Following last week’s departure of Observer Editor in Chief Ken Kurson, the former print newspaper turned website only cut four people from its already skeletal staff. The company spun the cuts as a restructuring and not a sign that the company is on the verge of closing its doors saying through a rep that:
“Like any other publication, the recent departure of its editor provides an opportunity to consider additional changes to ensure Observer’s continued growth and future success”
But since owner Jared Kushner bought the paper back in 2006, things have never been the same again. The paper went through multiple editors and shut down the print version last year to focus on its website. But before then there were always rumors surrounding the Observer about it either being sold or shuttered. Now more than ever those rumors are back. When the company decided to shutter its print edition, it gave subscribers the option to get celebrity gossip publication Star Magazine instead. That move puzzled media insiders and pushed speculation that the Observer could be sold to American Media Inc which is controlled by Kushner friend David Pecker. But that didn’t happen. When Kushner left New York for Washington DC to take up a job in the Trump admin the paper was moved into a family trust. But with Kushner now entrenched in DC and a potential scandal, he hasn’t looked back and the fate of the Observer hangs in the balance. Shuttering the Observer which has been struggling to find a voice as well as on the business side may not be a bad thing for Observer Media CEO and now Publisher Joseph Meyer. If Observer shutters, he can turn his energy and focus to his much bigger financial media company Source Media which he also controls through Observer Capital. Many believe this is the wind down of a storied media property acquired over a decade ago by an ambitious twenty something with money who couldn’t execute a vision. All eyes are now on the remaining 12 editorial staff.
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