Jared Kushner’s Observer, which shuttered print edition in November, said to lay off four
The website of WWD is reporting today that Observer Media has laid off a third of its 12 person staff today. The move comes a week after editor-in-chief Ken Kurson resigned.
The Observer is owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law to the president. Kushner bought The New York Observer weekly newspaper in 2006 when 25 years old, but shuttered the print edition just last year. The newspaper reported was losing $2 million a year when acquired, but its value lay in supporting Kushner’s real estate business in the city. At the time of the acquisition, Kushner’s father was still in a halfway house in Newark following his conviction and imprisonment for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign donations. (He was released from the halfway house in August of 2006.)
One of the four laid off was Dana Schwartz, entertainment writer at the Observer, who last summer wrote an open letter critical of the Observer’s support for Donald Trump, accusing the then-presidential candidate for using “blatant anti-Semitic imagery” in an attack on Hillary Clinton. In the letter she asked her boss “how do you allow this?”
“Your father-in-law’s repeated accidental winks to the white supremacist community is perhaps a savvy political strategy if the neo-Nazis are considered a sizable voting block—I confess, I haven’t done my research on that front,” Schwartz wrote in July of last year. “But when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, you’re giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval. Because maybe Donald Trump isn’t anti-Semitic. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think he is. But I know many of his supporters are, and they believe for whatever reason that Trump is the candidate for them.”
Since going digital only late last year, Jared Kushner has joined the Trump White House, while the Observer has been run by Joseph Meyer, Kushner’s brother-in-law.