Sports races, music festivals, or e-commerce or service sites. Like the national press, the regional press has sought to diversify its income to find new revenue. "In most newspapers, diversification should be about 20% of revenue"supports Jean-Michel Baylet, president of the Alliance of the general information press.
And immediately add that it's a maximum and that '' The Telegram 'is an exception ". Indeed, at Télégramme, diversification accounts for around 50% of the group's revenues, taking into account the organization of music festivals in which the group is a minority.
Encircled by its great rival "Ouest-France" – which is relatively rare in the PQR – the group has conducted since 2000 a policy of external growth in different sectors of activity: first on employment, with RegionsJob (now HelloWork),
who made several acquisitions recently
and which represents a forty million euros of turnover.
Route du Rhum, La Solitaire, Francofolies …
In the event, the Télégramme group owns 45% of C2G, which organizes several major music festivals like Les Francofolies or Printemps de Bourges. He also controls OC Sport (about 30 million euros in sales), which organizes
the Route du Rhum
, the Solitaire du Figaro, but also marathons and ultratrails and cycling races. In total, the group has invested around 60-70 million euros since 2000. "What was one of Telegram's strengths was to surround itself with event professionals", says the sociologist Jean-Marie Charon.
The strategy of the Telegram group is all the more remarkable because it did not rely on the brand. "The concern of our beginnings was to find profitable sources of growth. But organizing local events was not enough, given our pool. There are sometimes synergies, but that's not the main goal. ", explains Edouard Coudurier, the head of the Telegram.
Our job: inform
Other groups have also led diversifications. Provence, for example, has implemented a whole strategy around events (such as the Auto Show), including white label (Real Estate Fair …). The group from the south of France is also present in the sport (the Tour de la Provence). Above all, he has sought to develop for the past two years "hubs" on different themes (economy, health, innovation, etc.), organizing meetings and conferences for professionals in a sector. "Today we have 120 companies and institutions, says Julian Rodriguez, marketing director. Synergies with the media are important, since each 'hub' has a designated web editor (most are non-journalists) who cover the sector's business with papers, videos, etc. " Diversification represents around 10% of the group's turnover of 66 million euros.
The major regional press groups, however, are not always inclined to highlight their new professions. "True diversification is about making the transition to digital"explains Bernard Marchant, the managing director of Rossel ("La Voix du Nord" …). "Our mission is to inform", supports Louis Echelard, chairman of the executive board of Ouest-France.