L'Obs (French: [ɔps]), previously known as Le Nouvel Observateur (1964–2014), is a weekly French news magazine. Based in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris,[1] it is the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation. Its current editor is Cécile Prieur.

Obs 2014 logo.svg
EditorCécile Prieur
CategoriesNews magazine
Circulation212,729 (2020)
PublisherGroupe Nouvel Observateur
Founded15 April 1950; 73 years ago (1950-04-15)
Based inParis
Websitewww.nouvelobs.com Edit this at Wikidata

History and profileEdit

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.[2][3] The 1964 incarnation of the magazine was founded by Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel.[4]

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[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 it 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 "the quasi-official organ of France's gauche caviar [caviar left]".[7]

The 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 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."

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 owners of Le Monde purchased a 65% stake in the magazine in 2014.[8] 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.[9]

Alongside its editorial activities, the Nouvel Observateur group bought the online news site Rue89 in December 2011, becoming its only shareholder.[10] 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.[11]

Related publicationsEdit

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.[11]

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.

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 circulation of Le Nouvel Observateur was 385,000 copies in 1981,[12] 340,000 copies in 1987 and 370,000 copies in 1988.[12]

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

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

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

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ 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)" (PDF). Magazine Organization. Archived from the original (Report) on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  6. ^ a b "World Magazine Trends 2010/2011" (PDF). FIPP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. 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. Archived from the original on 29 November 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Presse Magazine". OJD. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.

External linksEdit