New tandem set to take over at Le Monde

26th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 26, 2007 (AFP) - France's Le Monde daily looked set on Tuesday to come under new leadership after editorial staff approved the choice of two new chief executives for the nation's newspaper of record.

PARIS, June 26, 2007 (AFP) - France's Le Monde daily looked set on Tuesday to come under new leadership after editorial staff approved the choice of two new chief executives for the nation's newspaper of record.

Pierre Jeantet, 60 a former journalist and current vice president of the newspaper group, won nearly 62 percent of a vote by journalists late Monday.

Bruno Patino, 42, president of Le Monde's interactive products and of the Telerama entertainment weekly, is to take over from Jeantet as vice-president of the group and become chief executive in three years, half-way into the six-year term.

The vote capped weeks of uncertainty at Le Monde sparked by the refusal of the journalists to grant a new mandate to Jean-Marie Colombani, who has been at the newspaper's helm for 13 years.

Journalists at Le Monde and its affiliated publications have the right to veto appointments of chief executives who fail to win the vote of confidence from editorial staff.

An oversight committee grouping shareholders and representatives of the editorial staff was expected to formally approve the appointment of the new tandem at the top during a meeting on Thursday.

Colombani, 58, who had worked as a journalist for Le Monde since 1977 before becoming chairman in 1994, lost a vote held in late May for a new six-year term.

He had been criticised for failing to build up the newspaper group, which suffered financial losses over the past years including a shortfall of 100 million euros (135 million dollars) in 2006.

The president of Le Monde's editorial staff, Jean-Michel Dumay, said journalists decided to support Jeantet as he brings "renewed attention to the issue of getting the group out of debt."

It was under Colombani's leadership that the newspaper sought to diversify its holdings and become a budding media empire.

In 2003, Le Monde acquired the Publications de la Vie Catholique (PVC) group that included Telerama. It later expanded into the burgeoning free morning newspaper market with MatinPlus, which hauls in significant advertising revenue.

Other than the center-left daily that has been published since 1944, the press group controls the regional newspaper Midi-Libre, the newsweekly Courrier International and Le Monde Diplomatique, a spinoff of the newspaper.

The group also owns a stake in Le Temps, a struggling daily in Geneva.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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