To morrow, Friday 14, the excutives of the Belgian group Rossel and and Groupe Herasant media (GHM), meet to fix an agreement suggested by the Finance Ministry. If it works, a big if, it will mean that Rossel takes in charge the Eastern and Southern dailies of GHM.
But is it going to work? There is no guarantee for that. Hersant family is not eager to lose its best publications and keep its failing free sheets group Comareg and the deficit ridden Paris Normandie. The banks are eager for cash to pay back for the 200 million euros of debts of GHM.
A failure would mean another setback for Rossel a well managed and prosperous press group that intends to increase its positions in the French press. And yet, a new organisation of the regional newspapers is necessary and will happen sooner or later.
The same can be said of Presstalis whose future seems obscure, to say the least. Nobody is willing to pay for the heavy losses of this company which will probably be replaced by the regional newspapers for the delivery of the national dailies. However, the magazines have no alternative to Presstalis. To get out of this quandary, the actors of the press industry will have to wait for after the presidential elections of May 2012.