After the “Echos” strike, a third independent director should be appointed

Has the moment of appeasement come, after the strike by the editorial staff of the EchoesFriday June 2, triggered for “reinforce the guarantees of independence” with regard to its owner, the LVMH group? The movement, unprecedented since 2007, had prevented the publication of the economic daily and its weekend supplement, as well as the updating of its website for twenty-four hours.

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After “brutal eviction” of its editorial director, Nicolas Barré, in March, the society of journalists (SDJ) of the title accused the management of the group Les Echos-Le Parisien of wanting “empty of its substance” the right of journalists to veto the appointment of the future managing editor. This right, provided for in the independence agreement, theoretically allows editors to have their say on the candidate proposed by the shareholder.

Less than a week after posting this clear disagreement, the LDS of Echoes welcomed, through a press release published on Tuesday June, that the strike “almost unanimous from the editorial staff (…) has caused a salutary awareness” symbolized by the future appointment, by the end of the week, of a “third independent director”.

Future ad hoc committee

Alice Antheaume, director of the School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris, could thus join the two independent directors already co-appointed by LVMH and the SDJ, has learned The world, confirming information revealed this Tuesday by the site Freeze frames.

The two independent personalities already present are Nicolas Molfessis, professor of private law at the University of Paris-II Panthéon-Assas, and André Lévy-Lang, former chairman of the Paribas banking group from 1990 to 1999, also chairman of the supervisory board of Echoes.

In addition to her duties at Sciences Po Paris, Antheaume has been a member of the Committee on Honesty, Independence and Pluralism of Information and Programs (Chipip) of Radio France since January 2022. A specialist in issues related to information, digital, training and diversity, she has also advised the group Les Echos twice since 2019.

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For the journalist to be appointed, an exceptional supervisory board must meet by the end of the week, without a date being set for the moment. If Mme Antheaume does indeed become a director, an ad hoc commission, made up of three independent directors, will “the mission of working on the voting methods intended to guarantee the right of veto for journalists in the Echoes on the appointment of the managing editor” And “that it can actually be exercised”, explains the LDS.

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