() is a French daily newspaper
that prospered during the 1950s and 1960s, but it has declined since then under various owners. It was re-launched as a populist tabloid in 2006.
was originally founded as the underground paper Défense de la France
("Defense of France") in November 1944 by Pierre Lazareff
, but it was renamed France Soir
after World War II
. The paper grew to be ranked among the country's (and the European continent's) most circulated
, reaching 1.5 million in 1955. Early in the 21st century circulation dropped below 90,000.
In February 2006, Jacques Lefranc, managing director of the paper, was dismissed by then owner Raymond Lakah
for re-printing the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad
that were the subject of the "Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
". The 12 cartoons were printed with the addition of another depicting other religious figures sitting on a cloud with the caption reading, "Don't worry Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here.".
Acquisition by Jean-Pierre Brunois and Olivier Rey
In April 2006, the Tribunal of Commerce
announced that the paper would become the property of Jean-Pierre Brunois, a real-estate developer, and Olivier Rey, a former journalist for the paper. The tribunal had been overseeing the bankruptcy and bids for take over since October 2005, at which point the circulation... Read More