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Publisher's letter

Le Commerce du Levant, a magazine of the L’Orient-Le Jour Group: Challenges, strategic decisions and new chapters

Le Commerce du Levant, a magazine of the L’Orient-Le Jour Group: Challenges, strategic decisions and new chapters

The various titles of the L’Orient-Le Jour Group have adapted quickly to keep up with the changing media landscape over the past few years. While part of our team works almost around the clock to deliver near-instantaneous “live news” updates, another segment delves into this news to provide in-depth analysis of its causes and repercussions.

The business model has also changed: as ads continue a vertigo-inducing plunge, profitability has banked largely on digital subscriptions, and Le Commerce du Levant has traded in its print edition for a digital one.

Today, economic reality compels us to make a new strategic decision: we will reinforce the editorial strength of the L’Orient-Le Jour and Le Commerce du Levant teams by merging the two under a single masthead. Thus, the print and digital editions of L’Orient-Le Jour will be enhanced through broader journalistic production with increased coverage of socio-economic topics.

A consolidated platform and new subscription offers will enable readers to access L’Orient-Le Jour’s enriched content from either its website or its mobile application. An updated and user-friendly version of the app will be launched this fall, along with an app for L’Orient Today, our English-language publication.

Le Commerce du Levant’s website will close down on June 10, as its editor-in-chief, Sahar al-Attar, moves overseas. Meanwhile, several journalists for Le Commerce du Levant will join L’Orient-Le Jour, including Nada Maucourant Atallah, Salah Hijazi, Fouad Gemayel and Justine Babin, who will cover local and economic issues in addition to topics such as real estate, hotels, restaurants and technology.

There is no doubt that it is emotionally harrowing to halt a publication founded almost a century ago, a publication that walked through Lebanon’s economic history, albeit intermittently. Le Commerce du Levant was made by people who have become a reference in the French-speaking Lebanese press: first, its founder, Toufic Mizrahi, then, successively, Charles Helou, Kesrouan Labaki, Ghassan Tueni, Pierre Sehnaoui and Michel Pharaon. Since 1998, L’Orient-Le Jour has been the publication’s main shareholder — preparing the way for its growth with the support of a board of directors that I chair, always believing in the importance of quality journalism and its civic role.

The editors-in-chief who followed in succession throughout these years are such prestigious names as Edouard Saab, Clovis Rizk, Nicolas Sbeih, Sibylle Rizk and, most recently, Sahar al-Attar. Le Commerce du Levant’s memory will be carefully kept in our archives, which will be accessible to readers and researchers, with the hope that the title will be brought back to life when the opportunity presents itself, under more favorable circumstances.

The L’Orient-Le Jour Group is committed to remaining a devoted advocate for the values that a free and independent press promotes at all times.

Thank you for trusting in us,

Nayla de Freige

Chair of the L’Orient-Le Jour Group


The various titles of the L’Orient-Le Jour Group have adapted quickly to keep up with the changing media landscape over the past few years. While part of our team works almost around the clock to deliver near-instantaneous “live news” updates, another segment delves into this news to provide in-depth analysis of its causes and repercussions.The business model has also changed: as ads...