‘Observer’ to ‘tweak’ pink paper stock
The New York Observer is getting ready for yet another makeover.
Plans are in motion for a redesign of the weekly paper that's expected to debut in February, Capital has learned, though sources cautioned (as is always the case with these sorts of the things), that the street date could end up changing.
One of the most notable aspects of the new design, according to people familiar with the plans: The Observer will likely tweak the signature salmon-hued paper that has distinguished it on the newsstand (or confused it with The Financial Times), since its creation in the late '80s.
In fact, during a recent monthly editorial staff meeting, editor-in-chief Ken Kurson told his newsroom that company brass had even at one point toyed around with the idea of ditching salmon altogether, which would have further eroded whatever tether of a connection the Observer still has to the publication it was for most of the 1990s and the aughts.
The makeover would be the first since 2011 when Kurson's predecessor, Elizabeth Spiers, brought the Observer back to its broadsheeet roots in one of the various changes implemented since Jared Kushner bought the paper in 2006. (The first was when Kushner re-fashioned the Observer as a tabloid.)
Reached for comment, a spokesman for the Observer provided the following statement from Kurson, which neither confirmed nor denied the redesign plans: “We always throw a lot of ideas around and are exploring hatching some projects in the new year.”
The Observer has been in the spotlight for the past week as scores of its former reporters and editors mourn the death last Friday of Peter Kaplan, the New York journalism visionary who helmed the paper from 1994 to 2009, and who was a mentor and boss to numerous members of the Capital staff.
In other news, the Observer is still on the hunt for a lead writer for Beta Beat, its online vertical covering the tech scene.
Several of the print edition's new columnists, meanwhile, appear to have drummed up some buzz. We're told Richard Kirshenbaum has inked a development deal for his monthly "Isn't That Rich?" feature. And new sex columnist Jasmine Lobe has been approached by several publishers to do a book version of "The J-Spot."
It's unlikely, however, that either will eclipse Candance Bushnell, whose mid-1990s-era "Sex and the City" column went on to become a hit HBO series and movie franchise that to this day serves as a bible of sorts for aspirational young women striving to have it all in the Big Apple.