The best saga of the summer does not take place on the screens of TF1, but in the corridors of the media. In the vicinity of the unheard of France, the web TV launched at the beginning of this year, with great journalistic ambitions, benefited from the holiday that was torn in the eyes of everyone, on social networks and in newspapers. While the resumption of the broadcast is scheduled for September 17 and the editors return to his office in Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis) on Monday, the tension has not dropped among the three co-founders: on one side Sophia Chikirou, former director of communication Jean-Luc Mélenchon left the organization with a major accident with several family members; on the other hand, the psychoanalyst Gerard Miller (who did not want to answer) and the producer Henri Poulain, who try to save the house as well as possible. The crisis has reached a climax since the last two, according to our information, on 14 August on behalf of the media a & # 39; notification & # 39; to their previous partner.
Declaration of war and pressure tactics, the post requires Sophia Chikirou to reimburse a payment made by the media on 25 July via the linked production company. For 64,000 euro it benefited from Mediascop, the personal company of the communicant. The notice of default also requires that Chikirou waives the settlement, not made, of another invoice, this time of an amount of 67,000 euros, issued on 27 July. Above all, the missive is accompanied by a threat that reveals the state of the relationship between the co-founders: if Chikirou, once again insubordinating an active leader of France in view of the European elections of 2019, does not respond to these requests from here on 31 August, Miller and Poulain are considering filing a lawsuit against her for misuse of company property & # 39 ;.
Contact recorded by release, Sophia Chikirou has it over "Rough maneuver". "This letter must deny Mediascop's mediation between September 2017 and July 2018. All documents proving the bad faith and hypocrisy of Miller and Poulain are in the hands of my lawyer and show that, with effect from October 2017, prediction made by Anaïs Feuillette [compagne de Miller, ndlr] provides a debt of 80,000 euros for Mediascop. "
Revealed by Mediapart the confusion started at the end of July, after Chikirou, then president of the media production company, validated the two payments in question in favor of his personal activities. One of the two was paid by check; the other, in the form of a transfer, was blocked by the bank. They had to pay for production, communication and management services, some of which were supplied by Chikirou themselves. It is little to say that the news is poorly spent in a context of financial vulnerability for the young media. Since Chikirou is on the issue and receipt of accounts, the conflict of interest seems clear and motivates the suspicion of abuse of social good in the eyes of Miller and Poulain. They doubt the reality of certain invoiced services.
They blame their previous partner, who claimed to work voluntarily, to face the fait accompli. False, Chikirou replies: "Everyone at the Media was aware of these benefits." And to claim that Henri Poulain's own production company, StoryCircus, has benefited from contracts with the Media for more than 140,000 euros. "It is complete delirium," responds to release the interested party, who explains that he has invoiced 84 000 euros (a detailed figure on the website Stop sur images) and that Chikirou validates the whole case. "Poulain speaks no tax when it comes to the invoices of StoryCircus but in TTC for that of Mediascop"the latter answers. "We will publish copies of the accounts in a few days", replica Foal. War of com …
In the Chikirou camp it is difficult to see that the work done is being challenged: "Look what she did in six months, says Alexis Poulin, columnist for the media. She raised more than two million euros, recruited 19,000 socios, sent out a new journal every day, launched a paper magazine … She did a great job as a business leader. " And occasionally a contribution to the adding, kamikaze way: "We are being fooled by a team of stones that has no strategy, no plan, their only speech is: Sophia has done shit, it's now up to us. "In the viewfinder, journalist Aude Lancelin, who took the lead, supported by Miller and Poulain. "She joined part of the writing with some of the co-founders, who could not have felt any influence on the media, against Sophia, plague a journalist in the neighborhood of Chikirou, on condition of anonymity. Aude Lancelin is a monument of sufficiency, which we have always thought to be above us all. " The costs are borne by the woman, who ensures that she never wanted to have a leading position before the crisis. If the atmosphere is rotten, it is because the conflict is not only money, but also ego, ideas, ambitions. From one camp to another, bad words rarely fuse together.
Short period of time
Under the anti-Chikirou we continue to refer to the management of the communicant, who withdrew after a severe criticism from a part of the team during a seminar in early July. "It is the loneliness of Sophia who separated us, The balance of Henri Poulain. She does not know how to share power. She has a way of being almost neoliberal, almost macronistic. She does not understand that a journalist needs three days to write an article, she has a disproportionate taste for a short time and she postulates that she had done better. She is able to sacrifice people and the real for her cause. And his only cause is Sophia Chikirou. & # 39; Aude Lancelin is rich in: "In the course of time there were shouts, tears and doors coming to a standstill, Sophia is impulsive and comes from the world of activism, where loyalty counts." It went badly with journalists. "
"In the end it was really awfulsays reporter Virginie Cresci. She yelled at us, we ran into each other. It worked like in a political party … And we made a news collection without resources, mediocre. We all knew that no one was happy. " The long format imposed by the former patron saint of the media, the daily "JT", which looked more like filmed radio and used energy, quickly showed its limits, lack of time to reach the subjects that filled it. He was quickly discredited by April's statement of false news about a serious victim in Tolbiac. Even supporters of Chikirou agree, as Alexis Poulin: "We have to revise the format." But it is a mistake for them to suppress it, as Aude Lancelin quickly decided. "JT is our fundamental editorial promise to socios: another hierarchy of information every night"is worried about a journalist in the neighborhood of Chikirou. For him, Lancelin's arrival in the inspections marks the seizure of power «Trend trend Julien Coupat, attracted by communitarianism». Sophia Chikirou regrets that some members of the editorial team issue identity claims: "During the seminar, some" racists, "as they define themselves, have made accusations of racism against the Republicans, of whom I am." To hold a similar speech in the press, journalist Serge Faubert received a disciplinary warning Monday. "All this is a smokescreen," said Henri Poulain. Sophia makes a narrative to make people believe that the crisis is political. & # 39; On this topic, not easy to see clearly …
However, it is a certainty: a few months after a launch, not without arrogance, the image effect for the Media is terrible. However, the new management believes in a singing future. Aude Lancelin promises the daily news on 17 September, but also the investigation, the criticism of the media, new programs, with tenure and "Three or four recruitments" in writing. "This crisis is an opportunity to leave on a healthy basis"she says, she gives an appointment in six months: "If there is no improvement, I will put my term on the line again." As for Henri Poulain, he believes that "The media will benefit from the departure of Sophia Chikirou, a plug of suspicion will disappear. Understand that the shadow of disobedient France disappears, making web TV credentials for journalistic credibility. There is more to be hoped, for the economic future of the media and its employees, that the communicant does not take too many socio's in his wake …