Libertarian, rebellious, precursor… Radio Nova has been since its creation by Jean-François Bizot in 1981, but will it remain so? Anxiety rises within the station. That of the loss of a singular identity, thought by the founder (died in 2007), who made fun of profitability.
Since the spring, this concern has gripped the employees of the station bought in 2016 by the investment banker Matthieu Pigasse (individual shareholder of the World) through its Combat group (which also owns the Unbreakable and the Rock en Seine music festival). Under cover of anonymity, the fifteen employees and collaborators interviewed by The world fears the turn that Nova is about to take at the start of the school year in the hope of winning back a new audience.
The restructuring of the back-to-school schedule will be major whatever happens because most of the programs that made it up until now will disappear. Only the animators Thierry Paret, David Blot as well as Bintou Simporé would escape the changes wanted by the management, even if the question of the maintenance of the emission of the latter is still pending.
The vagueness reigns over the rest, the teams not knowing the date of implementation of the new grid. Promised to employees for mid-July, as noted it in July Teleramait is still not formalized internally. “We don’t know who we’ll be working with, or what the antenna will look like”summarize several employees.
While the musical identity of Radio Nova has long chosen to step aside, wishing to assert itself as a counter-programming of so-called radio “commercial” like Europe 2, RTL2 or NRJ, several employees fear a standardization which they consider harmful for the image of the station. The musical programming should thus integrate more pop rock pieces, the programs and chronicles will be reduced to a bare minimum and the information disappear from the antenna.
For Emmanuel Hoog, the general manager of the Combat group, concerned about the financial situation of the company, it is urgent to react before Nova loses more listeners. While the station’s economic model is largely based on on-air advertising and its price is indexed to audiences, the latest waves of Médiamétrie revealed that listening time per listener was down (even if the cumulative audience remained stable at 0.5%). It is therefore urgent to find savings, according to management. Especially since the radio has accumulated 4.9 million euros in operating losses since 2018.
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