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The boss of Radio France opposes a major merger of public broadcasting

The president of Radio France Sibyle Veil says she is opposed to the idea of ​​a major merger in public broadcasting and is waiting to know the state’s plans before applying for a second term, Thursday in an interview with Le Figaro.

I am not in favor of this merger, declared Ms. Veil, according to whom Radio France and France Televisions do not have the same strategic issues at all.

This hypothesis was put on the table on June 8 by a Senate report which proposed to merge France Televisions, Radio France, France Media World (RFI and France 24) and Ina from 2025 into a single public company called France Media.

Our production models do not coincide: radio is a sober medium that produces all its content internally, television buys a large part of its programs from outside, argues Sibyle Veil. A new set of this size would be difficult to manage socially. The merger of the two entities would be an administrative response far removed from the real strategic issues, she believes.

Asked about her desire to apply for a second term, she replies: It seems normal to me to want to know the project for public broadcasting before committing myself. I will position myself by the fall. Ms Veil, 44, was appointed chair of the public radio group in April 2018, for a five-year term.

These last few weeks have also been agitated by the announcement of the abolition this year of the license fee, which finances public broadcasting. This measure was desired before his re-election by President Emmanuel Macron, under purchasing power.

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The executive wishes to replace this levy with a current budget over several years, and ensures that the end of the fee will not lead to a reduction in the means of public broadcasting. If the public debate leads to new savings, we could no longer do so without the elimination of public service offers and missions, warns Ms. Veil.

Unions from France Televisions and Radio France have called for a strike and a demonstration in Paris on 28 June.

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