France 24 chief steps aside

Alain de Pouzilhac, the president of France’s External Broadcasting Services (AEF), is to “temporarily” leave his position as head of France 24 in order to concentrate on the withdrawal of commercial broadcaster TF1 from the international news channel. In a statement, France 24 said de Pouzilhac was stepping aside for a short while “In order not to make his different posts in France’s external broadcasting sector incompatible.”

AEF is the holding company that will house France 24, Radio France Internationale (RFI) and the French share of TV5 Monde. It followed a review of French external broadcasting after the election of President Sarkozy that at times threatened the very existence of France 24.

Since its creation in December 2006, France 24 has been held equally by TF1 and the French public broadcaster France Televisions. TF1 paid just €17,500 for its share, but the broadcaster values France 24 at €90m. It is unlikely that it will receive any more than a few million Euros.