PERMANENT TEMP?: When Peter Kaplan stepped down as editor of The New York Observer, WWD reported deputy editor Tom McGeveran was a strong candidate to be his successor, at least on an interim basis. On Wednesday, the Observer tapped McGeveran as interim editor, only days before Kaplan moves to Condé Nast Traveler as creative director. The “interim” in the title, according to an Observer spokeswoman, “means McGeveran will be in the position for an indefinite period of time, which will conclude when a decision is made about a permanent editor.” That could in fact be McGeveran — according to a report on the Observer’s Web site, owner Jared Kushner described McGeveran’s role as “an interim job that could be converted into a permanent one.”

McGeveran’s appointment was revealed by Kaplan on Wednesday afternoon during the Observer’s weekly staff meeting, upon which staffers maintained a minute’s applause. “Tom is absolutely adored here. He was the newsroom’s choice,” said one staffer. McGeveran joined the paper in 2000 from the New York Blade, and has done nearly every job, from editing real estate and news stories to overseeing Insiders also say McGeveran, 37, has a good working relationship with Kushner, 28.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

McGeveran was the choice for the job despite several high-profile candidates being discussed, including Radar founder Maer Roshan and Maxim executive editor Steve Garbarino. While Kushner wasn’t present at the afternoon meeting, Kaplan told WWD the decision to promote McGeveran to the role was the owner’s. “It was Jared’s call; he was the quarterback on this one,” he said. McGeveran’s first issue will be next Wednesday’s edition.

— Stephanie D. Smith

PARTY GIRL: The first of two parties this week for Paula Froelich’s forthcoming novel “Mercury in Retrograde” took place Tuesday in the Upper East Side town house of John Demsey, group president of The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “I told her a year ago that I wanted to be one of the first people to throw her a party,” said Demsey, who mentioned that Theodore Roosevelt and later, Montgomery Clift, called his address their home. While Demsey hasn’t been on Page Six lately, the party was filled with those who either want to be — or hope they never are — including Cosmopolitan editor in chief Kate White (who was mentioned in Wednesday’s Post column), Stacey Bendet, Adam Lippes, Alison Brod, Richie Rich and James Gager, creative director of MAC. They all complimented Froelich on the book and her Dior dress. Tonight, Froelich will be feted once again at Da Silvano, hosted by Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive and Marisa Marchetto.

— Amy Wicks

GATHERS NO MOSS: Fashion advertisers remain enamored with Alexandra Richards, the lissome blonde daughter of Rolling Stone Keith Richards and model Patti Hansen. After featuring in ads for Lucky Brand, Diesel and K-Swiss this past spring, Richards will appear in the fall French Connection campaign, this time with older sister Theodora and London-based model and DJ Tom Guinness, half-brother of Daphne Guinness. The campaign was shot by Terry Richardson and art directed by Fabien Baron. Alexandra also graces the cover of the most recent issue of the Hamptons-based lifestyle magazine Social Life, which on Sunday hosted a dinner with Sergio Rossi in her honor at the low-key Solé East resort in Montauk.

— David Lipke