Pubcasting reups Tessier

Exec declares France TV will end year in black

PARIS — France’s public broadcasting body, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisual, on Tuesday reappointed Marc Tessier as head of public TV holding France Television for a five-year stint.

A former exec at pay TV giant Canal Plus, the 54-year-old Tessier has been at the helm for 14 months.

Tessier declared that France Television prospects are good. Shortly after his appointment, he said: “We will end the year in the black, even though a year ago there had been talk of financial crisis.”

With the increase in the number of cable TV stations in France, competition among stations providing news, fiction and variety shows has become stiffer.

Tessier is in charge of an expanded France Television. The recent public broadcasting law brought pubcasters France 2, France 3 and La Cinquieme all under one roof, with an annual budget of just under FF14.7 billion ($2 billion), up 13% over last year.

France Television’s chief was hired in May of last year to guarantee a smooth expansion and head the move to digital public TV.

At Canal Plus, Tessier created CanalSatellite and topped Canal Plus Intl. as CEO. He was also director of international development for the group before leaving in 1995.

Critics say that plans for digital public TV have not moved forward since his initial appointment.