Étienne Mougeotte, former journalist and boss of TF1, died at the age of 81

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Étienne Mougeotte, a former journalist, died at the age of 81 from cancer. He had directed TF1’s programs for nearly 20 years.

Media man Etienne Mougeotte, who was number two in the TF1 group for almost 20 years, then notably at the head of the daily Le Figaro from 2007 and 2012, died Thursday at the age of 81, announced a relative. Étienne Mougeotte “died this afternoon” in hospital following an illness, said Francis Morel, a close friend of the family and the former leader. The information was also disseminated by Europe 1 and Le Figaro, editorial offices that he directed.

A prominent figure in the French media landscape, he has multiplied his experiences in multiple editorial offices including France Inter, Europe 1, RTL.

Beginning of career in 1965 in Paris

Born in a modest environment in March 1940 in La Rochefoucauld in Charente, he had started his career in 1965 in Paris Normandy before joining France Inter as reporter, then correspondent in Beirut. In 1981, Jean-Luc Lagardère entrusted him with the management of the Journal du Dimanche. In 1987, he supported Jean-Luc Lagardère, an unsuccessful candidate for the privatization of TF1. Francis Bouygues will win and will hire Mougeotte as antenna director of the first channel.

Vice-president of the group from 1987 to 2007, he formed an emblematic tandem with Patrick Le Lay, CEO of the chain. Dissimilar but complementary, the two men transform TF1 into a real audience machine. The channel quickly established itself as the undisputed leader of television in France and is an exception in Europe.

Étienne Mougeotte then took the head of the editorial staff of Le Figaro from 2008 to 2012, before directing the same year the Radio Classique station where he remained until March 2018. He was also president since 2015 of the Valmonde press group, owner of the weekly current values, and which he had bought in association with the Franco-Lebanese businessman Iskandar Safa and another former leader of the TF1 group, Charles Villeneuve.