Back in April we floated some rumors that NYC's youngest media mogul Jared Kushner was anxious to extricate himself from owning the New York Observer. Now, we hear, Kushner's still searching for ways out.
Word trickling in from the Manhattan new media crowd is that Kushner has been taking meetings and asking for "ideas" about what to do with his paper. The descriptions of the discussions that have reached us makes it sound like he's more interested in finding a graceful way to get rid of the paper.
In April, Kushner told us in a statement that "The Huffington Post and Politico both independently reached out to us to discuss web partnerships," and that Politico asked if the paper was for sale (Kushner said it wasn't, at the time). But the word that he's been asking around again for salvation ideas indicates that something's bound to happen—and it probably won't be good for the print edition. Common sense dictates that selling the paper right now is a poor economic option, if not an impossibility; what that leaves, in terms of choices that would benefit Kushner's wallet, isn't clear.
This year or so hasn't been easy at the Observer. Longtime editor Peter Kaplan left in May, and a slew of the paper's best writers were laid off in June. Even the cleaning lady was fired. Kushner bought Very Short List and announced he's launching a new Real Estate paper to shore up his mini-empire, but neither of those sound like very good revenue-generators. And a profile of Jared in New York mag didn't win him any friends.