is why Attallah’s contract will not be renewed. The problems at Al-Ahram are an internal matter that did not influence this decision whatsoever, he said.
El-Sherif also emphasized that the chairman of the board cannot hold the editor-in-chief position at the same time.
Greiss lauded El-Sherif’s decisions. “The chairman should have [managerial experience], because now whoever is appointed as chairman is always a journalist, he said. “Three of the [aforementioned] four chairmen are journalists. The exception is Fadly of Al-Akhbar.
The meeting discussed appointing new editors-in-chief for the state-run newspapers. “Change is a good thing, it’s always good to bring in new blood, Greiss said.
However, he was skeptical of the newcomers’ plans and strategies. “Will any of these newcomers [who are yet to be named] offer new plans or programs? he asked.
By law, editors-in-chief cannot exceed one three-year term, while chairmen of the board can reign for a four-year term. However, traditionally, their contracts have been renewed automatically.
Replacements for chairmen of the board are slated for July when the current terms end.