Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Le Monde, le Parisien

As september goes on, so do the two big summer dossiers of le Monde and le Parisien. The 3 shareholders of le Monde are getting close to the final deal that should take place by October 15. Now they have a good look at the management of the daily and the best ways to improve it. It seems that Xavier Niel is getting involved in a process that would downsize the bloated printing unit and reduce drastically the overhead. And yet, there are many other items to look at: the delivery system, the advertising department which should perform better in a very competitive market and, last but not least, the Website whose minority partner is Lagardère. Hopefully and if the rights decisions are made on time, le Monde should break even in 2011. It would be a nice change after so many years of losses.
The fate of le Parisien is still in jeopardy. Nobody can doubt the will of Amaury family to sell. The big question is the price. Potential buyers, yes, there are some, are willing to look at the daily but reluctant to burden themselves with the printing unit of Saint Ouen. It seems obvious that the future owner will have to close it one day, an unpleasant prospect to say the least. It seems that negociations will go on for a while.