Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newsweek and le Monde

Newsweek and le Monde, the famous American weekly and the prestigious French daily seem to follow the same awkward path toward a dubious recovery. Both publications have been losing huge amounts of money these last few years: 30 millions dollars in 2009 for Newsweek, more than 100 million euros for le Monde, these last 5 years. Both of them are bought off by wealthy investors who are totally ignorant of the media industry.

In his recent blog in Jack Shafer advises the 91 years old buyer of Newsweek to be ready to invest a huge amount before getting any profit and to keep away from meddling with the editorial staff. The same lesson should be applied to the three investors of le Monde. However nobody can take for granted that they will listen to the wise Shafer. And there is no obvious solution to stop the decline of these publications. My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that it will be easier to save the daily which should be able to provide, in combination with its web, site instant high level informations, following the pattern of the New York Times. The fate of the weekly looks much darker as the competition of Internet is more hurtful for that kind of magazine.