Editor search rolls on at the Observer

Six weeks ago, The New York Observer put an end to one of the New York media world's more entertaining guessing games by naming a replacement for its departing longtime editor, Peter Kaplan. The job went to Tom McGeveran, then the paper's online editor, on an interim basis.

That appointment may have quieted the speculation, but it didn't end the Observer's editor hunt. Owner Jared Kushner confirms to DailyFinance that he is continuing to interview candidates for Kaplan's job, even as McGeveran strives to prove himself by maintaining the newspaper's high editorial standards with a sharply diminished staff.
"We're still actively searching," says the 28-year-old Kushner, who was profiled in this week's issue of New York. "It's been an ongoing process, and it was meant to be a long and deliberate process. I hope whoever the next person is who's named the permanent editor of the Observer is here for a very long time."

Kushner declined to say how long he intends to keep up the search -- "I wish it were that formal, but it's not," he says -- but a source familiar with the deliberations says Kushner has mentioned a timeframe of two to three months. "This isn't something they expect to act on anytime soon," says the source.

"It's kind of McGeveran's job to lose," adds the source. "If somebody they really like comes along, they're open to it, but they're also open to having him."

Indeed, Kushner has nothing but good things to say about McGeveran's performance -- even if, in voicing them, he seems to implicitly slight the work of McGeveran's predecessor and mentor. "Tom's an incredible talent," he says. "The changes he's made so far have all been phenomenal. New writers are coming into the paper to work with him. The website feels more lively. There's less inefficiency in the newsroom. People are busier. People are producing, and happy to be doing so."

Or maybe they're happy just have have their jobs still?

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