With “Hello!” and Bruce Toussaint, TF1 hopes to find a place in the morning war

D-1 for Bruce Toussaint and his team. This Monday, January 8, 2024, starting at 7 a.m., all floors of the TF1 tower will be attentive to the launch of the morning news program titled “Hello!”, a word that should resonate several times in the mouths of the 16 journalists. who will take turns on the plateau located on the first floor of the building. To accommodate its new programming, the Bouygues group channel did not hesitate to renew “TFou”, move to TFX and reduce the duration of “Téléshopping”. The reason: a significant deficit in the time slot that the program will host this Monday. Beyond the public, it is a presence that seeks the cover in this space occupied for several decades by France Télévisions with “Télématin”.

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“The public has become completely unaccustomed to having a live morning meeting”

“There is no audience target because we have to realize that there is nothing that precedes a morning show. There is no access, there is no channel atmosphere, we open the channel”, Thierry Thuillier, information director of the TF1 group, immediately stressed during the program’s press conference at the end of 2023. Especially since no live program has been offered in the morning to the channel’s viewers for more than 30 years. The last TF1 news program in this time slot dates back to the 80s with the program “Bonjour la France”. “The public has completely become unaccustomed to having a live meeting. So we will have to recreate this habit. That is why in terms of audience we are very modest”.

Modest, perhaps, but not without ambition. The channel is the leader, so when TF1 launches a program, it should not play the third or fourth role. It is about being able, in the long term, to compete with the best.”entrusted to Bruce Toussait puremedias.com. The announcer calls himself “humble and prudent” because getting the audience to want and, above all, get used to coming to the fore as soon as they wake up will be tedious. We came with a proposal to try to exist in the middle of this field of battle”. In its order of battle, the cover abandoned the weekend programming, a field it will initially leave to “Télématin”.

Almost virgin territory in TF1

To exist, “Hello!” You will have to attract viewers from the competition. Because in terms of audiences, the section starts from afar and settles on almost virgin territory. Between 7 and 9:30 a.m., TF1 attracts an average of 130,000 viewers, that is, 4% of the audience aged four and over, ahead of “TFou” and then “Téléshopping” on January 1, 2024. “In the morning equivalent, TF1’s market share is around 5%. So if we can do better, we will be very happy. It’s a first step.”, called Thierry Thuillier. Opposite, “Télématin” registers an average of 741,000 followers (27% PdA 4+) during the same period and the same time slot. But we will also have to deal with the news channels, BFMTV and CNews in the lead. In the morning slot of TF1, they respectively condense an average of 406,000 (16% PdA 4+) and 192,000 (8% PdA 4+).

READ ALSO: “Instead of inventing…”: France Télévisions management criticizes TF1 and the launch of Bruce Toussaint’s morning show

The challenge is broader than the first channel and extends to the TF1 group, whose audiences in 2023 increased by 0.3 points and reached a market share of 26.9% against an increasingly dominant public service: 29.3% (+0.6 points in one year). . With the morning show, but also with the arrival of “Plus belle la vie” after “13 Heures” by Marie-Sophie Lacarrau, the goal is not to let the competition increase the difference.

The group hopes that the arrival of its morning show does not destabilize LCI, where several of its faces come from. To this end, the meeting organized by Jean-Baptiste Boursier has undergone some adjustments since January 2, 2024. International issues, at the center of the news channel’s experience since the start of the war in Ukraine, will be ignored in the extent possible. in “Hello!” which plans to focus on the regions.

Recruits in the form of a loss leader.

For his morning show, Bruce Toussaint was tasked with setting the course for the new show in the form of a “happy mess,” in his words. The network left the keys to its programming opening to its new addition, offering several of its star journalists, undisputed star products. Thus, the set will welcome Karima Charni (“Star Academy”), Hélène Mannarino (“C Canteloup and soon “Dream team”), Laurent Mariotte (“Petit plates in balance”), Garance Pardigon (Le “20 Heures”) or even Christophe Beaugrand (“Secret Story”, “Ninja warrior” and until recently LCI weekend morning).

External faces have also reinforced the squad and have joined the channel in recent weeks. Thus, “Télématin” will return without Maud Descamps and Vincent Valinducq, “La maison des maternales” without Benjamin Muller and RTL without Monique Younès. The four are now part of the TF1 team. I would like the atmosphere to be established very quickly and for us to feel that there is chemistry, a desire to have fun, to share. And let the columnists start arguing among themselves (…) but always at the service of the news.”Bruce Toussaint repeated. “They will have to give us a show too, that is what we will be waiting for”.

READ ALSO: Maud Descamps, Ange Noiret, Julie Tomeï…: Here are the faces and roles of the 16 columnists of “Bonjour!”, Bruce Toussaint’s morning show on TF1

If the budget committed to the operation is confidential, Thierry Thuillier mentioned a “Substantial investment for the channel and for the news” of the group. “I think he deserves it considering what is at stake, 2h30 live all year, all week”. In addition to the faces on set, around fifty more people were hired to meet this challenge, a large number of them in the regions.We have received hundreds of applications and we are still receiving them”rejoiced Antoine Guélaud, producer of the program and former director of the channel’s special editions.

A first evaluation at the end of June

When will the channel make its progress report? “Of course there will be a first step towards June”, indicated the group’s information director. But TF1 will give its morning show time to convince and the rest will be told in years. “Maybe more than two years, three years because we know that it will take a lot of energy, usually meetings, for the public to finally change their habits”. Suffice it to say that the public will be scrutinized at every stage. In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the initial battle plan will bear fruit.

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