The Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) had decided to count down the speaking time of its polemicist, Eric Zemmour, on the air: CNews went further. The channel dismissed the columnist from the talk show “Face à l’Info”. For Gaël Sliman, president of the Odoxa polling institute, this ousting is premonitory of a candidacy for the presidential election of 2022.
Is the deprogramming of Éric Zemmour’s show surprising?
The deprogramming of the show “Face à l’Info” was in the order of things, it is a non-event. It makes sense. The possible astonishment may come from the fact that it was announced before Eric Zemmour officially announced his candidacy. This will neither upset his strategy, nor the 2022 presidential campaign.
The fact is that Eric Zemmour has not announced his candidacy …
This deprogramming is a sign that the announcement of a presidential candidacy for the polemicist is imminent. CNews undoubtedly anticipates an announcement of candidacy which hardly makes any more debate: we understood well that Eric Zemmour is positioned on the starting line.
What weight does Éric Zemmour’s program “Face à l’Info” have in public opinion?
We’re talking about a show that works well … across CNews and news channels. There is a lot of talk about this program in the media-political microcosm. However, it is necessary to recontextualize: this program brings together only a few hundred thousand viewers in terms of audience (500,000 to 600,000, with peak audiences of 700,000). It remains extremely small as an audience, even if it is usual for news channels to have audiences that are not necessarily exceptional at these times (from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.). We are not talking about the news on TF1 or France 2, for example.
For a channel like CNews, Eric Zemmour nevertheless carried the audience for months …
Absolutely ! But there are two ways to read it. There is the fact that Eric Zemmour has almost doubled the channel’s audiences: we have long spoken of an “audience boost”. But on the other hand, you have to realize what you’re talking about. We are talking about a few hundred thousand viewers, a 3 or 4% audience share at this time. In other words, we have 96% of French viewers who did not watch this program. On the scale of all French viewers, the impact of this program is therefore limited.
What alternatives are available to him to communicate?
He has already planned to speak! Zemmour benefits from the release of his book (France has not said its last word) whose presales were boosted by all this advertising. He has also launched his YouTube channel: he will therefore have a voice on social networks, addressing his audience directly. Others than him, like Jean-Luc Mélenchon, were very strong in this register.
In the end, Eric Zemmour is known for his debating qualities. While passing on YouTube, alone in front of the camera, the character does not lose a little of its attractiveness?
It will change things for sure. A presidential campaign is all the same the meeting of a man with his people. At times, Eric Zemmour will have to expect to be in a monologue situation. The contradiction, the polemicist will live it during the electoral campaign: when he is invited in political broadcasts or in television news.