► What’s going on at the “Sunday Journal”?
Geoffroy Lejeune was not lying when he announced to the “friends of Valeurs Actuelles” on Twitter that he would find them “soon elsewhere”. Officially ousted on June 19 from the weekly – of which he had been the editorial director for seven years – he is strongly expected to take over the general management of the Sunday newspaper, Le Monde reported on June 22. Information that, according to the Society of Journalists of the JDD, the direction of the latter has not denied.
Close to Éric Zemmour, Geoffroy Lejeune would replace Jérôme Béglé in this position, who would take the lead in the other title recently acquired by Vincent Bolloré, Paris Match. The same day, the employees of the Sunday weekly almost unanimously voted for a 24-hour renewable strike (77 for, 1 against, 5 not deciding). An internal earthquake in the editorial staff of the JDD which has been shaking the entire media world.
► What are the employees and members of the editorial staff afraid of?
“Geoffroy Lejeune, former editor of the far-right weekly Valeurs Actuelles, expresses ideas that run counter to the values that the JDD has carried for seventy-five years,” said the Journal du Dimanche Society of Journalists. in a press release, Thursday, June 22. The SDJ also denounces the expected arrival of the columnist Charlotte d’Ornellas, in the wake of the former editorial director of Valeurs Actuelles.
Within the editorial staff, there are concerns about an extreme right-winging of the editorial line of a historically legitimist title. “The JDD has always followed the direction of the government wind. He is a Macronist today as he was a Dutchman, a Sarkozyist or a Chiraquian”, recalls Patrick Eveno, media historian and president of the Observatory for Information Ethics.
“The political project of Vincent Bolloré, who has just got his hands on the JDD, is clear, adds the historian. The iTélé case (became CNews, Editor’s note) in 2016 showed it to us, it is not disturbed either by the dissatisfaction or by the departure of the employees. “For him, only a loss of audience of the Sunday newspaper could possibly weigh in the balance.
The editorial staff of the JDD goes on strike against the anticipated arrival of Geoffroy Lejeune at the head of its management pic.twitter.com/MJwTrea9Ku
— Sdj JDD (@SDJduJDD) June 22, 2023
► In what context does the probable appointment of Geoffroy Lejeune take place?
Le Journal du dimanche, like Paris Match and Europe 1, very recently joined Vincent Bolloré’s media empire. The owner of the Vivendi group, which brings together Canal +, C8 or CNews, obtained Friday, June 9 the authorization of the European Commission to seize it at the end of a long and painful soap opera.
This takeover takes place within the framework of a takeover bid launched by Vivendi for Lagardère. A buyout synonymous, even before the anticipated appointment of Geoffroy Lejeune, with a new era for the two weeklies.
If the rich Breton businessman had to wait for the approval of the European Commission to intervene in the affairs of the newly acquired editorial offices, he is suspected of not having had this patience. “For several months now, its shadow has been hovering over Paris Match”, underlines Patrick Eveno, recalling that the weekly has seen its organization chart turned upside down and its Unes – in particular that devoted to the very controversial Cardinal Robert Sarah – change of tone.
On June 15, the European Commission announced to AFP that it had opened an investigation into “anticipated takeover” (or “gunjumping”) of Lagardère. An investigation which, if successful, could earn the Vivendi group a fine of up to 10% of its worldwide turnover.