TV journalists quit after husbands named ministers

24th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 24, 2007 (AFP) - Two of France's top television journalists will quit their jobs as news presenters after their husbands were appointed senior ministers in the right-wing government, their employer said Wednesday.

PARIS, May 24, 2007 (AFP) - Two of France's top television journalists will quit their jobs as news presenters after their husbands were appointed senior ministers in the right-wing government, their employer said Wednesday.

Christine Ockrent, who is married to Bernard Kouchner, a prominent left-winger named foreign minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing government, hosts a news and politics talk show on France 3 television.

The public broadcaster said the star journalist would continue presenting the weekly programme "France Europe Express" until the summer, after which she would launch a new show "with a different orientation".

It said the decision came from Ockrent herself, who has hosted the influential Sunday evening show since 1999.

France Televisions director of news, Arlette Chabot, said on French radio earlier that Ockrent had been told she could keep her job, but "wouldn't be able to do it in the same conditions as before."

Separately, Chabot said Beatrice Schoenberg, whose husband Jean-Louis Borloo is the new finance minister, had decided to give up her job presenting the evening news on sister channel France 2.

Schoenberg, who stood down for the duration of the campaign, decided not to return to her job "because she felt under surveillance, under suspicion" during the run-up to the election race, Chabot said.

She will instead host a lifestyle programme from the autumn.

Sarkozy's opponents have attacked the right-wing leader for his close relationship with media barons including Martin Bouygues, who controls France's top television network TF1, and the billionaire Vincent Bollore.

The president's former deputy campaign manager, Laurent Solly, 36, was named Tuesday as a director at TF1.

The opposition Socialist Party attacked Solly's appointment on Wednesday, drawing a parallel with the practices of the former Italian prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.

"This really is the Berlusconi method. This collusion of big media and political power is completely indecent," charged Faouzi Lamdaoui, the party's equality secretary.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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