French TV boss stands up to Sarkozy

De Carolis threatens to quit

The prexy of pubcaster France Televisions has threatened to quit unless the government resolves its funding crisis.

On RTL radio Wednesday, Patrick de Carolis said the group “did not have the means to meet its future ambitions” due to an expected funding shortfall.

President Nicolas Sarkozy ruled at the start of the year that all advertising on the pubcaster should be banned by January 2012. This will be implemented in stages, with advertising nixed after 8 p.m. beginning in January.

In a report issued June 25, a government commission advocated a E150 million ($237 million) supplementary payment to France Televisions this year to offset future revenue losses.

De Carolis said if the coin was not available by September, he may walk. “If I see that I am unable to do my job … I will say `stop’,” he said.

De Carolis also reacted harshly to criticism by Sarkozy during a Monday evening interview on pubcaster channel France 3, in which the pol said too often “the programs on France Televisions resemble those of private channels.”

De Carolis responded: “When someone says that there are no differences between public and private programming, I find that false, stupid and … profoundly unjust. In the last three years we have tried hard to make respectable television and I know that we are respected.”

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