Reasons for the failure of CNN Money Switzerland

25 employees of CNN Money Switzerland (CNNMS) began the first steps on Tuesday to recover their unpaid salaries for the months of July and August. The day before, Christoph Reach, director and founder of the English-language Swiss financial news channel, informed them that the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. The Board of Directors approved, on Sunday, in an extraordinary meeting, the decision. In a press release published Monday, CNNMS effectively pulled the plug after 32 months of existence, saying the company was overwhelmed by the Covid-19 crisis.

Read also: CNN Money Switzerland pulls the plug

Corona virus has a good back. Jamie*, one of the first recruits in the series, immediately wonders why the bankruptcy didn’t happen so soon. “The worm was in the fruit from the start. We never really understood the chain’s business model, and above all, management always refused to talk about it. According to the English-speaking journalist, the lack of information gave way to nagging uncertainty and fears that materialized when the company no longer respected Its current expense bills. In fact, many creditors are now taking legal action to recover nearly one million francs. “The crisis came to light this summer when June’s salaries were paid fifteen days late,” Jamie describes.

lack of transparency

This lack of transparency, was previously pointed out by the media during the presentation of the channel to the public. It was November 2017. A TV that wanted to cover Swiss finances itself refused to discuss its business model, its shareholders or even its sponsors. Receive the timeOn Monday at the headquarters of MediaGo, another company whose founder and director, Christoph Rasch, got into the matter: “Our business model has been spread out over several years and has been based on hearing development. Covid-19 has halted this process completely. Financially, we expected revenue to reach 65% from ads and sponsorships, and 35% from sponsored content. (branded content). These ads were a quick hit and were bigger than expected, but one of them underperformed in terms of advertising. When the pandemic emerged, major projects were postponed indefinitely or canceled.”

Read also: CNN Money Switzerland no longer pays salaries

Christoph Rush also unveils V weather Capital formation. “There is no ambiguity regarding our shareholders, who are all in the minority. The Seker brothers, of US and Bangladeshi citizenship, each hold less than 20%, Sameer Ahmed, a Dubai national, less than 40%. For the rest, I myself am a shareholder as well as my company MediaGo” .

Fleeing contributors

We now know more about the Seekers family. It was Gotham City, a media agency specializing in financial investigations, that exposed, at the beginning of July, the crimes of brothers Ron Haq and Debo Hack. The first was going to attempt, at the beginning of May, to assassinate an Exim Bank executive in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. If the two brothers were wanted by the police, they would have escaped on an ambulance plane towards Thailand. In the August 19 edition, it was standard business Dhaka extensive coverage of the Secker family, specifically in five ongoing investigations into abuse of power and failure to pay. The CNNMS director swears that the brothers’ actions had no bearing on the running of the series.

he is. “We are the direct witnesses to the deterioration of the series,” Jimmy continues. “Initially, we produced information, interviews, reports, and polls for three hours of broadcast per day. Then, we went down into two parts, and eventually, for only 30 minutes. And to add: “The climax of the irony is the fact that The administration appointed a new editor in the person of Patrizia Larry, the star of the economic press of the Revolutionary Front, who took office in July.”

no accountability

Due to lack of publicity and sponsors, losses have been accumulating month after month, but no contact has been made for collaborators in the meantime. “Yes, CNNMS has incurred losses, like many startups, but I am not required to provide details, Christophe Rasch was launched in weather. It is a private company that is not publicly accountable. Like any public limited company under Swiss law, it is audited according to regulations, in this case by PWC.”

Media specialist Patrick Zanello closely followed his birth and then his death. He points out that the Covid-19 virus has accelerated his difficulties. There is no viable business model for a narrow country like Switzerland, and even less so for the economic press.” According to him, there can be no economic TV channel and English language without external funding. At some point, there was talk that the World Economic Forum had become a privileged partner as a financier. or a facilitator.But the latter has finally decided to create his own distribution channel.

It must be said that the Swiss channel is not organically affiliated with CNN International; He pays royalties for the use of the brand, its technology, and its content.

Fears in Nyon

In the end, didn’t Christopher Rush have eyes bigger than his stomach? He answers: “The entrepreneur never thinks about the big.” Our business model was resilient until Covid-19 played the spoiler game.” From now on, he intends to focus on MediaGo, his ten-year-old company in Gland (VD) which is a service provider in digital marketing and audiovisual content creation. CNNMS, which was one of his 150 clients, will not affect MediaGo.

On the same topic: CNN Money Switzerland is running out of money

Christophe Rush is very proud of the brand new MediaGo studio and the latest technological equipment, which, according to experts, can envy RTS and which, according to its critics, is a sign of paranoia. It will be used to produce digital content for its clients. In particular NRTV, the regional television of the Nyon region, where MediaGo produces programs (information, sports, magazines). The value of the services entrusted to it by Communyon, the federation of municipalities in the district, is 450,000 francs annually.

eyes bigger than stomach

On Wednesday, Christoph Rach met the towns of Nyon who also invested 200,000 francs in the construction of the television column in Nyon.. Daniel Rosellat, president of NEON as well as Communion stated, “We discussed the upcoming opening of the studio but also the turmoil caused by CNNMS’ bankruptcy. Some members are particularly concerned about using taxpayer money wisely.”

He explained the lack of confidence. This isn’t the first time a TV channel run by Christophe Rush has experienced setbacks. Prior to launching CNNMS, he directed, from 2008 to 2015, La Télé, the Valdo Fribourg channel. “The patient was in intensive care when I took over,” his successor, Kurt Escher, said. The chain became very ambitious and subsequently owed as much as 1.5 million francs. The board of directors was also responsible for this situation. According to a source who requested anonymity, the director at the time made no secret of his ambition to compete with RTS.

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