Head of struggling French daily Liberation resigns

13th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

The head of France's third-largest national newspaper Liberation announced his resignation Thursday amid a revolt by journalists at the struggling left-wing daily.

Nicolas Demorand told rival daily Le Monde he was leaving Liberation after a surprise plan by owners to try to turn the newspaper around sparked fury among its journalists.

Demorand, Liberation's publisher since 2011, said he had the "full support" of the newspaper's shareholders but that he had become a polarising figure.

"I am taking this decision because I believe we must unblock the situation Liberation finds itself in, with a clear confrontation between the editorial department and part of the shareholders," he said.

Started by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, Liberation has been a mainstay on French newsstands -- especially in left-leaning Paris.

In 2013, Liberation lost more than a million euros ($1.3 million) as sales plummeted 15 percent -- the biggest slide among French newspapers.

Its two main owners, businessman Edouard de Rothschild and real estate developer Bruno Ledoux, have warned they will no longer finance the paper unless a "viable project" is accepted to turn it around.

The owners have presented a plan to create a "social network" using the newspaper's brand and to convert its offices into a cultural centre featuring a cafe, TV studio and business area to help start-ups.

Liberation's staff have rejected the project, saying journalism must remain its main focus.


© 2014 AFP

0 Comments To This Article