Andre Beraud steps down from TF1 post

Fiction chief had denied rumors he was set to leave

PARIS -- Andre Beraud, fiction chief at French TV network TF1, resigned from his post Wednesday just one year after his arrival at the network and only a day after denying rumors that he was set to leave.

Beraud said the move is so he can "devote himself to the producer's trade."

TF1 has failed in its repeated attempts to develop its homegrown fiction series -- Beraud had stepped in to fill the position abandoned by Takis Candilis early last March, after Candilis struggled against falling ratings despite his efforts to revolutionize the French fiction genre on the small screen.

TF1 brought in former ABC Entertainment exec Beraud to "Americanize" the network's fictiona series by introducing the showrunner position her and producing 18 rather than 12 episodes per season.

"My only response is that it is out of the question that I would step down from my job at TF1. My contract as artistic director of fiction lasts for five years and I will carry out this contract through the end, even after," Beraud told French press Tuesday before Wednesday's announcement that he would indeed break his contract early.

Beraud will officially step down at the end of April, and TF1 has not yet named his successor. The TF1 group has suffered in the wake of the global financial crisis, coupled with the end of ads on Gaul's public networks. The group saw its net profit plunge 28% in 2008 ratings on the network have continued to drop since the start of the year.
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