The non-executive president of Prisa, Joseph Oughourlian, revealed details about the business strategy that the company seeks to address during an interview with Ignacio Escolar, director of elDiario.es, which took place on the second day of the XXII Huesca Journalism Congress . The businessman acknowledged for the first time that he is buying “out of his pocket” part of the shares controlled up to now by the investment fund Amber, of which he is also the manager and which owns almost 30% of the capital of Prisa.
Prisa rules out selling its media after an approach from Vocento: “It is not part of the roadmap”
Regarding the company’s debt, he said that “the financing has to be at the service of an industrial plan and not the other way around, and we have been working for our creditors for three years, that the only thing they ask us is that we return the money. With this situation you cannot grow or live. ”
In addition, contrary to what was announced, he assured that they do not plan to sell the company’s education unit due to market conditions.
When asked by the director of elDiario.es about the contradiction that implies that a group like Vivendi, which has supported the extreme right in France, could influence the Prisa group, whose editorial line is mainly from the center-left, Oughourlian said that Vivendi’s choice to bet on the CNews television channel was a business decision and not an ideological one: “Vivendi has seen a business opportunity in that strip. There is no political bias. In fact in Italy they have gone very against Berlusconi” .
On October 25, Vivendi requested permission from the Government to increase its stake in Grupo Prisa from the current 9.936% to 29.9%, up to the limit that would force it to launch a 100% takeover bid (takeover bid) of the group, owner of El País or Cadena Ser, among other media.
On the problems that journalism faces globally to create a profitable business strategy, he did not hesitate to prioritize subscription as a goal. However, he noted the difficulty of attracting new audiences willing to pay for content.
“Advertising still weighs heavily and paper is somewhat. The good thing is that there are already traditional newspapers in the world that have made the transition and live off the reader. That has to be our goal,” he said. He assured that they will seek to expand in Latin America and deepen the concept of a “global” newspaper: “In order for the subscription model to work in a generalist newspaper, it must be made global.”
Oughourlian did not miss the opportunity to make visible his differences with Juan Luis Cebrián, founder and first director of El País and previous president of the group, when referring to the reading data of the opinion notes of supposedly widely read authors, he revealed that the last article of Cebrián had barely had a third of page views of the average of the rest of the stands.