Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Media concentration

The concentration of the media is a thankless process. Huge groups are building up ans suddenly vanish into oblivion or suffer heavy losses. Look at News Corp, the Murdoch group. They have suddenly been forced to close down The News of the World, give up any hope of buying all of Sky TV and been under scrutiny of the US Justice department and Rupert Murdoch is 80.

Same thing in France. In 1995, Robert Hersant died with his all powerful media group. In 2011, Vincent Bollore seems to abandon his ambitious media projects by selling two TV channels to Canal Plus. However, Bertrand Méheut, the CEO of Canal has to justify his position with the regulation authorities, concerning both his new acquisition and TPS satellite service.

In the field of regional newspapers, Bernard Marchant, the chairman of Rossel, owner of Voix du Nord, has been trying for years to build up his position without much success. He failed to buy le Parisien. Groupe La Montagne has been pulling out of a partnership with him and Philippe Hersant seems reluctant to sell him his two dailies, L'Union and Paris Normandie.

One wonders, now if media concentration is still relevant in the time of Google and Apple. There are so many new channels that carry information that traditional processes appear a bit out of date. It is the time of the networks and they are mostly virtual.