Monday, July 30, 2012

Presstalis again

As foreseen the drama of Presstalis is unfolding driving to disaster the French delivery system. Last week a strike bloked the distribution of national newspapers in Paris. It is just a beginning. 
A brief reminder of past events. 4years ago at the strategic committee of ETATS Generaux de la Presse we were a few to insist on the sorry state of Presstalis and the necessity to reorganize the ailing company. However, a powerful lobby including LE Figaro and Lagardere magazines stopped any attempt of reform. 4 months ago I sent a note to Hollande campaign staff to warn them about an impending disaster. There were no reactions. 

The figures are quite simple. 1000 workers out of 2500 will have to be laid down as the press traffic is going down by 5% per year. The cost will amount to 300 millions euros and nobody is willing or able to pay. Every six months, the government puts in charge a new top civil servant to find a way out. After six months the highly competent gentleman drops off and is swiftly replaced.  The quandary remains and the strikers get desperate and ready for a long term conflict that will ruin the remaining national dailies. 
The solution is obvious. The press delivery must be taken over by one of the main logistics firms working in France, in partnership with the regional newspapers. It needs a bit of can and a lot of courage.