Daniel Kretinsky is considering selling the weekly “Marianne”

This was to be the year of the relaunch of Marianne, could it also be that of a change of shareholder for the weekly? Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is considering selling the magazine run by Natacha Polony, which he bought in 2018. The publication of the article from the specialized site The letter Monday April 15, early in the afternoon, had the effect of an internal electric shock. “We’re not there at all”was downplayed on Monday by CMI France, the French branch of Czech Media Invest, of which Mr. Kretinsky is a co-founder, without however denying that consideration was well underway regarding a sale of Marianne.

While the news magazine totaled 12 million euros in turnover and 3 million euros in deficit in 2023, again according to CMI, Marianne has, in March 2024, almost halved its pagination, going from 92 pages to 52 pages. It was about “gain density”, still proudly defended Natacha Polony, the editorial director, at the end of last month. To also save paper? ” At the margin “agreed Mme Polony. “But the shareholder will above all invest by lowering the price of the magazine on newsstands from 4.40 euros to 3.50 euros”she argued again.

The title – which claims around 60,000 magazine subscribers, 12,000 digital subscribers and 20,000 newsstand sales – saw its circulation drop by 1.3% compared to 2022, according to figures from the Alliance for News Figures. press and media (ACPM), and thus hoped to regain readers. The modernization of its model seems rather profitable, since it has brought 8,000 additional newsstand sales on average since the new formula and paper and digital subscriptions starting to rise again, according to CMI France. But that might not be enough to convince Daniel Kretinsky to remain a shareholder of Marianne.

In question, the radical sovereignism of Natacha Polony would today be too far from the pro-European and liberal values ​​of the Czech billionaire. In recent months, the magazine has regularly criticized Emmanuel Macron and his Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, described as “economic losers” on the front page of April 4 or even“antisocial” on February 8.

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According to The letterDenis Olivennes, Mr. Kretinsky’s right-hand man, is said to be discussing with several potential candidates to buy the magazine, including the Catholic billionaire Vincent Bolloré, who could acquire it via the Prisma Media groups (Geo, Current wife, Capital, etc.) or Lagardère (Europe 1, Sunday Newspaper). Contacted, the management of Prisma Media and Lagardère deny any discussions with Mr. Olivennes about a buyout of Marianne. Another fervent Catholic, the sovereignist Pierre-Edouard Stérin, founder of Smartbox gift boxes, is mentioned by The letter. He did not answer our questions.

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