Real Estate Weekly disappears without explanation

Trade publication offline, out of print for months with no editorial staff after nearly 70 years

What Happened to Real Estate Weekly?

(Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty)

Real Estate Weekly, the long-running trade publication that documented more than seven decades of New York real estate, has quietly gone dark.

The newspaper’s website has been offline for several months now. And the bare-bones print operation appears to have fizzled out following a string of difficulties.

Chris Hagedorn, the publisher of REW and and a handful of other small papers, is not making a concerted effort to bring the publication back online, sources told The Real Deal. He is said to be open to offers for the publication’s assets, but is not currently soliciting buyers.

The publication has no editorial staff and has not posted an article since September. For the past few years, most of the site’s content has been press release reruns. 

“I think it’s a sad day. It was an honor to work there,” said Linda O’Flanagan, former editor of Real Estate Weekly. “It paved the way for tremendous journalists who have gone on to greater things.” 

Hagedorn declined to comment.

Real Estate Weekly had billed itself as the longest-running real estate publication in New York City, having started in 1955. The newspaper closely documented the city’s real estate business with a keen eye toward the dynastic families that dominated the industry in those days. It was founded by Charles and Al Hagedorn Jr., Chris’s father and uncle, respectively.

“It was to some the bible of New York real estate,” said Roxanne Donovan, a former editor of Real Estate Weekly and founder of the real estate public relations firm Great Ink. “Every deal got into that paper.”

The publication claimed on its now-deactivated subscriber page that its weekly print edition reached 30,000 readers. It carried a $49 annual subscription rate.

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Real Estate Weekly, like others, struggled to adapt to the emergence of digital media. It never built out a digital newsroom, according to sources. Others say that Chris Hagedorn did not embrace the glad-handing responsibilities of a publisher, such as attending or promoting industry events. This was in contrast to his uncle Al, who died at 83 in 1996.

Nevertheless, the publication was once an organ for industry information, where dealmakers checked for the latest news and advertised in its pages. It was a training ground for many of the journalists covering the industry, as well as many influential real estate publicists. 

The New York Post’s Lois Weiss and the Wall Street Journal’s Konrad Putzier worked there, as did George Shea of Shea Communications.

“People had a fondness for Real Estate Weekly. When you worked for Real Estate Weekly, people were happy to see you,” Donovan said, recalling meetings with Donald Trump, Seymour Durst, Bernard Mendik, Charlie Benenson, Aaron Gural and Lew Rudin

It existed long before competitors Bisnow, Commercial Observer, Crain’s New York Business and The Real Deal came on the scene.

The Hagedorn family was once ranked by Forbes as one of the 200 wealthiest families in the U.S. Through their company Hagedorn Communications, the Hagedorns also owned local newspapers, including the Town & Village, a weekly newspaper covering Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

The company owned its own printing press in New Rochelle, which allowed it to publish daily newspapers when union printers went on strike in the early 1960s. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated how Al and Chris Hagedorn were related. Al Hagedorn was Chris Hagedorn’s uncle.