Franck Ténot

Leading French media executive given his lucky break by a passion for jazz

Franck Ténot, media executive, publisher, radio presenter, jazz critic and concert promoter: born Mulhouse, France 31 October 1925; died Paris 8 January 2004.

When Filipacchi and Franck Ténot launched a magazine called Salut les copains in 1962, they should have had an inkling of the impact the music monthly would have on French popular culture. After all, the pair had been presenting a radio show with the same title (the English translation might be "Hello, Chums!") on the commercial station Europe 1 since September 1959, playing records by the likes of Elvis Presley, Sandy Nelson, Johnny Hallyday and Richard Anthony.

"The amount of mail coming in from listeners should have alerted us," said Ténot,

but we still got it completely wrong and only printed about 150,000 copies, which sold out within two days! That mistake made us very rich very quickly. Within months, Salut les copains became a million-seller and we were able to launch a host of other publications.

As right-hand man to Filipacchi, Ténot worked on Les Cahiers du Cinéma between 1964 and 1969 and started the men's magazine Lui, prompting General Charles de Gaulle to say: "They can carry on! Conscripts should have something else to read apart from Tintin while they're doing their military service!" Other launches such as Mademoiselle Age Tendre, Pariscope and Photo proved so successful that, by the mid-Seventies, the pair could afford to buy the weekly people magazine Paris-Match on which Filipacchi had started his career as a photographer.

Ténot became vice-president of Filipacchi Médias and remained a major player into the Nineties as the company joined forces with Matra and subsequently the Lagardère group to form the Hachette media conglomerate, which currently employs over 31,000 people around the world.

Born in Mulhouse, in the Alsace region, in 1925, Franck Ténot had a German uncle who became a Nazi but his schoolteacher parents wisely relocated to Bordeaux at the outbreak of the Second World War. The young Franck became president of the local Hot Jazz Club and developed a keen interest in the embryonic radio broadcasts of TSF.

His passion for jazz, "the 20th- century American music genre par excellence", gave Franck Ténot his lucky break. While working for the French atomic-energy board in Paris, he began writing reviews for Jazz Hot and Jazz Magazine, and struck up friendships with the writer Boris Vian and Daniel Filipacchi.

When the legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker died in 1955, Europe 1 called on Ténot and Filipacchi to put together a tribute which grew into the nightly Pour ceux qui aiment le jazz ("For Jazz Lovers"), a show championing Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. At the turn of the Sixties, the pair also began hosting the teatime show Salut les copains and playing Little Richard and Chuck Berry alongside French teen idols such as Claude François and Sylvie Vartan (a Ténot discovery - he and Vartan lived in the same Paris building).

The Beatles appeared on the show and were interviewed by Ténot and Filipacchi, who had also branched out into concert promotion, at the Olympia theatre and with the infamous Place de la Nation concert in Paris in June 1963. Featuring Richard Anthony, Les Chats Sauvages and Johnny Hallyday, the event attracted 150,000 riotous teenagers and jolted de Gaulle into noticing the "yé-yé" generation (so called because French singers and their fans aped the Anglo-Saxon "yeah").

With his pencil-thin moustache, Ténot had the old-world elegance of an Errol Flynn. A radio man, jazz fan - he owned over 70,000 vinyl albums - and bullfight aficionado to the end, between 1986 and 1994 he was chairman of Europe 1, the commercial station on which he had first broadcast. While at the helm of the company, he launched Europe 2, the sister FM network for rock fans, and recently bankrolled Radio Nova and the Paris jazz station TSF 89.9. In 1995, he was elected mayor of Marnay-sur-Seine.

Ténot published several books on jazz and radio and an autobiography, Je voulais en savoir davantage ("I Wanted To Know More", 1997). "I don't go to funerals. I certainly won't attend my own," he remarked recently.

Pierre Perrone

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone