Le Figaro

Le Figaro

name =Le Figaro

type = Daily newspaper
format = Berliner
foundation = 15 January 1826
as a daily newspaper:
16 November 1866
owners = Socpresse
political = Centre-right
language = French
headquarters = 14 Boulevard Haussman
F-75009 Paris
editor = Nicolas Beytout
website = [http://www.lefigaro.fr/ www.lefigaro.fr]
ISSN = 0182-5852

"Le Figaro" is one of the leading French morning daily newspapers. Its editorial line is conservative and has generally been supportive of the Rally for the Republic (RPR) political party and its successor, the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Its circulation was 342,445 in 2005 (365,682 in 2002).

The Parisian paper was founded as a satirical weekly in 1826, taking its name and motto from "Le Mariage de Figaro", a play by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. (The motto, "Sans la liberté de blâmer, il n'est point d'éloge flatteur" translates as "Without the freedom to criticise, there is no true praise".) It was published somewhat irregularly until 1854, when it was taken over by Hippolyte de Villemessant. By 1866 it had gained the greatest circulation of any newspaper in France; its first daily edition, that of 16 November 1866 sold 56,000 copies. Albert Wolff, Émile Zola, Alphonse Karr and Jules Claretie were among the paper's early contributors.

On March 16, 1914, Gaston Calmette, the editor of "Le Figaro", was assassinated by Henriette Caillaux, the wife of a former Prime Minister of France after he published a letter that cast serious doubt on her husband's integrity. [Sarah Sissmann and Christophe Barbier, [http://www.lexpress.fr/info/societe/dossier/faitdiv/dossier.asp?ida=429007 "Une épouse outragée"] , "L'Express", 30 August 2004. Retrieved on 27 January 2007.]

By the start of World War II, "Le Figaro" had become France's leading newspaper. After the war it became the voice of the upper middle class, and continues to maintain a conservative position.

In 1922 "Le Figaro" was purchased by perfume millionaire François Coty. [ Janet Flanner (3 May 1930), [http://www.newyorker.com/archive/content/articles/050314fr_archive01?050314fr_archive01 "Perfume and Politics"] , "The New Yorker". Republished on 7 May 2005. Retrieved on 27 January 2007.] In 1975 "Le Figaro" was bought by Robert Hersant. In 1999 the Carlyle Group obtained a 40% stake in the paper, which it later sold in March 2002. As of 2004, "Le Figaro" is controlled by Serge Dassault, a conservative businessman and politician best known for running the aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, which he inherited from his father, its founder, Marcel (1892–1986).

Highly controversial both inside and outside the newspaper is its ownership by a person who also controls a major military supplier, as well as being a mayor and senator from the ruling UMP party, and whose son Olivier Dassault is a member of the French National Assembly for the same party. [ [http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3236,36-381288,0.html "Dassault se sépare d'Yves de Chaisemartin"] , "Le Figaro", 1 October 2004. Retrieved on 27 January 2007.] In response, Dassault remarked in an interview on the public radio station France Inter, [ [http://www.lemonde.fr/web/recherche_breve/1,13-0,37-880582,0.html "M. Dassault veut une presse aux « idées saines »"] , "Le Monde", 12 December 2004. Retrieved on 27 January 2007.] that "newspapers must promulgate healthy ideas", and that "left-wing ideas are not healthy ideas."

ee also

* List of newspapers
* "Le Monde"
* "Libération"


External links

* [http://www.lefigaro.fr/ "Le Figaro" website]
* [http://www.lefigaro.fr/static/redactions.html "Le Figaro" Group Masthead]
* [http://visualiseur.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb34355551z/date "Le Figaro" digital archives from 1826 to 1942] in Gallica
* [http://www.ketupa.net/hersant2.htm Media profile of "Le Figaro" and Hersant.]
* [http://www.thecarlylegroup.com/eng/geo/casestudy-755.html The Carlyle Group's explanation of its relationship with Le Figaro]
* [http://www.ojd.com/engine/adhchif/chif_fiche.php?adhid=353 OJD Sheet]

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