New York Times star business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin has had a big couple of weeks. His blockbuster book Too Big to Fail is debuting this Sunday at No. 4 on the New York Times best-seller list (and he will be profiled in next week’s New York Magazine). Sorkin is in London this week promoting the book’s European launch. In addition to being a best-seller, Sorkin has been fielding job offers. New York Observer owner Jared Kushner tried recruiting Sorkin twice during the past year. Most recently, he talked to Sorkin last month about taking over the paper before editor Tom McGeveran announced his resignation on October 28, according to several sources familiar with the matter. According to an Observer insider, Kushner ran into Sorkin at a party three weeks ago and said “let’s get together.” The two had a meeting, but the talks never progressed very far. Last March, Kushner had also tried to recruit Sorkin to take over the Observer, as longtime editor Peter Kaplan was preparing to leave.
Yesterday, Kushner announced that he had appointed former Portfolio deputy editor Kyle Pope to run the paper, and last night, Kushner held a book party for the Observer’s just-published anthology, The Kingdom of New York, where Sorkin and former New York Press editor David Blum, another candidate, were topics of conversation. Staffers speculated that talks foundered on the issue of an ownership stake in the paper — which, given Sorkin’s unusual incentive arrangements with the Times, might very well have come up eventually. But a source close to Kushner says talks never progressed to that point.