Friday, March 18, 2011

Le Monde, another story

Le Monde is facing a new stage of its long story as its managers have, at last, to solve the tricky problem of its printing. The present unit is obsolete and overstaffed. Ideally, it should be closed down and the newspaper could be printed anywhere. Le Figaro with its brand new printing unit at Le Tremblay is willing to do the job. Moreover, regional newspapers have large capacities to print the copies on sale in the provinces.
Still Louis Dreyfus, le Monde's CEO and his team must make tough choices: how to negociate with the Unions the exit of 150 or more workers, how to strike a deal with the regional newspapers for the printing and delivery of the daily and, last but not least, whether to transfer from afternoon to morning newspaper.
If le Monde remains published at midday, its printing elsewhere will be easy. All printing units in Paris and the provinces have huge capacities which are unemployed in the morning. However, the delivery in the afternoon to the provincial readers will be quite expensive as it will be necessary to build up a new organization. If Le Monde becomes a morning daily, its delivery will be much easier as it can join the circuits of the regional press but it will be difficult to find a place in the night planning of the printers. Whatever the solution, the new management of le Monde must make tough decisions before June, the deadline fixed by the government.