French producers seek ad $ shore-up

Commercial time cut back from 12 to 10 min per hour

PARIS — Producers, worried that they will be the losers when French pubcaster ad revenues plunge, have asked French Culture Minister Catherine Trautmann to dig deeper into government pockets.

Ad time has been cut back from 12 to 10 minutes per hour this year, and in 2001, another two minutes will be shaved off as part of an overhaul of public broadcasting to be outlined in a bill that goes before Parliament next week.

Trautmann has pledged $150 million a year to make up the shortfall, but producers seek three times that sum.

Meantime, Oliver Stone has been tapped to head the jury next month of a detective and thriller film fest in Cognac, France.

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