Stéphane Soumier, the former host of BFM Business, has launched his own TV channel

After years of mornings, there is no longer a question for Stéphane Soumier to wake up early in the morning. But there is no question of leaving the antenna. The former host and editorial director of BFM Business will return to the small screen from June 16 at 6 pm On his own channel this time. The “business” enthusiast kicked off on Tuesday, June 9 at BSmart, a channel dedicated to SMEs and VSEs. “It will be the chain of the daring. We will focus on four themes: jobs, SMEs, tech and impact ”commented Mr. Soumier, in a Web conference presentation.

Funded by CMI, Daniel Kretinsky’s group (indirect and minority shareholder of world), which injects approximately 4.5 million euros for 50.01% of the capital, BSmart gave itself three years to achieve profitability. Denis Olivennes, the president of CMI France, contacted Mr. Soumier, when the latter left BFM Business, to find out about his projects.

To recruits, Michel Denisot will host a program dedicated to “comex”, these executive committees where the basic orientations of a company are decided. “We want to study decision-making mechanisms. We must end the idea of ​​the most powerful boss. Now, decisions are collegial”, explains the host-entrepreneur. Another figure on the channel, Jean-Marc Sylvestre, who will present a daily program focused on SMEs and VSEs. Mr. Soumier is on the air every night with the businessmen. If small employers are to be the spotlight, it is not, on the other hand, the case of politicians, who are themselves. “everywhere”.

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In most channel packages, except those in SFR

Available on May 16 for Free, BSmart will come in Canal+ packages on June 25 and on Orange and Bouygues on July 9. However, it will not be accessible to subscribers of SFR, the group-owned telecom operator Altice, his former employer. “We have not received a response from them”avoiding Mr. Soumier, who swears he is leaving BFM Business “It went well” and full of praise for Alain Weill, current CEO of Altice France. Does the latter consider BSmart to resemble BFM Business? “The two channels are very different, BFM Business is a big liner generating 20 million euros in turnover”ensuring the one who claims for BSmart a more pointed positioning.

To make money, the channel relies on classic advertising, but mainly on sponsorship of programs and events. For a program to exist, it must have an advertiser. Manutan (office equipment supply), Cegid (professional software), BourseDirect and BNP Paribas are among the partners.

“The subject is not to criticize, but to serve the soup, and invite to the table the people you want to hear. You can write it in black on white”

How, in sponsored programs, can journalists freely bring controversy? “The subject is not to criticize, but to serve the soup, and invite to the table the people you want to hear. You can write it in black on white”, carrying Mr. Soumier. BPI, sponsor of Jean-Marc Sylvestre’s program, has already written to the companies it funded to offer them on-air interviews to “Gain visibility by presenting [leur] business, [leur] activity, [leur] news ». “BPI is our crucible. We have opened a window to these SMEs without access to the press. Anyone can go. “added Mr. Soumier, without specifying how the interlocutors would be selected. “The pressures we may be subjected to are those of CMI and, at this point, the shareholders’ agreement guarantees my freedom”he assured.

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For CMI, who bought Lagardère magazine (She, TV 7 Days, Public) at MarianneInvesting in a television channel is an opportunity to add another string to someone’s bow. “We are already there in the written press, on the Web and at events. We lack television to offer our advertisers, who would thus benefit from a global system ”said Claire Léost, its general manager.

The latter thus hopes to bring synergies into gaming, especially with He, by placing, for example, on air programs about women’s careers. Another interest of BSmart, is to convince new advertisers to participate in other projects in the group’s other media.

Installed in Banijay’s company studios, rue Chateaubriand, in Paris, the small team has between 20 and 25 employees. Notably Stéphane Soumier brought in Guillaume Dubois, former general manager of BFM-TV or Pierre Fraidenraich, former general manager of BFM Business. The latter abruptly resigned after the disclosure of the investigation by the national financial prosecutor’s office at a forum organized in Gabon, which was possibly tainted by irregularities, and ever since the time he headed. Freewhich is also owned by Altice. “I see no problem with Pierre Fraidenraich. How do you know there’s an investigation? He’s my friend, and I haven’t commented.”he concludes.

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