Euronews picks new president and puts ad account out to pitch

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LYONS -- Euronews, the first multilingual pan-European news channel, has appointed Spaniard Jose Vila Abello as its new president. He replaces Italian Massimo Fichera, who has been with the organisation since its creation in June 1992, prior to the channel's launch the following January. Mr. Fichera has not announced his future plans.

Vila Abello is a member of the board of governors of Spanish Television, but his career spans management and finance positions at various Spanish banks. He has been an administrator in Spain's Ministry of Public Finances and has set up his own financial advice company.

Vila Abello's appointment coincides with the channel's increasing commercialization. A heavyweight pan-European advertising and marketing program is scheduled for later this year, for which multi-national agencies are currently pitching. A decision is expected by the late summer.

"Advertising is one thing, but we need awareness in the largest sense," says Nathalie Champagne, external relations manager at Euronews. "The channel has to be visible. We are trying to improve our image and our income."

Based in Lyons, Euronews broadcasts to 38 countries around Europe and the Mediterranean. Euronews broadcasts the same picture Europewide, but uses local language voice-overs.

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