News chiefs at three Mediaset chans will report to Mentana

MILAN — After months of rumors, Enrico Mentana, anchor and managing director of the main news program at Silvio Berlusconi’s TV group Mediaset ankled Thursday.

Mentana, 49, top editorial exec at Canale 5′s primetime newscast “TG5″ for the past 13 years, announced at the end of the 8 p.m. show that he was being replaced by Carlo Rossella, editor of Berlusconi’s news weekly Panorama.

Mentana told viewers that he was being offered another job at Mediaset — editorial director, a newly created post overseeing all the news of the TV group. The news chiefs at all three Mediaset channels, including Rossella, will report to him.

However, Mentana clearly didn’t see the move as a promotion.

“The Mediaset board told me last week that they want to change the director at the news program. It is their right, as it is my right to feel unhappy,” he told “TG5″ viewers, expressing hope that the news division’s impartiality would continue under his successor.

“We will see if the new job is what Mediaset says. For the time being I want to trust them,” Mentana said.

Reaction to the moving of Mentana move was mostly negative, with most publications calling it bad news for Italian media. Mentana has forged a rep as an independent-minded journalist, while Rossella has been outspoken in his support of Berlusconi and his policies.

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