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Obs 2014 logo.svg
Editor Matthieu Croissandeau
Categories News magazine
Frequency Weekly
Circulation 460,780 (2014)
Publisher Groupe Nouvel Observateur
Year founded 1964; 52 years ago (1964)
Country France
Based in Paris
Website nouvelobs.com
ISSN ‹See Tfm›0029-4713
The head office is in the building to the left, 10-12 place de la Bourse

L'Obs (initially France Observateur, later Le Nouvel Observateur, since 23 October 2014 simply L'Obs) [ɔps]) is a weekly French newsmagazine. Based in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris,[1] it is the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation. The current editor of L'Obs is Matthieu Croissandeau.

History and profile[edit]

The magazine was established in 1950 under the name France-Observateur.[2] It adopted its current name in 1964.[2][3][4] Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel were the founders of the 1964 incarnation of the magazine. Since then Le Nouvel Observateur has been published by Groupe Nouvel Observateur on a weekly basis [5][6] and has covered political, business and economic news. It features extensive coverage of European, Middle Eastern and African political, commercial and cultural issues. Its strongest areas are political and literary matters and is noted for its in-depth treatment of the main issues of the day. It has been described as "the French intellectuals' parish magazine", or more pejoratively as "quasi-official organ of France's 'gauche caviar'".[7]

Magazine's internet site was launched by Patrick Fiole and Christina Sourieau in 1999.

The magazine's new charter, adopted in June 2004 (on the 40th anniversary of its founding), described the paper's principles:

...The Nouvel Observateur is a cultural and political weekly whose orientation belongs within the general social-democratic movement. A tradition ever concerned with combining respect for freedom and the quest for social justice.

Its current editorial board is presided over by two of its co-founders, Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel, two editors-in-chief, Laurent Joffrin and Serge Lafaurie, as well as director general, Jacqueline Galvez. André Gorz and other journalists who had left L'Express helped found the publication. A 65% stake in the magazine was purchased by the owners of Le Monde in 2014.[8]

On 12 March 2014, Laurent Joffrin and Nathalie Collin, the two co-directors of the press group gave their dismissal, as the Nouvel Observateur was being sold to Le Monde.[9]

In parallel of its editorial activities, the Nouvel Observateur group took control of the online news site Rue89 in December 2011, becoming its only shareholder.[10]

On 23 October 2014 the magazine was renamed as L'Obs and its layout was also changed to cover in-depth reports on investigations, stories and discussions of ideas.[11]

Related publications[edit]

TéleObs is a supplement including articles about TV and cinema. It was published fortnightly until October 2014 when it began to be published weekly.[11]

Challenges is an international business magazine published by Le Nouvel Observateur beginning in 1982. Released fortnightly, it includes information on companies and their managers at the CEO level all around the world.

Le Nouvel Observateur formerly published ParisObs, a general information supplement with a focus on Paris and the Île-de-France region, also published weekly.


The 1981 circulation of Le Nouvel Observateur was 385,000 copies.[12] It was 340,000 copies in 1987 and 370,000 copies in the following year.[12]

In the period of 2001-2002 the magazine had a circulation of 471,000 copies.[5] In 2010 the circulation of the weekly was 502,108 copies, making it the best-selling European news magazine.[6]

Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Circulation 542,781 544,401 544,411 543,399 542,529 543,596 541,577 542,392 531,313 530,123 530,935

The circulation of the magazine during the first half of 2013 was 526,732 copies.[13] Its circulation was 460,780 copies in 2014.[14]

See also[edit]

  • L'Express - left-center wing newsmagazine
  • Le Point - middle-of-the-road newsmagazine


  1. ^ "Mentions Légales du Nouvelobs.com." L'Obs. Retrieved on March 1, 2016. "dont le siège est 10-12, place de la Bourse, 75002 PARIS"
  2. ^ a b Philip Thody (1 December 2000). Le Franglais: Forbidden English, Forbidden American: Law, Politics and Language in Contemporary France: A Study in. A&C Black. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-4411-7760-5. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Weekly Magazines: Second in a Series on French Media". Wikileaks. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Serge Berstein; Jean-Pierre Rioux (13 March 2000). The Pompidou Years, 1969-1974. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-521-58061-8. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Top 50 Finance/Business/News magazines worldwide (by circulation)" (Report). Magazine Organization. Retrieved 13 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "World Magazine Trends 2010/2011" (PDF). FIPP. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  7. ^ John Vinocur (20 June 2006). "Chirac's Potential Heirs Keeping Change Hidden". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  8. ^ Those media assets that are worth nothing Monday Note. 19 January 2014.
  9. ^ Laurent Joffrin et Nathalie Collin quittent le directoire du Nouvel Observateur 12 March 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  10. ^ Hi-Media: vend ses parts dans Rue89.com 22 December 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Le Nouvel Observateur gets a new layout and a new name". Publicitas. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Raymond Kuhn (7 April 2006). The Media in France. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-134-98053-6. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "List of represented titles. Magazines" (PDF). Publicitas International AG. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Presse Magazine". OJD. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 

External links[edit]