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Posts Tagged ‘Very Short List’

Observer Readies New Real Estate Trade Pub

observer.jpgIt may not prove to be the wisest decision to launch a commercial real estate trade newspaper in the midst of one of the toughest environments for papers, trade publications and real estate.

But that’s exactly what The New York Observer‘s parent company is planning to do. Observer owner Jared Kushner told The New York Times that his new venture, The Commercial Observer, will debut September 15. The trade, which will focus on the commercial real estate market in New York City, will be delivered free to 10,000 people in the city’s real estate business and will sell subscriptions for $240 a year.

Despite the obvious challenges his newest project might face, Kushner was optimistic about the Commercial Observer‘s potential:

“I think now everyone’s interested in the real estate market, and a product that covers it closely will have great value to advertisers,” Mr. Kushner said in an interview. “Right now, there are no building sales but there are a lot of leases. There are a lot of deals that happen that don’t get picked up anywhere in the media. But people in real estate care.”

Kushner is obviously interested in expanding his media empire. News of this latest launch comes just a few months after he bought a majority stake in email newsletter Very Short List. But despite Kushner’s big dreams for his company, the Observer has not been without its own troubles. In June, the paper cut a bulk of its newsroom staff. And in a recent profile in New York magazine, Kushner regretted that his pub wasn’t making money. “I didn’t expect to be walking into this at the worst time to be buying newspapers,” he said.

Recent coverage of Jared Kushner and the Observer on FishbowlNY:

Observer Owner Kushner Laments The State Of The Media In NY Mag

Breaking: Layoffs At The Observer

Observer Picks Up Majority Stake In Webby Winner Very Short List

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Observer Owner Kushner Laments The State Of The Media In NY Mag

kushner.pngThis week, New York magazine takes an in-depth look at New York Observer owner Jared Kushner and his relationship with his ex-con father, Charlie Kushner. Although the profile sticks mainly to the father and son’s stories, it comes at an interesting time for the salmon-colored broadsheet, which recently lost long-time editor Peter Kaplan and laid off a bulk of its edit staff.

“I think we’re definitely at a bottom for newspapers,” Kushner told New York‘s Gabriel Sherman a couple of weeks after the layoffs on June 5. “Once this Russian winter is over, once the papers fail that should fail, you’ll see a resurgence. I think the Observer two years from now will be a very viable entity.”

What the article does reveal about the Observer is Kushner’s relationship with Kaplan and the editor’s possible reasons for his seemingly sudden departure.

“In truth, Jared and Kaplan’s relationship swerved between grudging respect and conflict,” the article says. “Though they grew up in the same part of New Jersey and both went to Harvard, in other ways they were the oddest of couples. Jared found a lot of the paper incomprehensible and fuddy-duddyish, while Kaplan couldn’t quite get over the fact that Jared was the same age as many of his reporters. Kaplan at first tried to mentor Jared like one of his writers. But that only worked for a while.”

Then Kushner hired Bob Sommer, a former publicist, to work as president of the Observer and pushed a redesign, which included the addition of a real estate section, reflecting the young tycoon’s interest in the industry.

“He also insisted on shorter stories and drove Kaplan to shovel stuff onto the Web, which Kaplan thought was the wrong strategy,” the New York article reports. “‘We had benchmarks,’ Sommer says. ‘And Peter hated it.’”

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Observer Picks Up Majority Stake In Webby Winner Very Short List

vsl.pngToday, IAC and the Observer Media Group officially announced their deal passing majority control of IAC’s email newsletter Very Short List to Jared Kushner-owned Observer. VSL, which last week won a Webby Award for “Best Guides, Ratings and Review Website,” has been renamed The Observer’s Very Short List and will be written and edited by the staff of The New York Observer — who are already overworked thanks to recent staff cuts.

News of the deal broke this weekend, with Gawker reporting that the entire VSL staff had been laid off. A press release distributed today did not touch on any staff cutbacks, but did mention that founders Kurt Andersen and Michael Jackson “will continue to remain involved” in the joint venture that is now The Observer’s Very Short List.

Full release after the jump

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