The Management of Lagardère Active has today informed employee representatives of its plans to introduce a new structure for its press business built around its strongest brands.
The purpose of these proposals is to return to growth by concentrating on leading brands which have key potential for digital development. This will help satisfy readers’ expectations for content and services, and advertisers’ demands for innovation.
As with all companies in its sector, Lagardère Active is facing a radical shift in response to digital innovations. On the one hand, this has resulted in a steady decline in recent years, a trend which is now accelerating rapidly, in revenue from the printed press (distribution and advertising revenue). On the other, digital brings the ability to increase the number of platforms, be accessible in real time, provide enriched content and offer new services. In addition it gives a better understanding of reader expectations, by using precise measurement tools, and thus helps better satisfy them.
Under these circumstances, which are threatening the company’s competitiveness, the planned restructuring seeks to step up the process of change already under way at Lagardère Active, and particularly to focus on increasing customer satisfaction:
– By refocusing on the most powerful brands and devoting to them all of the group’s resources (human, marketing, technology and financial) and, as a result, disposing of other titles to avoid dispersion. The titles being sold are of the highest quality, and are run by very strong professional teams. However, it is imperative that Lagardère Active focuses its portfolio so as to concentrate its investment efforts.
– By moving from a structure no longer based on vertical business lines but around major brands, to allow them to develop their own projects and give them access to all sources of leverage (editorial, technical and commercial) on their performance in their print and digital forms, and in services, and to bring the benefits of agility and corporate spirit available to companies which are run on a human scale. The advertising sales team, which will remain a single entity, will adjust its operational structures around these major brands.
The Magazine Publishing (1) business consists of the following five areas:
“High-end women’s magazines” with Elle, Elle Décoration, Elle à Table, international licences, Art et Décoration and their digital offshoots;
“News” with Journal du Dimanche, Paris Match, Version Fémina and their digital offshoots;
“Consumer” with France Dimanche, Ici Paris, Télé 7 Jours, Télé 7 Jeux;
“Entertainment” with Public and its digital offshoots, the mobile application and website, Télé 7 Jours, Plurimedia, TV Replay, BilletReduc, and the digital offshoots of Première and Pariscope;
“Family” with Doctissimo, Infobébés, Parents.
The titles to be sold are as follows: Auto Moto, Be, Campagne Décoration, Le Journal de la Maison, Maison & Travaux, Mon Jardin Ma Maison, together with Psychologies Magazine and Union and their digital offshoots. The disposal of the print editions of Première and Pariscope is also planned.
In the theoretical event that no title were to be sold, the maximum number of permanent positions affected (editorial, title-specific support functions and transversal support functions) would be 240 for the refocusing and 110 for the reorganisation.
Largardère Active’s management team’s intention is that no employee will be left without a solution. To this end, it will propose to employee representatives the creation of exceptional support measures to:
– encourage the sale of titles and the transfer of associated employees, including to the staff themselves if they wish;
– ensure the redeployment of employees who are not transferred with the titles;
– prioritise voluntary departure if any positions are lost.
Lagardère Active’s management team will seek to pursue these proposals in a spirit of dialogue and collective negotiation in order to provide an exemplary support package.
(1) Excluding Disney publications, which are produced by a JV