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BolloreLagardere, TF1-M6, Provence, Release… The mere attribution of the files that occupy the chronicle of the media in recent months is enough to be convinced: the entire media landscape is being redrawn before our eyes, often quietly, sometimes with great bursts of brilliance.

A tectonic, comparable in its magnitude and violence to that which followed the privatization of TF1 in 1986, is shaking the entire sector. It’s not just a change of era, of generation, or of movements caused by technological breakthroughs, even if all of that contributes to it. These are battles for power, for the grip and control of democratic debate and opinion, for access to and influence over the state apparatus.

While concentration in the media has already reached an unequaled level in France compared to what is observed in all the other democratic countries, everything is being put in place to further strengthen it. Newspapers, television channels, Internet sites, adrift, have become the playthings of a handful of billionaires. The latest developments in Release fall within this framework.

© @Polyvios Anemoyannis /Hans Lucas via AFP

Influence games

“You know how French capitalism works. SI want existing, to have influence with power, you have to have media », observes an observer of the small Parisian business world. The arrival of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky as the new savior of Release does not seem to escape these calculations and these ulterior motives.

Until then, Daniel Kretinsky, who has made his mark by buying up coal-fired power stations across Europe at a low price – he is currently making a fortune with the energy crisis – may not have been pierced in the Parisian business world. Through his holding CMI France, he is however already the owner of a series of magazines acquired from Lagardère (She, Tele 7 days, Current wife) and the weekly Marianne. He became, almost by force, a minority shareholder of the World, after having bought half of the shares of investment banker Matthieu Pigasse. He invited himself to the round table of TF1 by taking 5% of the capital.

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