French public against TV reforms

CSA poll reveals concerns over proposals

PARIS — A poll published Sunday shows the French public to be strongly against the recent proposal by president Nicolas Sarkozy that the government be regranted the power to appoint the head of pubcaster France Televisions.

Commissioned by the national broadcasting regulator, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), the poll asked 1,001 adults if they supported the controversial proposal, put forward by Sarkozy on June 25.

Seventy-one percent of respondents thought the proposal was a “bad idea” with only 18% in favor.

Among respondents willing to declare their political leanings, 49% who support Sarkozy’s UMP party were against the proposed changes.

The French president caught much of the nation by surprise on June 25 when he called for authority to appoint the director of France Televisions directly to be returned to the government.

The CSA and its two predecessors have been in charge of such appointments since 1982.

Current France Televisions prexy Patrick de Carolis has been unusually critical of the French government in recent days, publicly voicing his deep dissatisfaction with proposed changes in funding methods for public service broadcasting, and comments made about the overall quality of programs on France Televisions made by Sarkozy last week.

During a radio interview last Wednesday, de Carolis said he would strongly consider resigning if certain funding issues affecting France Televisions were not addressed to his satisfaction by September.

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