×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Le Lay ankles as prexy of France’s TPS

Satellite platform's ownership may be changed

PARIS — Patrick Le Lay, chairman and CEO of French web TF1, has quit the presidency of French satellite platform TPS. Meanwhile, Gerard Mestrallet, head of TPS shareholder Suez, has ankled as administrator.

The resignations represent one of the biggest shake-ups in the platform’s existence.

TF1 exec Emmanuel Florent, a TPS board member since the beginning of the year, will replace Le Lay, founder of the platform, while Mestrallet’s place on the board is being taken by Jacques Espinasse, TPS’s managing director.

With 1.04 million subscribers, TPS is in tight competition with Canal Plus subsid Canal Satellite, which boasts 1.67 million subs. The platform, which has yet to break even, is 25%-owned by TF1, 25% by rival web M6, 25% by Suez, also one of M6’s major shareholders, and 25% by France Television Entreprises.

Officially, both Le Lay and Mestrallet have stepped down because of new French rules limiting the number of jobs top execs can hold, but speculation is rife there could be other reasons for their departures.

Le Lay had a serious falling-out with other board members recently over TPS’s decision to broadcast rival web M6’s highly successful reality show “Loft Story” on one of its channels, a disagreement that soured relations between shareholders.

But his decision to appoint rising star Emmanuel Florent, who also heads interactive division e-TF1, sends out a clear signal that the TV group intends to continue ruling the roost.

One possible scenario is that the stage is being set for a change in TPS’s shareholder structure.

Rumors have been circulating for some time that one or more of TPS’s shareholders – Suez and France Television have both been mentioned – might be ready to sell their stake. Although the company has a stake in M6 and TPS, as well as cable interests, Suez is primarily a utilities group and pulling out would be a logical step.

If such a move is envisaged, clearly Le Lay and Mestrallet’s decision to take a step back from the platform would make negotiations simpler.

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content