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Sarkozy picks pubcaster head

Pflimlim faces nomination hearings

President Nicolas Sarkozy has chosen Remy Pflimlin to replace Patrick de Carolis as the president of pubcaster France Televisions when he steps down Aug. 23, the first time the appointment has been made by a French president.

The president’s office assumed the responsibility under Sarkozy’s 2008 pubcasting reforms, which many lambasted for increasing the government’s power over the media.

Sarkozy’s choice will not be automatically approved. Pflimlin will be auditioned by media watchdog the CSA on Thursday and will appear before the General Assembly and the Senate. But it’s highly unlikely that the president’s pick will be opposed.

One of Pflimlin’s missions at France Televisions will be to carry on Sarkozy’s reforms.

Pflimlin comes to the pubcaster from Presstalis, a group that distributes 80% of the French press.

Prior to that he headed pubcaster France 3 from 1999 to 2005, where he was responsible for programing docus in primetime slots, launching hit TV show “Life’s Sweet” and moving into digital entertainment.

The other candidate in the race was Alexandre Bompard, president of radio station Europe 1, perceived by the media as Sarkozy’s favorite because of his ties with the president’s entourage.

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