When it does not, it does not. Not content to have a rather feeble audience on the evening of December 25 in prime time (9.7% audience share, far behind M6, France 3 and TF1, all of which exceeded 15%), the "Christmas with our soldiers" program produced and directed by Tim Newman, presented by Michel Drucker and broadcast on France 2, was worth a lot of disappointments to its producer. Solicited for the first time at a luncheon organized on September 12th by theintelligence and defense communication (DICoD), the communications directors of the major defense industry groups have fallen from the closet when Tim Newman, who was using an Elysee agreement, asked them to co-finance the program.
Refusal of industrialists to finance the issue
Contacted by La Tribune, the producer prefers to talk about commercial exchanges in exchange for the co-financing of the show: valorization of industrial equipment during the show, making available filming rushes for non-commercial use and internally usable video of Michel Drucker in which he thanks the industrialists for their help during the filming of the set. However, the major industrial sector such as Airbus, Dassault Aviation, MBDA, Nexter, Naval Group and the three professional groups (GIFAS, GICAT and GICAN), refused to put their hands in their pockets.
The producer came back several times throughout the fall. In vain, the industrialists have stood firm. For the big industrialists of the sector, already very solicited in the past by Tim Newman ("A night with the police and the gendarmerie", "The stars celebrate the 15 years of Charles de Gaulle", "A night with the army of the "air", "A night under the sea" ...), the answer was collectively negative: "No go" general.All considered that this emission format was "obsolete". However, they were long suspended for possible political intervention asking them to participate. Only a call from the Ministry of the Armed Forces could have mobilized them. But he never came.
A € 1 million issue
According to concordant sources, Tim Newman, at the head of the STH production company 255, asked 450,000 euros industry to finance a program, whose estimate was estimated at 1 million euros. This 2h30 program was to mobilize 80 people, including guests, at the Port-Bouët base in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The amount requested by Tim Newman to each manufacturer amounted to 30,000 euros.
To bait the industry, he promised Kendji Girac to Dassault Aviation or singer Anggun to Naval Group. A stinging help that would have allowed "to co-finance the reports of which (sic) their material and their company are unavoidable actors of the subjects which will be diffused in this program", he explained in a letter sent to industrialists.And in case the budgets of communication of 2018 said manufacturers were curtailed, STH 255 could "quite anticipate a settlement in 2019 upon delivery of the rushes ".
"This exceptional program requires your contribution, as we also ask all the industrial partners who all have their place in this program," he explained.
The der der?
The rest of the bill should be supported largely by France Televisions (450,000 euros). Because there was no question that the armies are financing in the current budget context this show to the glory of the military in foreign operations. It has also been complicated, to say the least, to harmonize the agenda provided by Michel Drucker and the operational requirements of the armies. Filming finally took place on December 3rd and 4th.
In the end, who financed the entire program? The army ? The Ministry of the Armies? The Elysee? Because as Tim Newman wrote, this show "requires" industrialists "to be able to be done". Gold eIt was nevertheless done without their financing ... It is finally France Televisions which had to add 200.000 euros and STH 255 had to finance the emission up to 350.000 euros. Tim Newman, who believes that these programs have a pedagogical virtue to explain to the French what are the armies used, is said "very disappointed" defense industry. And conclude that "A Christmas with our soldiers" will be the last of its kind for lack of funding from industry. Which should delight them.