Inside Move: Messier memoirs stall

Books also being written about former Viv U topper

It’s a frustrating time to try and get published if your name’s Jean-Marie Messier.

An autobiography by the ousted Viv U chief was supposed to come out this month. But publisher Hachette Literature pulled the plug on the tome, apparently under orders from Jean-Luc Lagardere last week.

The Lagardere Group boss didn’t want to vex his friends at Vivendi Universal, having just nabbed the conglom’s French publishing assets in VUP in a billion-dollar deal.

Boosted by a myriad of publishing houses from the VUP fold, Hachette now controls an estimated two-thirds of the French book market, so finding a new publisher for Messier’s book was tricky. The word is that the imprint Balland may take on the job.

Meanwhile, just about everyone else in Paris seems to be writing a book about Messier.

A rash of evocative titles poised to hit Gallic bookstands, or already out, includes “The Tragic Ball at Vivendi: The Fall of the House of Messier” “Messier Story” and “The Master of Illusion, or the Rise and Fall of Jean-Marie Messier.”

The former Viv U chief also features prominently in a couple more general titles, “The Saga of the New Bosses” and “The New Kings of France or Betrayal by the Elites.”

To cap it all, publisher Albin Michel will this month bring out “The Deauville Seminar,” a novel based on the legendary showdown between Messier and Canal Plus execs shortly before he fired Pierre Lescure. It’s believed to have been ghost-written by a senior exec at Viv U. Now who might that be?