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L’Orient-Le Jour

A Lebanese French-language daily newspaper, L’Orient-Le Jour is the only francophone daily newspaper in Lebanon. It was first issued on June 15, 1971, after the two papers L’Orient - founded in 1924 by former MP Gabriel Khabbaz and Minister Georges Naccache - and Le Jour - founded in 1934 by politician and businessman Michel Chiha, merged for economic reasons. In 1976, the Syrian army briefly shut down the newspaper because of its stance against its military intervention in Lebanon. The anti-Syrian regime editorial line was confirmed in 2005 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The paper covers politics, local and international news, finance, economics, culture, entertainment, and sports. The paper also publishes a monthly L’Orient-Le Jour Junior youth magazine, as well as a cultural supplement, L'Orient Littéraire, which is published on the first Thursday of every month. The latter was founded in 1929 by the poet Georges Schehadé, and Lebanese writer and lawyer Alexandre Najjar had been its Editor-in-Chief, before handing over to Samir Kassir Foundation board member Hind Darwiche. The newspaper is headed by Nayla de Freige, its executive director is Fouad Khoury Hélou, and Élie Fayad and Anthony Samrani are the Editors-in-Chief. Michel Helou was the paper's executive director up until 2021, when he resigned to run for parliament and commit to his role as the leader of the National Bloc party.

In 2020, L’Orient Today was launched; it is the English-language news service from L’Orient-Le Jour.

Key facts

Ownership Type

Private - Lebanese Joint Stock Company

Geographic Coverage


Content Type


Active Transparency

company/channel informs proactively and comprehensively about its ownership, data is constantly updated and easily verifiable

4 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Société Générale de Presse et d'Édition SAL


Ownership Structure

The main shareholders are the heirs of former Minister Michel Eddé (38%), the Choueiri group (22.7%), and the family of former Minister Michel Pharaon, who owns 15.49%, directly through Mr. Pharaon (2.6%), his sister Nayla de Freige (1.7%), and companies they also own, i.e. Pharaon Holding SAL (11%) and Libano-Suisse Insurance Consulting (0.2%). 

Voting Rights

Missing Data

Individual Owner


Group / Individual Owner

Michel Helou

Michel Helou became the Executive Director of L’Orient-Le Jour in 2015; he then resigned to practice politics as the new Secretary General of the National Bloc. He is the son of Philippe and Isabelle Helou, and the latter is Michel Eddé's daughter.

Media Companies / Groups

General Information

Founding Year


Affiliated Interests Founder

Gabriel Khabbaz

a former Beirut MP, and Georges Naccache, then Minister of Information and Tourism as well as Lebanon's Ambassador in France, co-founded L'Orient in 1924.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Nayla de Freige

President of Baalbeck International Festival

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Elie Fayad

Affiliated Interests other important people

Michel Hélou (former Executive Director)

Michel Eddé's grandson and owns 0.005% of the newspaper's affiliated company. Resigned in 2021 to run for parliament and commit to his role as the leader of the National Bloc party


Phone: +961 (5) 956 444



Address: Route de Damas, montée Fiyaddiyé, 200m after Total Gas Station

P.O. Box 45-254 Beirut


Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

1,222,000 USD (2021)

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

-840,000 USD (2021)

Advertising (in % of total funding)

122,068 USD (2021)

Market Share

Missing Data

Further Information

Meta Data

2024 audience share for all outlets is based on data provided by ELKA. Cumulative amounts are used to assess the audience share indicator. 2024 and 2021 data on shareholder fractions, company information, revenue, and management are acquired by the collaborative investigative efforts of SEEDS for Legal Initiatives and the Samir Kassir Foundation. Audience share data is unavailable for online outlets.

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