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January 9, 2008

France 24 to be scrapped in Sarkozy’s broadcast shakeup

By Martin Stabe wirepost

President Nicolas Sarkozy hopes to give France a version of the BBC that would have high-quality programming stressing domestic production, the Financial Times reports.

The plan calls for ads to be scrapped on France’s two public broadcasters and replaced with revenue from a new tax on mobile operators, internet service providers, and commercial broadcasters.

A headline in the International Herald Tribune describes the plan as “taxing new technology to finance the old“.

This could also spell the end for France 24 the English-language section of international broadcaster France 24.

“With taxpayers’ money, I am not prepared to broadcast a channel that does not speak French,” Sarkozy said.

Instead, Sarkozy plans a new international broadcaster, France Monde, would be created to replace France 24. The new channel will merge the resources of France 24, TV5Monde and Radio France Internationale.

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