Not all NYU law students can say they bought a NYC newspaper over their summer break, but Jared Kushner can. The 25 year old son of NJ developer Charles Kushner has paid $10 million for majority ownership of the salmon pink colored weekly. Of course, we know Kushner's dad better as the guy who tried to get back at his sister by hiring a prostitute to seduce his sister's husband and then mailing the tape of the tryst to his sister. That's a lot of family love right there.
Kushner graduated from Harvard and is attending NYU for law school, so it's unclear how much of a presence he will have day to day. The Observer's editors put up a letter about the deal online and included this bit from a Kushner message to the staff:
We find ourselves at a crossroads in the newspaper business. The balance of printed and online content is undergoing an unprecedented adjustment and the way we deliver our product—first-rate journalism—continues to evolve. Together we will navigate this challenge with perseverance and innovation. The only promise I will make on the business front is to keep a completely open mind. At 25 and with only non-publishing related business experience, I am now equipped with two of the finest tools that a publisher could ever have; this fine staff, and the inquisitive energy needed to tackle convention.
But is this a youthful folly or a shrewd move into the more exciting world of media? Either way, it sounds like a win-win for the Observer: Owner Arthur Carter gets to keeps an interest in the paper, editor in chief Peter Kaplan gets to stay, and the Observer has the chance to work with a less intimidating boss (Bobby D. would have been scary, no doubt). And according to the NY Times, Kushner's goals for the paper are to improve its brand (think co-branding, brand extensions, salmon pink t-shirts that say "Off the Record"), improve its Internet traffic, and improve its resources for reporting overall. Somewhere it said that Kushner was also in business school - this should make a good case study.