Elizabeth Spiers Out at New York Observer

The editor in chief is leaving at the end of the month to start a new company.

NO LONGER OBSERVING: Elizabeth Spiers is leaving her post as editor in chief of The New York Observer at the end of the month. On Thursday, Spiers said she planned to pursue her own entrepreneurial interests. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built to date and will miss the fun of putting out The Observer every week and doing the kind of smart, witty stories we do,” said Spiers, in a story posted on observer.com. “But I’m also leaving it in excellent hands and look forward to enjoying it as a reader with no red pen in my hand.” Executive editor Aaron Gell will step in as interim editor, according to a memo from owner Jared Kushner. He said Spiers, who joined in February 2011, will stay on until the end of November as a business consultant.

Prior to the Observer, Spiers worked as a digital consultant and was founder of Breaking Media, which has sites such as Fashionista.com. She was also editor in chief of Mediabistro.com and founding editor of Gawker. Spiers did not respond to requests for comment but told Ad Age her new business will focus on “content and commerce in the health and wellness arena.”

This story first appeared in the August 3, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, Christopher Barnes is also leaving the company. Barnes, who served as president, is departing for his own start-up. A spokesman said Barnes’ successor is still being determined, adding, “It’s a process more than a search.”