New York Observer

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New York Observer
New York Observer newspaper nameplate.tiff
New York Observer 321 W44 jeh.jpg
44th Street office
Type Website, formerly weekly newspaper
Format Broadsheet (1987–2007;[1] 2011–2014[1])
Tabloid (2007–2011;[1] 2014–2016[2])
Solely on-line (2016–)[3]
Owner(s) Observer Media
Jared Kushner
Founder(s) Arthur L. Carter
Publisher Joseph Meyer
Editor-in-chief Ken Kurson[4]
Founded September 22, 1987; 29 years ago (1987-09-22)
Language English
Headquarters 1 Whitehall Street
City New York City
ISSN 1052-2948

The New York Observer was a weekly newspaper published in New York City from 1987 to 2016. The website-based publication, which continues in operation at after the print version ceased publication, focuses on the city's culture, real estate, media, politics and the entertainment and publishing industries. As of January 2017, the editorial team is led by Ken Kurson with other writers and editors including Rex Reed, Will Bredderman, Drew Grant, Brady Dale, John Bonazzo, Vinnie Mancuso, and James Jorden.[4]


The Observer was first published in New York City on September 22, 1987, as a weekly newspaper by Arthur L. Carter, a former investment banker. In July 2006, the paper was purchased by the American real estate figure Jared Kushner, then 25 years old. The paper began its life as a broadsheet, and was then printed in tabloid format every Wednesday, and currently has an exclusively online format. It is headquartered at 1 Whitehall Street in Manhattan.

Previous writers for the publication include Kara Bloomgarden–Smoke, Kim Velsey, Matthew Kassel, Jillian Jorgensen, Joe Conason, Doree Shafrir, Hilton Kramer, Andrew Sarris, Richard Brookhiser, Michael Tomasky, Azi Paybarah, Ross Barkan, John Heilpern, Robert Gottlieb, Foster Kamer, Nicholas von Hoffman, Simon Doonan, Anne Roiphe, Terry Golway, Ron Rosenbaum, John R. Schindler, Michael M. Thomas, Robert Sam Anson, Philip Weiss and Steve Kornacki.

Originally, the paper was perhaps best known for publishing Candace Bushnell's column on Manhattan's social life on which the television series Sex and the City was based. It was visually distinctive because of its salmon‑colored pages and sketch illustrations, in the style of La Gazzetta dello Sport. Henry Rollins once described it as "the curiously pink newspaper". The paper switched to white‑colored paper in 2014.[2]

The fourth and longest serving editor for the newspaper, Peter Kaplan, left the newspaper on July 1, 2009. Interim editor Tom McGeveran was replaced by Kyle Pope in 2009.[5] Elizabeth Spiers served as editor from 2011 to 2012, followed by interim editor Aaron Gell. In January 2013, publisher Jared Kushner named Ken Kurson, a political consultant, journalist, and author, as the Observer's next editor.[6]

Observer Media, the publication's parent company, announced recently to readers that the weekly print edition will close. Content will remain available solely online under the masthead "Observer" dropping "New York". The November 9, 2016 issue was the last for the print publication.[7] The discontinuation of the print Observer came the day after Kushner's father-in-law, Donald Trump (Trump's daughter Ivanka is Kushner's wife), won the 2016 presidential election; Kushner serves as a senior advisor in the Trump Administration. Kushner transferred his ownership of Observer Media's remaining online assets into a family trust, through which his brother-in-law Joseph Meyer took over his former role as publisher.

The New York Observer was also the name of a weekly religious paper founded by Sidney E. Morse in 1823.


The publisher and original owner, Arthur Carter, has had other publishing interests, including the Litchfield County Times. At one time, he was a part‑owner in The East Hampton Star. Carter received a B.A. in French literature from Brown University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He spent 25 years in investment banking until 1981, when he founded the Litchfield County Times in New Milford, Connecticut. He owned it for twenty years until selling to Journal Register Company, later also selling his 50‑percent interest in The East Hampton Star in 2003. He has been an adjunct professor of philosophy and journalism at New York University and is a trustee.

In July 2006, Jared Kushner, a 25‑year‑old law student and son of a wealthy New Jersey developer, Charles Kushner, purchased the paper for just under $10 million.[8] In April 2007 Bob Sommer became president of Observer Media Group, and subsequently served on OMG’s Board of Directors.[9]

In January 2017, Jared Kushner announced he would sell his stake to a Kushner family trust, when he became a senior advisor to President Donald Trump.[10] Kushner's brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer, who has been the CEO of Observer Media Group since 2013, replaced him as publisher.[11]

Political stance[edit]

In 2016, the New York Observer became notable for being one of only a handful of newspapers to officially endorse United States presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Republican Party presidential primaries.[12] The newspaper's owner and then publisher, Jared Kushner, is Donald Trump's son-in-law and was an advisor to the Trump presidential campaign.[13] The Observer did not repeat its endorsement after Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for President.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "The New York Observer Will Switch From Tabloid to Broadsheet". New York Observer. August 4, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Pompeo, Joe (March 18, 2014). "Observer C.E.O. touts gains ahead of relaunch". Capital New York. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2015. Tomorrow, newsstand readers and subscribers will get a look at the Observer’s relaunched print product, which is a smaller, tabloid‑format, saddle‑stapled publication that will trade in its distinctive salmon hue for white paper. 
  3. ^ The Wall Street Journal, Monday, November 14, 2016, pg B5
  4. ^ a b "About". New York Observer. ISSN 1052-2948. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ Neyfakh, Leon (November 5, 2009). "Kyle Pope Is the Next Editor of The Observer". New York Observer. ISSN 1052-2948. Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ Carr, David (January 4, 2013). "New York Observer Hits Reset Again, Names Ken Kurson New Editor". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  7. ^ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Monday, November 14, 2016, pg. B5
  8. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (July 31, 2006). "Developer's Son Acquires New York Observer". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ Dylan (March 22, 2007). "Jared Kushner Names No. 2". Adweek. 
  10. ^ Byers, Dylan (January 9, 2017). "Jared Kushner to transfer Observer interest to family trust". CNNMoney. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner will step down as publisher of the Observer, and have no 'ownership stake'". Business Insider. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  12. ^ "In the Republican Primary: Donald Trump for President". April 12, 2016. 
  13. ^ CNN, Jeremy Diamond. "Who is Jared Kushner?". 
  14. ^ Reporter, Michael Calderone Senior Media; Post, The Huffington (November 2, 2016). "Donald Trump Will Not Get His Son-In-Law's Paper's Endorsement". 

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