By Stuart Thomson
Public broadcaster France Télévisions’ channel for children and young people, France 4, has been granted a one-year stay of execution by the new French culture minister, Roselyne Bachelot, according to news magazine Le Parisien. However, international channel France Ô will cease broadcasting as scheduled on August 23.
The closure of France 4 and France Ô was announced in June 2018 by former culture minister Françoise Nyssen as a way to enable France Télévisions to make economies. The youth-oriented service cost an estimated €40 million(US$47.39milion) a year to run.
However, the channel has been saved, at least for one year, by its role in the COVID-19 lockdown in providing programming and educational output for homebound schoolchildren.
The two channels had originally been scheduled to go black on August 9 after the Tokyo Olympics, which each would have had a role in covering. The postponement of the Olympics until next year made that date less relevant.
In her interview with media regulator the CSA ahead of her reappointment as France Télévisions director-general, Delphine Ernotte had placed emphasis on doubling investment in children and young people’s programming and on maintaining France 4.