The economics of *Le Monde*

by on June 22, 2010 at 2:17 am in Current Affairs, Economics | Permalink

It seems the newspaper is going under.  Here is one snippet:

In France, firing a printing plant employee is hugely expensive. The gent is paid €50,000 per year, works 32 hours per week and 164 days per year. Firing him costs about €466,000 – that’s a  French government estimate…

It is worth reading the article in full, as it makes many other points.  For the pointer I thank Sam Bishop.

E. Barandiaran June 22, 2010 at 3:26 am

Tyler, as I said in one of my comments to one of your posts last Sunday,
“I look forward to a world in which French intellectuals and politicians are free from Le Monde’s complex. Let us hope that the NYT is next.”

And I recommend you to watch the Cup. Today the teams start to play the 3rd and final round of the first phase (four games per day). It will end on Friday and then between Saturday and next Tuesday the 16 teams that make the second phase will play just one-match elimination (two games per day). I’ll too busy to send you my comments on your posts.

dearieme June 22, 2010 at 4:40 am

We used to read “Le Monde” at school, wondering why its news was always a couple of days out of date, insofar as it carried news rather than preposterous philosophising. A sad loss, no doubt, but less sad than the vanishing of what The Times and The Telegraph used to be. As for the Manchester Guardian….. eeh bah gum.

lachose June 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

Printing plant employees are an extreme case, even though they are representative of the general success of rent seeking activities in France. The business is controlled by monopolistic mafia-like union (Syndicat général du livre). Given their weak financial situation newspapers do not have the mean to engage in a long conflict with the union which would result in a immediate freeze of printing. The antiquate system of newspaper distribution (NMPP) as well as the “preposterous philosophising” mentioned by dearieme does not help either…

Ted Craig June 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

Why, yes, Andrew, profits. Until recently, newspapers have been hugely profitable.

Mommsen June 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

Le Figaro still seems to be doing well (highest circulation in the country last year as I recall).

George Pirvu June 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Newspapers are (almost) dead and having employees that only work 164 days per year helps them drown faster. I have passed through a revolution in an European country and I can still remember the times when we also wanted to have Friday as a free day; fortunately, the government has only kept it that way for a few months.

Andrew June 22, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Like the French team I’m boycotting watching the world cup.

Unlike the French team I’m doing it because of this:
http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/06/is-fifa-censoring-the-us-non-goal/58428/

Like the French team, it doesn’t hurt so bad because I never really likes soccer anyway.

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