Metro France journalists worried about TF1

The complete take-over of Metro by minority shareholder TF1 might be an issue of days or weeks, but journalists at the paper expressed some concerns about the new owner according to French media website Rue89.

The first is that TF1 would want their shows getting more attention and demand favorable reviews in the free newspaper. TF1-executives denied this and said that they only wanted ’synergy’ between the two brands (which of course could have the same result).

The second issue is that some journalists fear that the paper could become more pro-Sarkozy.

The general understanding about the sale is that the French free dailies market is totally spoiled by the free papers of Vincent Bolloré, Direct Matin and Direct Soir. Rue89 has sources claim that the advertising rates of the Bolloré papers sometimes are 20 to50% lower than Metro’s and those of 20 Minutes. Also Bolloré-papers give free pages to advertisers or combine cheap TV-ads with newspaper contracts.

Bolloré is said to have a (pro-Sarkozy) political objective with his papers rather than a commercial goal.

The Bolloré group also denies this and point to the closure of the free weekly Direct Sport, which was losing money.

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