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LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Social distancing in the Franceinfo gallery.

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TheTravelcard and Quatorzine Neko gave kudos
QN
Quatorzine Neko
France 4's and France Ô's plans for closure, originally scheduled on Sunday 9th August of this year, had become blurry because of the current Covid-19 crisis. But today, minister of culture Roselyne Bachelot lifted the uncertainty about the closure dates.

France Ô, which took over from RFO Sat in 2005 as a channel focused on the French overseas territories and on cultural diversity, and which went free-to-air nationally in 2010, will shut down on the 23rd of August, 2020. The motivation behind this decision seems to be poor ratings (0.3% viewership, on average).

Some of France Ô's programmes will be deployed on the other mainland channels of France•tv; a new web portal which collects overseas-France-related content has also been recently deployed. But protests against the closure took place in front of the channel's offices (located in Malakoff) and a petition asking for keeping France Ô on-air was signed by more than 65k people, including several known figures such as former journalist Audrey Pulvar.

France 4, also born in 2005 (as a replacement for the Festival channel), was focused on fiction and on children's programmes, but its vocation was sometimes unclear, from broadcasting BBC's Sherlock to airing repeats of Fort Boyard . As France•tv aims to move the children's content and youth-oriented content online (with new brands Okoo (partly online) and Slash (fully online)), intentions of closing France 4 were expressed (this made animation creators angry).

However, France 4 found a new (and last?) usefulness during the "lockdown" period in Spring 2020, when it broadcast lessons for children and teens (under the Lumni brand). Some parliament members came in support of France 4 because of this. Nonetheless, Bachelot announced that France 4 will close in the Summer 2021, giving one year of time to fully deploy the Okoo and Lumni contents online.

In addition to their original raisons d'être , France Ô and France 4 also used to serve as convenient "bonus channels" for sport. This was particularly true during the Olympics and Paralympics, with France 4 airing soccer matches and France Ô the Paralympics. Some "less popular" sports were also broadcast there during World or European Championships for example. And lately, France 4 had broadcast the Tour de France on Bastille Day when France 2 and France 3 were busy. In addition to the other considerations listed before, the question of sport broadcasts will also be part of the equation.

The original closedown date (9th August 2020) was chosen because it was supposed to be shortly after the end of the Tokyo Olympic Games (therefore France 4 and France Ô would have acted as "bonus sports channels"). Since the Tokyo OG are now set to take place in 2021 it's probable that France 4's "additional year" was decided with taking the Olympics into account.
This is the neeeewwwws!!
London Lite and WW Update gave kudos
TR
TheTravelcard
So with Macron in Lebanon and a bank being held up right now in Le Havre, Franceinfo is showing its "modules" of random clips. On Tuesday, they did no rolling coverage for the events in Beirut and today they only did rolling coverage for part of the day with no senior presenters. I now think despite the channel being fascinating for us TV/media geeks, it is generally a failure. BFM TV are running away with it at the moment.

I cannot imagine that if a bank was being held up for 4 hours in one of the UK's largest cities, and one where the former Prime Minister is currently in charge, that the BBC as public service broadcaster would be showing an extract of a several days old interview with a comedian on its domestic news channel.
QN
Quatorzine Neko
So with Macron in Lebanon and a bank being held up right now in Le Havre, Franceinfo is showing its "modules" of random clips. On Tuesday, they did no rolling coverage for the events in Beirut and today they only did rolling coverage for part of the day with no senior presenters. I now think despite the channel being fascinating for us TV/media geeks, it is generally a failure. BFM TV are running away with it at the moment.

I cannot imagine that if a bank was being held up for 4 hours in one of the UK's largest cities, and one where the former Prime Minister is currently in charge, that the BBC as public service broadcaster would be showing an extract of a several days old interview with a comedian on its domestic news channel.


I can only agree. Franceinfo:tv's ambitions of becoming a recognized quality news channel can directly go to the trash can if there is zero reactivity to actual current news. Otherwise it can just apply to disappear just like France 4 and France Ô, and let BFMTV (or better: Franceinfo:radio) do the job. It can't be complicated to do better than CNEWS! and yet, Franceinfo:tv manages to fail.

Seriously, I cannot understand whether it's critical lack of strategy, lack of anticipation regarding summer staff, lack of will to invest enough in this channel, or just total i-don't-care-ism from the execs. This is quite shocking. A news channel should be a serious commitment, not an N-th place where you can put filler during the holidays. News takes no holidays.

Plus, it's total waste not to rely on Franceinfo:'s partners (the radio station for starters, but also France 3's regional journalists, or even France 24 for international events). But (and I hope you will forgive my bitterness) missed opportunities and wasted potential seem to be recurrent issues at France•TV.
This is the neeeewwwws!!
BBI45 and TheTravelcard gave kudos
TR
TheTravelcard
So with Macron in Lebanon and a bank being held up right now in Le Havre, Franceinfo is showing its "modules" of random clips. On Tuesday, they did no rolling coverage for the events in Beirut and today they only did rolling coverage for part of the day with no senior presenters. I now think despite the channel being fascinating for us TV/media geeks, it is generally a failure. BFM TV are running away with it at the moment.

I cannot imagine that if a bank was being held up for 4 hours in one of the UK's largest cities, and one where the former Prime Minister is currently in charge, that the BBC as public service broadcaster would be showing an extract of a several days old interview with a comedian on its domestic news channel.


I can only agree. Franceinfo:tv's ambitions of becoming a recognized quality news channel can directly go to the trash can if there is zero reactivity to actual current news. Otherwise it can just apply to disappear just like France 4 and France Ô, and let BFMTV (or better: Franceinfo:radio) do the job. It can't be complicated to do better than CNEWS! and yet, Franceinfo:tv manages to fail.

Seriously, I cannot understand whether it's critical lack of strategy, lack of anticipation regarding summer staff, lack of will to invest enough in this channel, or just total i-don't-care-ism from the execs. This is quite shocking. A news channel should be a serious commitment, not an N-th place where you can put filler during the holidays. News takes no holidays.

Plus, it's total waste not to rely on Franceinfo:'s partners (the radio station for starters, but also France 3's regional journalists, or even France 24 for international events). But (and I hope you will forgive my bitterness) missed opportunities and wasted potential seem to be recurrent issues at France•TV.

I very much agree. Given the scale and scope of said partners (même l'été !), it really does seem absurd that the issues we mention are arising four years after launch.
London Lite and Quatorzine Neko gave kudos
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Now I understand with the recent lockdown and it only really starting to get to the new normal in France that it really has thrown Franceinfo off track.

Watching the main morning bulletin, it's a pick a mix of presenters on daily, to the point that Johanna Ghiglia (the second presenter usually with Samuel Etienne) has been coming in and covering weekends and a day here and there during the traditional French summer break, when she'd normally be off from the end of June to the end of August. Normally during the normal French grand vacance, Franceinfo would book presenters to work through the summer holiday with the normal presenters returning in the last week in August.

Already mentioned and with some surprise is they went into rolling news mode from 1700 local time to cover Macron's speech in Beirut, but during the day, it was the usual holiday wheel of bulletins at x00 and x30 past each hour for 15 mins, then filler and Franceinfo radio bulletins from the cupboard.

BFMTV not surprisingly have been fantastic. Lots of packages and lives from Beirut, which has been helped that French is widely spoken in Lebanon and the ties the country has with France, along with some excellent analysis throughout the last two days.

The summer stand-in jockeys as they're called in France have been excellent.

I'm not a big fan of the French round table of talking heads, but for this story, it has worked to their advantage.

Franceinfo could be the best news channel in the country if they had more resources. Stop the filler nonsense, they have the talent there to make it work, but they seem to rather put everything into the morning journal and then let it tick over until 11pm during every holiday and then turn the lights out and hand over to France 24 which has a similar wheel to Franceinfo, but with pre-rec programming you actually would stick around for.
WI
william Founding member
I think they should just put a chair where the standup position used to be for the radio bulletins… failing that, I would just do them from the TV studio with the existing TV presenter. Plenty of places in positions in the newsroom to do it from - including the sofa - all with decent camera coverage and properly lit.

I've always thought the instances where the main presenter hands over at twenty-past to a radio person who proceeds to repeat everything they've already said is rather odd; especially is it's still without pictures or captions.

I like the fact the TV channel is connected to the radio station, but I think shared use of presenters, guests and cross-promoting each other's programmes would be better than slavishly trying to simulcast half-hourly bulletins. Also xx:50 is a very odd time to do headlines - who tunes in for that? As a YouTube viewer, I always just rewind to the start of the current hour. (It concerns me slightly that the daytime back half-hour is usually a pre-record and they never acknowledge this.)

I'm less harsh on them for not going into rolling mood all the time. My impression is they'll do an édition spéciale if they can plan it beforehand (e.g. press conferences), but I sense franceinfo are very reluctant to take something open-ended - and to be fair, if they can find some experts and do it properly then great, but if it's just going to a presenter having to busk it over a Reuters feed, then actually I'd rather wait until someone has had time to edit a package together or there's someone in the newsroom can prepare a decent touchscreen explainer.

I'm sure this is all about resources.

Finally, I think 20h on France 2 is way better than anything we have in the UK…
QN
Quatorzine Neko
Finally, I think 20h on France 2 is way better than anything we have in the UK…


How surprenant ! I had the feeling that here in France, the BBC (and the BBC News) are still viewed as a reference.
This is the neeeewwwws!!
TheTravelcard and London Lite gave kudos
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Talking of English language news channels in France. Canalsat has a wide range of channels including Sky News, CNN, AJE, DW's English language rolling news channel, France 24 English, CCTV from China, NHK World and RT. (There is also a French version of RT)
TR
TheTravelcard
Finally, I think 20h on France 2 is way better than anything we have in the UK…


How surprenant ! I had the feeling that here in France, the BBC (and the BBC News) are still viewed as a reference.

Indeed, there was a segment on Franceinfo's La Faute à L'Europe having this discussion and Jean Quatremer raised the point that the authority of the 20h is unparalleled. He also raised a point, which I agree with, that UK and DE bulletins often go with what news stories are most important rather than which ones are the most interesting to lead their major bulletins, when you think of the endless Brexit explanations on the Ten or a dry subject on constitutional reform on Tagesschau compared to the 20h (and 13hs) which often lead on stories of heros after tragic events or crimes. Jean-Pierre Pernaut is a different story altogether, which as a Brit living in France, I never understood.

The 20h certainly has a higher profile and authority than its UK counterparts although one thing I want to point out is that I feel they are moving away from being keystoned by their presenters - I remember being on a TGV in about 2012 and there was an article in Aujourd'hui en France saying that David Pujadas is taking an extra week off so Julian Bugier will cover most of the days and Marie Drucker will make an 'exceptional appearance' as if it was a sign of the apocalypse... whereas now, FTV has certainly BBC-ified and if 'le titulaire' is absent, almost anyone presents. This week is Julien Benedetto (who I cannot stand, sorry!) for example. TF1 has not but its team are no longer promoted and given a status the likes of Claire Chazal for example and when JPP does eventually go, his replacement will have to differentiate themselves entirely.

In this sense, I do feel that the Francophone world is following the way "Anglo-Saxon" leading news programmes are going. In Belgium, the RTBF presenters now have an alternating A/B rota instead of titulaire/joker. In Switzerland, the RTS has had more presenters on their 19h30 than I can remember and they went with a complete outsider in Philippe Revaz. Even M6 and Arte have moved to having a wider presenting pool - Arte now having 5 presenters 'en alternance'. This reflects what many broadcasters have moved to in almost every non-US Anglophone country and in German/Dutch speaking countries where this has long been the case. The presenters are not the news, the news is the news. This could also be to do with the fact that for some reason in France, long serving presenters are viciously killed off and there is an often intense public backlash with some damaging conspiracy theories - PPDA, Pujadas, Claire Chazal, Louis Laforge etc

Finally, my favourite of all the current French major bulletin 'titulaires' is Leïla Kaddour - how she only has 2x 15 mins per week is criminal - she has such style, passion for the content she delivers and actually uses the whole of that huge studio. And it's a bit weird how this summer it's Julian vs Julien, and a Julien is replacing Julian this week at 8pm?!
william, uktvwatcher and London Lite gave kudos
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
Another Franceinfo farce this morning. They wheeled in Alizé Lutran, a young reporter who has been the newsreader for some days during 6h30:9h30 to anchor Le 6h:10h week-end without a co-presenter

However it was obvious that they got her in to do at least two hours live, then they started to loop the bulletins as I could see Lucile Devillers in the background doing the exact same thing every 30 minutes at her desk.

They even repeated the bulletin at 10h when normally another presenter would be on from 10am-4pm on a Saturday.

There was a ton of padding as well, including Vrai au faux, packages from France 24 etc. The first 'live' bulletin from the radio station was at 10.20am.
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
I've lost count how times Alizé Lutran has been on the early shift on Franceinfo in the last few days? Johanna was back today as lead anchor.

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