Elkabbach was born to an
Algerian Jewish family in
Oran in 1937, then the prefecture of the
French Algeria. He began his journalistic career in 1960 as a radio correspondent in
Algiers, but having taken part in the strikes of
May 1968 he was sidelined and sent to
Toulouse. Elkabbach would later spend time in
Germany before venturing into television news in 1970. From 1993 to 1996 he served as president of
France 2 and
France 3, from 1999-2009 he was president of the television station
Public Sénat, and was at the helm of
Europe 1 from 2005-2008.
Elkabbach presents Bibliothèque Médicis on Public Sénat, during which he interviews an eclectic mix of international literati, political leaders, intellectuals and historians.