Le Nouvel Obs (French: [lə nuvɛl ɔps]), previously known as L'Obs (2014–2024), Le Nouvel Observateur (1964–2014), France-Observateur (1954–1964), L'Observateur aujourd'hui (1953–1954), and L'Observateur politique, économique et littéraire (1950–1953), is a weekly French news magazine. Based in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris,[1] Le Nouvel Obs is one of the three most prominent French news magazines alongside Le Point and L'Express.[2][3] Its current editor is Cécile Prieur.

Le Nouvel Obs
EditorCécile Prieur
CategoriesNews magazine
Circulation212,729 (2020)
PublisherGroupe Nouvel Observateur
Founded15 April 1950; 74 years ago (1950-04-15)
Based inParis
Websitewww.nouvelobs.com Edit this at Wikidata

History and profile


The magazine was established in 1950 as L'Observateur politique, économique et littéraire. It became L'Observateur aujourd'hui in 1953 and France-Observateur in 1954. The name Le Nouvel Observateur was adopted in 1964.[4] The 1964 incarnation of the magazine was founded by Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel.[5]

The head office is in the building to the left, 10–12 Place de la Bourse, Paris

Since 1964, Le Nouvel Observateur has been published by Groupe Nouvel Observateur on a weekly basis[6][7] 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 it is noted for its in-depth treatment of the day's main issues. It has been described as "the French intellectuals' parish magazine", or more pejoratively as "the quasi-official organ of France's gauche caviar [caviar left]".[8] It is often referred to as Le Nouvel Obs for short.[9]

Franz-Olivier Giesbert joined the Nouvel Observateur in 1971 as a journalist in the political department and then became a reporter. In 1985, Giesbert became the editorial director.[10]

Patrick Fiole and Christina Sourieau launched the magazine's internet site in 1999.

The magazine's new charter, adopted in June 2004 (on the 40th anniversary of its foundation), outlines 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."

Alongside its editorial activities, the Nouvel Observateur group bought the online news site Rue89 in December 2011, becoming its only shareholder.[11]

In January 2014, the owners of Le Monde, Pierre Bergé, Xavier Niel, and Matthieu Pigasse, purchased a 65% stake in the magazine.[12][13] On 12 March 2014 the two co-directors of the press group, Laurent Joffrin and Nathalie Collin, resigned because the Nouvel Observateur was being sold to Le Monde.[14]

On 23 October 2014, the magazine was renamed L’Obs and its layout was changed to include in-depth reports on investigations, stories and discussions of ideas.[15]

Its current editorial board is headed by two of its co-founders, Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel, two editors-in-chief, Laurent Joffrin and Serge Lafaurie [fr], and the director general, Jacqueline Galvez. André Gorz and other journalists who had left L'Express helped to found the publication.

The holding company Le Monde Libre, the majority shareholder of Groupe Le Monde, owns 99% of the weekly Le Nouvel Obs.[16]

On 21 March 2024, the magazine changed its name from L'Obs to Le Nouvel Obs.[17]


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

Challenges is an international business magazine published by Le Nouvel Observateur since 1982. Released every two weeks, it contains information on companies and their managers at the CEO level all around the world.

TéleObs is a supplement containing articles about TV and cinema. It was published every two weeks until October 2014, when it began to be published weekly.[15]

In March 2012, Le Nouvel Observateur launched Obsession, a monthly supplement focused on fashion.[18]



The circulation of Le Nouvel Observateur was 385,000 copies in 1981,[19] 340,000 copies in 1987 and 370,000 copies in 1988.[19]

In 2001–2002, the magazine had a circulation of 471,000 copies.[6] In 2010, its circulation was 502,108 copies, making it the best-selling European news magazine.[7]

The magazine had a circulation of 526,732 copies during the first half of 2013[20] and 460,780 copies in 2014.[21]

In 2014, L'Obs was one of the highest-circulated news magazines in France.[22]

Year Circulation
2014 479,641
2015 417,398
2016 373,873
2017 346,625
2018 262,498
2019 225,304
2020 212,729

See also



  1. ^ "Mentions Légales du Nouvelobs.com." L'Obs. Retrieved on 1 March 2016. "dont le siège est 10-12, place de la Bourse, 75002 PARIS"
  2. ^ Baudriller, Marc (17 January 2014). "Franz-Olivier Giesbert quitte Le Point au bon moment" [Franz-Olivier Giesbert leaves Le Point at the right time]. Challenges (in French). Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  3. ^ Hanne, Isabelle (1 March 2012). "Dans le secret de la face cachée des magazines" [In the secret of the hidden face of magazines]. Libération (in French). Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b "Top 50 Finance/Business/News magazines worldwide (by circulation)" (PDF). Magazine Organization. Archived from the original (Report) on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  7. ^ a b "World Magazine Trends 2010/2011" (PDF). FIPP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  8. ^ John Vinocur (20 June 2006). "Chirac's Potential Heirs Keeping Change Hidden". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2008.
  9. ^ Delcambre, Alexis (15 October 2014). "Comment Le Nouvel Observateur entend se relancer". Le Monde. Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  10. ^ "Franz-Olivier Giesbert". Le Soir (in French). 26 October 2022. Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  11. ^ Hi-Media: vend ses parts dans Rue89.com 22 December 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  12. ^ Remy, Jacqueline (24 October 2014). "La ruée vers l'Obs" [The rush towards the Obs]. Vanity Fair (in French). Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  13. ^ Schmitt, Fabienne (15 January 2014). "'Nouvel Obs': les coulisses d'une vente" ['Nouvel Obs': behind the scenes of a sale]. Les Echos (in French). Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  14. ^ Laurent Joffrin et Nathalie Collin quittent le directoire du Nouvel Observateur 12 March 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Le Nouvel Observateur gets a new layout and a new name". Publicitas. 20 October 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  16. ^ Goy, Héloïse; Patri, Alexis (26 January 2022). "'Le Monde': Xavier Niel rachète une grande partie des parts du quotidien" ['Le Monde': Xavier Niel buys a large part of the daily's shares]. Europe 1 (in French). Archived from the original on 13 September 2023. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  17. ^ Prieur, Cécile (28 February 2024). "enouveler l'expérience du magazine : en mars, " l'Obs " devient… " le Nouvel Obs "". L'Obs. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Le Nouvel Obs lance Obsession". Le Figaro (in French). Agence France-Presse. 26 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  19. ^ a b Raymond Kuhn (7 April 2006). The Media in France. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-134-98053-6. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  20. ^ "List of represented titles. Magazines" (PDF). Publicitas International AG. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Presse Magazine". OJD. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  22. ^ Debouté, Alexandre (19 August 2014). "Les Français restent de fidèles acheteurs de magazines" [The French remain loyal magazine buyers]. Le Figaro (in French). Archived from the original on 23 June 2023. Retrieved 23 June 2023.