NEW WORLD: Pierre Bergé has received the green light for his bid to save French daily Le Monde. The internal shareholders of Le Monde SA, which owns Le Monde, weekly Télérama and other publications, on Monday voted in favor of the bid put forward by Yves Saint Laurent’s former business partner, together with Matthieu Pigasse, the local head of investment bank Lazard, and Xavier Niel, founder of French Internet service provider Free. The trio won over a rival consortium made up of France Telecom; Claude Perdriel, whose media holdings include the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, and Spanish media group Prisa, which owns a 15 percent stake in the company. “We will start negotiations tomorrow and have until the end of September regarding the expected capital increase and for our offer to be definitely accepted by Le Monde’s general assembly,” said Bergé, reached Monday evening. When asked what the first order of the day will be for the paper, Bergé said: “I can’t answer. I don’t know.” — Joelle Diderich
This story first appeared in the June 29, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
HE’LL BE DOING WHAT, EXACTLY? While insiders believe Gerry Marzorati is leaving his post as editor of The New York Times Magazine at the behest of Times higher-ups, executive editor Bill Keller tried to put a more positive spin on the news in an e-mail he sent to staffers Monday morning, which also revealed Marzorati’s new position at the company. In Keller’s orotund letter — “We’ve become the mothers of invention,” read one line — he praised the 57-year-old Marzorati for his “extraordinary” run at the magazine and outlined his new responsibilities. These will include, Keller wrote, “representing me, Jill [Abramson] and John [Geddes] as our agent wherever new products are discussed…monitoring new ventures…offering a newsroom perspective to those who sell our work to advertisers” and “helping us develop newsroom assets that have growth potential.” Whatever all that means, and whether it’s all just a gentle way to ease Marzorati to retirement or a buyout, he will retain the title of assistant managing editor moving forward, and will continue editing the Sunday Magazine and T through the summer. Regarding the search for Marzorati’s successor, Keller encouraged anyone “inside or outside, who thinks he or she has a great vision for the magazine and the ability to execute it,” to e-mail him directly by the end of July (for those interested, he can be reached at email@example.com). — Nick Axelrod
BROWN DEPARTS: After almost 10 years, Dawn Brown, Barneys New York’s vice president of public relations, is leaving on July 6 to join the Full Picture agency. “Dawn can see — and even forecast — things that brands often can’t see for themselves, from the most effective positioning to what the marketplace will embrace in the future,” said Desiree Gruber, Full Picture’s president. In addition to p.r. and marketing responsibilities, “I’ll be doing a little bit of everything,” Brown said Monday. “I am excited, nervous and sad all at the same time. It was an incredible 10-year run at Barneys. I’m leaving three weeks before my 10th anniversary.” — David Moin