RAI’s Celli drops docs, forces Minoli out

Topper axes division after one month

MILAN — Giovanni Minoli, a 27-year news and current affairs veteran of Italy’s pubcaster RAI, has effectively been squeezed out by new director general Pier Luigi Celli. The latter abruptly abolished the low-budget documentaries and news division, which was created just last month and was headed by Minoli.

The 53-year-old Minoli was recently “invited” by RAI toppers to study the development of formats abroad, company insiders said.

But in TV circles this invitation was interpreted as a clear request to resign.

Minoli has not commented but is expected to leave RAI.

In June, Minoli was replaced as head of RAI’s Channel 3, a position he had held since 1996, and his role was drastically reduced to that of head of the low-budget production unit.

Some RAI sources said Minoli was chafing over his diminished role at the network; others said Celli’s decision was motivated by political reasons, as Minoli is not liked by the so-called Party of the Left which leads Italy’s government and has strong support among RAI top management.

Minoli joined RAI in 1971 as a program producer and became a popular figure in 1980 when he created and hosted the newsmag “Mixer.”

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