Bernard Marchant is a probably the best newspaper manager in France. Unfortunately, he is Belgian. His success as owner of both the Brussels Le Soir and the French La Voix du Nord, is striking if you compare him to his colleagues of France's regional newspapers. He is both a pragmatist and a very active businessman who believes in the future of newspapers if they are well managed and have a user friendly approach to the Web.
He has stated many times that he wanted to increase his share of the French press. He would have been a very successful owner of Le Parisien if ms Amaury had been willing to sell him. Now, his deal with la Montagne is the first step in the building up of what will probably be, in a few years, the largest French group. Watch out, the man has many good ideas and is willing to move quickly.