'New York Observer' Shutters Weekly Print Edition

The New York Observer has shut down its weekly print edition after nearly 30 years in print. The paper, owned by President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, will live online only.

No staff layoffs are planned.

Joseph Meyer, the chairman and chief executive of Observer Media, the publication’s parent company, told TheNew York Times the decision was based on the paper’s shifted focus on a national audience and the decline in print advertising revenue.

“New York” will be dropped from the title to reflect this shift and to match the name of the Web site, which rebranded to Observer.com in 2015.

Observer.com received 5.6 million unique visitors in September, nearly twice its audience from the year before, according to comScore data.



“We reach more people in an hour online than we reach in a week through print and will continue to focus on bringing our content to readers wherever they are, via new digital, social and mobile platforms,” Meyer wrote in a memo to readers.

According to the company, 85% of the traffic from its site comes from outside New York. Several freelance writers at the New York Observer were let go on Friday, along with one of the paper’s editors.

Meyer said the last issue of the Observer was printed on November 9.

While some may speculate that Kushner wants to focus on helping Trump in the White House, Meyer, who is Kushner's brother-in-law, said the decision had been two years in the making and was not related to Trump's election last week.

This week, Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, was named part of the 16-person presidential transition team. He was a key adviser to the candidate during the campaign and at one point, there were reports that Trump and Kushner planned to launch a new conservative TV network.

The weekly paper was founded in 1987 by former investment banker Arthur Carter. The New York Observer aimed to follow city culture, media, politics and real estate for an audience mostly concentrated in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side.

In the mid-1990s, the paper featured Candace Bushnell’s column, the inspiration behind popular HBO series ‘Sex and the City."

Kushner acquired the paper in 2006 when he was just 25 years old.

Newspaper coverage of New York City is being cut back dramatically this year. The Wall Street Journalis folding its Greater New York section into the main section of the paper, cutting its coverage in half and laying off some of its metro staff. The New York Times cut back its Metro coverage and The New York Daily News announced new layoffs last week. 

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