- Category : Business-Entrepreneur
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 4
French entrepreneur, the founder of a powerful chain of regional newspapers. The son of a merchant marine captain, Hersant began his meteoric rise as a publisher by founding a consumer automobile magazine, L'Auto Journal, 1950, raising its circulation from 30,000 to 300,000 in two years. In 1953, he bought a small biweekly in Beauvais, the first of his eventual chain of newspapers.
Hersant was stripped of his civil rights for ten years in 1947 for his activities during the wartime Vichy regime. After that period of restraint, he went on to buy the daily Paris-Normandie, a newspaper that had been founded during the Resistance. In 1975, he bought the quintessential establishment daily, Le Figaro, adding members of the French Academy and former ministers to his payroll. Hersant's voracious appetite for takeovers earned him the nickname "Citizen H."
He briefly ventured into television in 1987, founding France's fifth television network, La Cinq, in cooperation with Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, but the venture collapsed in 1992 with substantial losses. He ventured into politics in 1953 when he was elected mayor of Ravenel; he also served in the French Parliament from 1956 to 1978, and was finally elected in 1984 to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, as a conservative.
Hersant died on 4/21/1996.