“It’s a terrible day, we have the impression that the dream of a European channel is definitely shattered”, confides Charles (assumed name), Thursday, March 2, in front of the headquarters of Euronews, in Lyon, while the management of the European channel has just announced 198 layoffs, during a social and economic council ( CSE) extraordinary. The forties journalist prefers not to give his name, given the social context.
“The spirit of this house was to bring together journalists of all nationalities in the same place, so that they could meet their eyes. All of this is dismantled. Humanly, it is extremely hard “, pursues Charles, his face scarred, convinced that he lives “the end of fifteen years of passionate work”. In the hall and the corridors of the six floors of the building on the banks of the Saône, the mines are overwhelmed.
Employees have experienced three employment protection plans (PSE) in six years, in this company with thirty different nationalities. The measures of this one are unprecedented. It is a question of eliminating nearly half of the workforce, currently made up of 478 employees.
A European version of CNN
According to an internal press release from the local section of the National Union of Journalists (SNJ), this deletion “mass of posts” is accompanied by a “redeployment of teams of journalists”, “within six months”. The management plans to open a central editorial office in Brussels, as well as six offices in Rome, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid and London. The principle is to send journalists back to their countries of origin. Journalists of French nationality would remain in Lyon. But also Russian, Iranian and Turkish, because of the dangers of practicing their profession in their country. This would represent a workforce of 142 people maintained in Lyon. “The dismantling of our chain in Lyon is now almost total”, believes the SNJ.
The sale of the famous building with its apple green metal facade is no longer in doubt. A sales mandate was activated at the beginning of the year to market the 10,000 square meters of the site. A blow for the city of Lyon, as the establishment of the Euronews headquarters symbolized the reconversion of the futuristic district of Confluence, in the south of the agglomeration. Created in 1993 in Ecully, west of Lyon, the channel had moved to this new headquarters, wanting to be a European version of CNN. The plan announced today provides for the outsourcing of several services, such as final management, magazine production, or the planning department.
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