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January 27, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Le Nouvel Observateur, the Paris-based independent French publisher, which operates what it claims to be one of the largest consumer services on the French Minitel viewdata system, has formed a subsidiary to market its viewdata products and expertise worldwide. Chairman Claude Perdriel also announced the appointment of Georges Nahon as president – Nahon was tapped from Intelmatique, the international viewdata marketing arm of France Telecom, where he was managing director. As immediate past president of the International Videotex Industry Association and a frequent writer and speaker, Nahon has established an international reputation as an authority on the subject, and looks like quite a catch. Le Nouvel Observateur’s videotex service, with approximately $20m in revenue for 1987 and an average of 220,000 hours of connect time per month, is the most important of all publisher-sponsored videotex services in the world, according to Nahon. Le Nouvel Observateur’s expertise in content design, the effective marketing of its services and the development and refinement of its own software has resulted in a winning formula which other publishers and media companies can use to generate profits. Among the services contributing to its success are Money, a portfolio management service coupled with financial information; Game, a series of video games; EE, a chess game and information service for chess players; Vega, an astrology service with personalised prediction and character analysis; OBS, a news service, and Aline, popular chat-line for consumers. Le Nouvel Observateur, with annual revenues of more than $90m, publishes the weekly news-oriented Le Nouvel Observateur – the magazine and the viewdata service are popularly known as Nouvelobs; the monthly Science et Avenir; the Challenge careers paper; and Telematique Magazine, the viewdata publication with the largest circulation in France.

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