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New chief buzzing at Canal Plus

Pharmaceutical expert Meheut may follow Fourtou

Forget media mavens. In its efforts to retool its exec ranks in the wake of Jean-Marie Messier’s ouster, Viv U is thinking pesticides.

Bertrand Meheut, who’s expected to replace Jean-Laurent Nabet as Canal Plus’ chief operating officer, comes, in fact, out of the bug eradication biz.

Ex-chief of pharmaceutical giant Aventis’ agrochemicals subsid Aventis CropScience, Meheut is an expert in matters like crop protection and pest control.

The Aventis connection makes him a suitable choice for Viv U topper Jean-Rene Fourtou, who was previously vice chairman of Aventis’ board.

It’s also a clear sign that Viv U wants to distance itself from the regime of former Canal Plus CEO Pierre Lescure, a former newscaster and French cultural icon.

Coincidentally, Lescure wrote in his recent autobiography “History of Desires” that he wanted to call the book “The Farting Fly.” Title, which now sounds oddly prescient, referred to a Canal Plus comedy sketch in which a scientist studies a flatulent insect under a microscope.

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