Paris (AFP)

Journalist Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, 83, returns to service on the antenna of Europe 1, after being dismissed in 2017, to conduct the big morning talks of the weekend, according to a radio press release.

"This presidential year marks the great return of Jean-Pierre Elkabbach who will take the helm of the major interview every weekend at 8.15 am", announces Europe 1 which launches its new schedule on Monday.

The veteran of political journalism is making his comeback against the backdrop of a heated rapprochement between Europe 1 and the CNews news channel, with which the radio now shares the same main shareholder, Vincent Bolloré, who controls Vivendi and its subsidiary Canal +.

The radio experienced its first major strike in June which revealed the fear of much of the editorial staff that it would become a CNews-like "opinion media".

Since then, in addition to the planned elimination of around forty positions, there are many contenders at the start, as are the evictions.

Presenter Laurent Cabrol, political columnist Michaël Darmon, comedian Nicolas Canteloup, Patrick Cohen, Pascale Clark, Anne Roumanoff, Bertrand Chameroy, Matthieu Belliard, Julie Leclerc or even Wendy Bouchard ... over the weeks, illustrating the historic crisis experienced by the radio.

For Jean-Pierre Elkabbach, appointed advisor to Vincent Bolloré in 2017 after his ouster from Europe 1, it is a return to basics.

He joined the radio in 1981 before leaving it in 1993 to take the helm of France Télévisions.

He returned there in 1996, splashed by a scandal over the awarding of juicy contracts to the star animator-producers of France 2.

Historical interviewer renowned for his pugnacious, even irritating style, his longevity on the air had eventually bored some of the public to the point of seeing himself ousted at the end of 2016 from the daily hut he had been hosting for a long time.

He then joined CNews but had to leave the antenna at the end of October 2019 for health reasons.

He made his return in September 2020 on the continuous news channel with the political program "Repères".

© 2021 AFP