Post media stalker Keith Kelly has an interesting item this morning regarding the fate of our much beloved New York Observer (#15 on our 123 reasons for loving this godforsaken town): After years in the red and a circulation plateauing at about 45k, the pretty pink paper is being "quietly shopped around" to prospective buyers. Specifically, editor Peter Kaplan, who very much wants to save his baby, has hit London to meet with New York moneybags Bruce Wasserstein.
Alas, Keith Kelly isn't on crack right now — the information is all true. But the situation isn't necessarily as bad as the column might suggest. Observer publisher Arthur Carter has seemingly lost interest in his media hobby — he's kind of ghostlike nowadays, and he's not really keen (per usual) on kicking in the paper's deficit. The more nasty amongst you might even say Carter's ambivalence is making the whole situation a lot worse than it need be.
So, by shopping around the paper, Kaplan could potentially be saving the Observer from its master. And if Wasserstein makes the purchase, he'd be like Daddy Warbucks, rescuing Little Orphan Observer from cruel Carter's dirty orphanage.
[Ed: Our apologies for spinning this into a happy ending. It feels strange to us, too.]
Swimming Upstream [NYP]