France Télévisions plans 900 departures

Patrick de Carolis, France Télévisions’ President, acknowledged before parliament last week that his group will have to make cuts after partial ad ban start next January.

De Carolis is considering setting up a volutary redundancies plan that could concern around 900 employees, out a total of 11,000 persons, between 2009 and 2012. Such assertions have made syndicates roaring, denouncing a disguised restructuring plan.

Others fear that 1,000 additional jobs will be cut because of synergies driven by the creation of a unique company. A day of strike has been announced on November 25, the date when the French Assembly will examine the whole audiovisual law project.

Meanwhile, according to the new document that sets out France Télévisions’ missions and specifications and which has been leaked in the press, a points system will be set up under which the broadcaster must show certain programmes at certain times.

France Télévisions’ networks will have to broadcast one cultural prime-time show each day as well as regular theater plays, ballet and music events. For instance, three points will be granted for a prime-time or week-end daytime event, while a cultural show broadcast after 10pm will be rewarded with two points.

Over the course of a year, France Télévisions must broadcast programmes worth 100 points.

If the mark of 100 points is not scored at the end of the year, Patrick de Carolis, or his successor would take the risk to be lectured by the teachers: Minister of Culture Christine Albanel or CSA President Michel Boyon.

The principle of points has existed since 2007 but only concerns operas and theater.