A few hours ago I posted that Paris Match had become American!
The deal between Lagardere and Hearst excludes Paris Match and the French Elle. So Paris Match will stay French. I leave my tribute online as I do feel a magazine belongs to a country, to a culture. Vanity Fair would probably do pretty badly in France ( although many have wanted to create a French Vanity Fair) and Paris Match belongs to France. So the post should really be: Paris Match: More French Than Ever!
Will Paris Match become American? Incredible! Le poids des mots, le choc des photos (The importance of the words and the choc of the photos) according to their famous slogan. The deal was concluded. Hearst is buying Lagardere active for over 600 million Euros! Quite a symbolic day!
The covers of French Paris Match are milestones in my life: the first wedding of Caroline de Monaco, the wedding of Diana, the second wedding of Caroline….
This is also where I discovered journalism working as a trainee journalist for 3 years. The magazine was still located avenue des Champs Elysees, and Roger Therond was president. Everybody in the magazine had a “grande gueule”, a Gerard Depardieu kind of aura. There were always extraordinary things happening in one day. An amateur photographer would show up with exclusive photos of a flood in the South of France, a photo agency would bring the only photos of Baron Empain kept in confinement by his hijackers, or we received photos ofthe visit of Isabelle Huppert, only 25, who had just been crowned in Cannes at the film festival.
There were reporters following the same story for weeks, (sur une planque) basically guarding a place 24 hours a day, to note any suspicious whereabouts which could become a story -such as looking for clues in front the avenue Hoche apartment of Baron Empain.
There were those who covered the wars all over the world and came back with their tales – it was like having bonuses to the articles with their anecdotes.
There were those who specialized in the Monaco family and spent time between Le Rocher, Saint Tropez, Megeve and Paris.
Michel Sola, then Director of Photography and later Editor in Chief, would stay for what seemed to me hours in his office negotiating the price of photos with the agencies, Gamma, Sygma. This was probably the most important part of the day.
On the day of finishing the magazine, the famous jour du bouclage a generous buffet was served in the main room. All the stories were pinned up on the walls. Roger Therond would come in late, most of the time, after his diner, and would decide on the stories, the ones to keep, the ones to trash, and heads would roll. It was heart breaking. They all smoked Gitanes. It was all very French!