Arnaud Lagardère has decided to go to the front to defend the new direction taken by Europe 1. The rise of Vincent Bolloré within the Lagardère group has been, according to him, a “blessing” for the radio, despite the turmoil caused by the merger with the CNews channel.
Europe 1 “was the only major radio station that was not close to a news channel and they want to convince me that we should have stayed like that, isolated”, comments Arnaud Lagardère in an interview with Sunday Newspaper. In the weekly which belongs to his group, he also indicates “adoring” the new schedule of re-entry of the radio, after hectic months marked by a large-scale strike in the face of fears of a change of editorial line and departures in mass of great “voices” from the station, including Nicolas Canteloup in July.
“At least two seasons” to succeed
“The tone” of the radio “is a little different, more serious in a good sense,” explains Arnaud Lagardère. “We have made unfair and scandalous criticisms of certain journalists on the pretext that they came from CNews, when they are great professionals. I was shocked and a little disgusted ”. “I reject all fantasies around zemmourisation,” he says, referring to the controversial columnist on CNews, Eric Zemmour.
Arnaud Lagardère also adds that he will leave “at least two seasons” for the new grid to prove itself. He did not set “audience goals”, but “financial goals”. “I would like Europe 1 to be in balance, but I don’t want to do it at any cost; it could be dangerous. Here too, I give myself time ”.
No JDD or Paris Match for LVMH
Regarding the JDD and of Paris Match, he rejects changes as important as in Europe 1, considering that they “have already been made or are in progress”. It also excludes the hypothesis of a sale of the two newspapers to Bernard Arnault, the billionaire who heads the luxury giant LVMH. “I want us to stay within the current scope” of the Lagardère group “beyond this election year. It is up to me to demonstrate that it is economically viable ”.
Many journalists from Europe 1 fear a strong right-wing of its editorial line as well as Vincent Bolloré’s management methods. These tensions come after several years of constant erosion of the radio, which displays only 4.3% of cumulative audience, according to the latest figures from Médiamétrie (April-June 2021), far behind the other two major generalist radios. , France Inter (11.3%) and RTL (10%).