France 2 news chief quits over Juppe blunder
PARIS, Feb 11 (AFP) - The editorial chief of France's main public television network France 2 resigned Wednesday after his staff declared they no longer backed his judgement because of a major blunder on the prime-time news bulletin last week.
Olivier Mazerolle told the channel’s employees that he had offered his resignation to management and it had been accepted, according to France 2 journalists.
The channel’s week-night television presenter, David Pujadas, and other members of the nightly bulletin have been suspended from their jobs for two weeks, the journalists said.
The gaffe was over the news programme’s announcement on February 3 that former prime minister Alain Juppe, President Jacques Chirac’s right-hand man, was stepping down from his various political posts to appeal a graft conviction over illegal party funding.
In fact, Juppe, who was giving an exclusive live interview to rival commercial TV station TF1 at the same time, said the opposite – that he would stay on as mayor of Bordeaux, member of parliament and head of Chirac’s UMP party while pursuing his appeal.
The staff late Tuesday overwhelmingly voted a no-confidence motion against Mazerolle and Pujadas amid accusations that the pair had got carried away in their desire to trump TF1 – France’s most-watched channel – and had badly damaged France 2’s credibility.
“Olivier Mazerolle personally took responsibility and asked the newsroom to keep working. He said he hoped David Pujadas would change his attitude to the reporters,” said one France 2 journalist who declined to be named.
Subject: France news