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Slate.fr takes a new direction with the Rothschilds

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – PATRICK KOVARIK – | Jean-Marie Colombani, formerly of the World and president of Slate.fr, December 10, 2009 in Paris

Bankers Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild have come to the rescue of Slate.fr, which will change formula and reduce its workforce, according to information from Liberation confirmed by an internal document and the management of the site.

The leaders of the Swiss group Edmond de Rothschild, who are already major shareholders of the company, will inject a total of two million euros in the information site, told AFP Jean-Marie Colombani, And president of Slate.fr.

A first capital increase of 1.15 million euros was carried out on 20 June, according to Libération. This investment was made via the personal company of the Rothschild couple domiciled in Luxembourg, Catleya Finance, confirmed Jean-Marie Colombani.

Deficient since its foundation in 2009, the site keeps its free model funded by advertising and content sales. In an internal letter sent in early July and consulted by AFP, the management of Slate stressed that “an endless race to the audience is now deadlocked, and it is necessary to accentuate what has always made the mark Slate “.

“In the coming months, Slate’s editorial team will become the main editor,” said the site’s management. “The published articles will be almost all ordered to the freelancers, the editorial role being to edit them, to highlight them and to ensure the widest possible distribution, especially on social networks.”

Slate should only publish a dozen articles a day, compared to a fortnight today. The site should also be entitled to a “complete overhaul” in January 2018. Its president should give more details about his new version at a general meeting in mid-September.

With this new investment, the site changed heads: businessman and producer Marc Sillam replaced the founder Eric Leser in the general management.

Christophe Carron, former editor-in-chief of the Canal + newspaper and former editor of Voilà, takes over the editorial staff of the site. He replaces Charlotte Pudlowski, part set up a podcast project, as she announced on Twitter.

According to a journalist from the site quoted by Libération, part of the ten cardholders of the site’s press cards should also take advantage of the surrender clause to leave Slate, which employs 23 people.

The site had already been able to survive thanks to fund raising, despite a fall in its turnover to 950,000 euros in 2015, against 1.5 million in 2012, due to problems with an external management.

Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild “have invested in Slate.fr and are supporting its development, being convinced of the importance of investing in the real economy,” said a spokesman for AFP.

Slate, which attracts three million unique visitors each month, according to figures from the Nielsen Institute, hoped to reach equilibrium in 2017.

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