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Gallic media suffers as protests bite

France Televisions, Le Monde worst hit

Gaul is being whammied by a fresh round of strikes and protests over the government’s pension reform plan, and the media sector hasn’t been spared.

Tuesday marked the sixth day of coordinated protests in the past two months. Transportation, oil refineries and the education sector have taken the biggest hits, with students involved in clashes with police in several cities.

Among media companies, pubcaster France Televisions has seen the most damage from the protests, which began in September. But the number of its 11,000 staffers walking out has dropped from 25% on Sept. 7 to 13.7% on Tuesday.

Regional newscasts on France 3, FT’s more cultural and politically engaged channel, were canceled Tuesday; its daily national newcasts aired canned, sans hosts.

Le Monde, France’s major national newspaper, won’t publish today after staffers joined the protests.

For most production and sales companies, the protests are more of a nuisance than a cause of serious disruption.

The Paris subway is running slower, but there’s still fuel at most of the capital’s gas stations.

The National Assembly approved the pension reform bill, which bumps the retirement age from 60 to 62, last week. The strikers hope to convince the Senate not to vote the bill into law today.

(John Hopewell in Madrid contributed to this article.)

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