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France Télévisions chief gives shape to cost-cutting plan

France Télévisions boss Delphine Ernotte plans to cut 180 posts as part of a cost-saving drive in the face of the latest wave of cuts to the public broadcaster’s budget, according to a report in the Journal du Dimanche.

Delphine Ernotte

Delphine Ernotte

Faced with a rebellion by journalists at the end of last month over plans to reduce the frequency of two news magazine shows on flagship channel France 2, Envoyé Special and Complément d’Enquête, the pubcaster’s management have scaled back their plans for cuts in the news arena, according to the report. Thirty news posts are now expected to go, including four across the two news magazines, saving some €5 million in total.

Overall, tasked with finding up to €75 million in additional cost savings imposed by the new French government, Ernotte has proposed cuts of 180 posts. Half of all staff retiring will not be replaced, a measure that should provide a further €20 million in savings.

France Télévisions could also cut back on sport commitments, including deciding not to air the 2024 Olympic Games as well as, potentially, coverage of French football.

The pubcaster may also look to cut production spend on live entertainment programming by 4% and increase the number of repeats on its different channels. Other measures include renegotiating contracts to lower transmission costs, dropping a contract with Médiametrie to measure the audience of overseas service France O, and selling off facilities in Paris and Boulogne-Billancourt.