Monday, February 09, 2009

Cahiers gets a bailout

Good news, I would think, for the venerable French magazine, which has been acquired by one of the classier book imprints (I cover a lot of its design-related titles for Array magazine):

"Phaidon Press, the world's leading publisher of books on the visual arts, culture and creativity has concluded an agreement with La Société Editrice du Monde ("Le Monde") for the purchase of Cahiers du Cinéma.

Cahiers du Cinéma publishes a monthly magazine of almost mythical status. Founded in 1951 by André Bazin, Cahiers du Cinéma changed the course of cinema forever when it created the concept of the Auteur theory and spawned the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave). Early writers on its staff included Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, The New York Times wrote 'In the history of motion pictures, Cahiers du Cinéma stands unrivalled as the most influential magazine'.

Cahiers du Cinéma also operates a book publishing division that publishes a range of books on the subject of cinema, which perfectly complements Phaidon's existing activities.

Phaidon publishes high quality books across the spectrum of the visual arts, including art and photography, architecture and design and decorative and performing arts. It has recently expanded its range to include travel and cuisine as well as children's books. Phaidon publishes in six languages and distributes its books worldwide. Phaidon was founded in Vienna in 1923 and was acquired by Richard Schlagman from the receivers in 1990.

Richard Schlagman, the publisher of Phaidon, said, "I am delighted to have taken custody of this venerable title. The magazine has had an extraordinary history, although in recent years it has struggled. I am determined to once again make Cahiers du Cinéma play a central role in the world of filmmaking and indispensable to its participants and aspirants. I am positive that Cahiers can once again become relevant to our times and speak to a new generation of cinephiles."

Le Monde, France's leading newspaper, has owned Cahiers du Cinéma since 1998 and announced last April that it intended to dispose of Cahiers du Cinéma as a part of a plan to reorganise its corporate group. There was keen competition to acquire the magazine from some 30 candidates. Le Monde selected Phaidon as the party most suitable to guarantee the long-term future viability and vitality of the enterprise. David Guiraud, Director General of Le Monde, said, "we are convinced that Phaidon will continue to develop Cahiers du Cinéma and all its current activities, in full respect of the history and the values of this mythical revue."

La Société Civile des Amis des Cahiers du Cinéma, an association of friends of the magazine, including past editors from all generations, directors and personalities from the worlds of cinema and culture, supported the transaction and will continue to hold a small minority stake."

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