Donald Trump hasn’t agreed to sell off a single cent of his business empire before he becomes president, but his son-in-law, the oft behind-the-scenes political schemer Jared Kushner, appears ready to let his New York Observer go for good.
Kushner has been quietly shopping Observer Media, fashion industry publication WWD reported Wednesday. The New York Observer newspaper, which recently became online only, was once the most respected — and feared — weekly by the same city elite it so often pilloried.
According to anonymous sources cited by WWD, American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer tabloid, is chief among the possible bidders.
David Pecker, CEO of the National Enquirer, which formally endorsed Trump’s candidacy and published a hit piece on the alleged sexcapades of competitor Ted Cruz, is known to be a close friend of Trump. Rumors circulated last summer that Trump might have even offered Pecker an ambassador position if elected president.
Representatives for AMI declined to comment. Observer Media chairman and CEO Joseph Meyer did not deny the rumor, however. “As one of the fastest-growing business in all of digital media, we are constantly being approached by potential investors and partners,” Meyer said.
Real estate scion Jared Kushner bought the Observer for $10 million in 2006. He has frequently been criticized by media critics and longtime admirers of the paper alike, who say Kushner chucked the paper’s well-established knack for wit and yarn spinning in favor of high-volume posting and industry reporting through its Commercial Observer offshoot.
The paper was more recently criticized for refusing to cover the presidential election of Donald Trump because it would have been impossible to do so given the conflict of interest within the Ivanka-married Kushner’s family. Editor Ken Kurson and Kushner later changed tack and the Observer formally endorsed Trump for the Republican nomination for president.
While it is not yet known what position, if any, Jared Kushner will hold in Donald Trump’s White House, it’s already been reported that he and Ivanka are house-hunting in Washington, D.C., with plans of relocating there.
Earlier this week, Jared Kushner’s real estate firm Kushner Companies underwent something of a rebranding, shortening the business’ name to just Kushner. [WWD] — Will Parker