The glittering days and nights of Gotham City will no longer shine in the pages of two New York institutions, The Wall Street Journal and New York Observer.
On Friday, the New York Observer said it was ending its print edition, as the Journal, which is in the process of cutting staff and offering buyouts, has ceased its Greater New York section. The news followed impending layoffs at New York paper the Daily News as well as cuts at The New York Times.
The Observer, which is known for its salmon-tinged pages that chronicled New York’s power brokers, will maintain a presence online at Observer.com, according to Observer Media chairman and chief executive officer Joseph Meyer.
The decision to cease printing the weekly newspaper, which was founded in 1987, comes as print media is feeling the squeeze of steep declines in advertising revenue, newsstand sales and circulation.
The paper, which is owned by Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner, ran its last print issue on Nov. 9. Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, did not comment.
Clearly, Kushner has more important things on his mind these days than overseeing the print edition of The Observer. The son-in-law of President-elect Donald Trump has just been named to his executive committee overseeing the transition. During the campaign Kushner, who was constantly at Trump’s side, must have felt awkward, while his father-in-law routinely bashed the “failing” and “dying” newspaper business via his Twitter account. Apparently, Trump’s rhetoric finally sunk in.
Kushner, who bought the paper in 2006 for $10 million, began slowly changing its mission. The paper focused more on digital stories and volume, and it began to lose its grip on New York-focused storytelling, which was steeped in media, arts, culture and real estate reporting under longtime editor, the late Peter Kaplan, who left the paper in 2009 (and later joined WWD parent Fairchild Media).
Five years later, the paper would trade in pink-colored pages for white, and soon it would also drop “New York” and rebrand itself “Observer.” If the paper had any feisty cachet left in New York, it put an end to that when it became one of a handful of dailies to endorse Trump for president.
At the Journal, which had previously said it would slim down the paper and combine sections, the Greater New York section, which covered local news, culture and parties, was cut. It will instead live in the front section of the paper, but its importance will be diminished. Marshall Heyman, the social columnist for “Heard & Scene,” lamented the end of his section on the Journal’s site. In a farewell item dubbed “Confessions of a Party Critic,” Heyman wrote a brief intro before answering questions about his work.
“As of this week, sadly, ‘Heard & Scene’ will be ending,” he said. “I appreciate that you’ve been along for the ride, even if sometimes I’ve approached the party scene rather skeptically and begrudgingly.”
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