French News Start-up L'Opinion: Swimming Upstream in Uncertain Times

How can French media start up L'Opinion best support Libéral political policies while simultaneously achieving profitability?

Ava Seave  | Spring 2019
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In May 2013 Nicolas Beytout launched L’Opinion, a news organization that published a daily newspaper, with a robust digital presence. L’Opinion was opinion-focused, with Libéral economic thought pieces and analysis at the heart of its content. The media industry had changed drastically in the decade preceding, with brutal competition among the traditional media and new entrants like the platforms Google and Facebook. The political environment was also a moving target, with anti-European nationalism on the rise. At the end of 2018, L’Opinion was still struggling to make a profit leading Beytout to consider how to use the news market’s continual changes—in consumer behavior, in advertising platform consolidation, in content competition, and in technology—to the company’s advantage. Two questions loomed large in his mind: How can L’Opinion best support Libéral policies? What strategic direction will lead to a profitable future for the organization? The A case asks students to consider how a media organization integrates its political aims with business imperatives. The B case asks students to consider whether a 2019 acquisition changes the mission of the organization.

Case ID: 190505
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note

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