Friday, October 15, 2010

The press dossiers go on

On October 13 the annual party of the regional newspapers association (SPQR) was, as usual the great gathering of the powers that be in media and politics. Contrary to his predecessor Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy did not show up but the prime minister, François Fillon and a dozen of members of the Government did the trip to Cercle Interallié and discussed with the barons of the regional press.

There were, of course, many questions and few answers on the topic of the day, the sale of Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France. Two candidates are still running: Dassault and Groupe Rossel. Both are working hard on the dossier and don't favour the exorbitant price suggested by Amaury. The deal should be fixed within 3 weeks, at about 100 millon euros. The new buyer will obviously face huge expenses for financing the departure of journalists and various executives who fill the ranks of a heavy and costly organization. However, one of the candidates told me that he was fairly optimistic about the outcome. The newspaper could be very profitable in the future.
Things don't look so promising for Presstalis the giant delivery organization that stumbles from one crisis to another. If le Figaro is distributed by le Parisien and le Monde by regional newspapers, Presstalis will lose a not profitable but important share of its business. Tough decisions will have to be made before the end of the year.