Monday, June 8, 2015

Newspapers a tycoon's weapon

Are print media and specially newspapers a matter of fun and influence for ambitious tycoons?
After so many sales of dailies in Europe and the US, it is worth thinking a bit about the outcome of old fashioned legacy media.

In France, the last transaction, the buying for about 80 millions euros of le Parisien by Bernard Arnaud, the very wealthy owner of Loreal needs some explanations.

It is obvious that Arnaud is not looking for a profitable business. le Parisien has lost money for 4 years and its circulation is dropping by 7% a year. Moreover, threre are very few synergies with Les Echos, the French equivalent of the FT which belongs already to the tycoon.

However le Parisien is a fairly popular daily based in Paris region where it still sells about 250000 copies. No politician from this part of France can afford to forget its role and influence. It is easy to think that Nicolas Bazire, the very politically minded deputy of Arnaud could wish to add this political tool to his master's empire.

So this operation is better understood if you consider the background of two very important votes which aregetting close: regional elections in December 2015 and presidential elections in 2017.
Still, nobody can assess the part played by socil networks to shape public opinions. It is still flattering to own some big dailies but is it useful in this digital century?