Thursday, April 14, 2011

print and deliver: the newspapers challenge

For months, the national and regional dailies have been working on a new organization that could change dramatically their ways of working and drastically improve their economy.

Now, the deadline is getting very close indeed. Are we about to start a revolution in printing and delivery? The executives at le Figaro, le Monde or Libération seem to think so. The idea is quite simple: why should they print the issues sold in the provinces, with very expensive machines working near Paris and then carry them by truck or train which are costly and carbon consumming? These three dailies can easily be printed in Lyon, Rennes or Strasbourg by the regional presses and be delivered by the very efficient networks of the regional newspapers. Millions of euros could be saved this way.

Such a solution would allow le Figaro and le Monde to reduce their printing capacities in Paris and escape the heavy machinery of Presstalis, the national delivery system of newspapers created in 1947 and now half dead. In Paris region, the distribution organization of le Parisien could easily play the same part. In that case, the national dailies could greatly improve their offer of home delivery which has always been a strong asset of the regional dailies.

It seems that the national newspapers which are losing on both circulation and advertising and face increasing costs of production and logistics, are ready to jump. It appears too that the government is willing to help. So, we can expect some big decisions before the coming summer.