Observer editor Peter Kaplan got along with young publisher Jared Kushner, reports Jacob Bernstein in today's Women's Wear Daily, despite what people may have thought. Sure, Kushner was a little naïve and inexperienced, and yeah, after a yachting trip with Rupert Murdoch, he came back a little big for his britches. But they got along fine, and still do, except on the subject of budget cuts. As the economy began to tank last fall and winter, Kushner started to demand reduction in overall salaries at the paper. Kaplan, well aware that the Observer already paid notoriously poorly, fought back as hard as he could. He took a 5 percent personal pay cut and asked everyone making over $45,000 to do so as well. Then, a few weeks ago, another 2 percent pay cut was demanded of select staff. At the same time, Kaplan's girlfriend (with whom he shares a son) also was forced to take a pay cut. Fearing that more pay cuts were to come, and hearing that a cushy job was opening up at Condé Nast Traveler, Kaplan decided to take the leap. Was it because Kaplan was tired of all the stress and needed the money? Or was it because, as recipient of one of the biggest salaries at the paper, he wanted to spare the rest of his staff further demoralizing pay cuts? In all probability, it's a combination of the two, but we choose to believe the latter.
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