ink-stained wretches

R.I.P., Salmon-Pink New York Observer, 1987—2014

Pink,” “curiously pink,” “salmon pink,” “salmon,” “salmon-hued” — all have been used to describe the unique color of the New York Observer, which, starting today, has gone plain white. Under the paper’s defining editor, Peter Kaplan, who died last year, the Observer was a sharp broadsheet. Now it’s the size of a tabloid, with a cover instead of a traditional front page, and staples, like a magazine.

Reimagined by six editors in eight years under young owner Jared Kushner, no one would deny the paper has changed. Among those who have opinions on such things, Kushner is less sentimental than most.

Pink paper in some ways is a gimmick,” he says in today’s New York Times. “If that’s all that distinguishes a paper, you’re not doing a good job.” As of late, what has most distinguished the paper is a new fighting spirit, led by editor and former Giuliani political consultant Ken Kurson, but in questionable battles, most notably in the name of Donald Trump, Kushner’s father-in-law.

In addition to the paper and layout, the ethos has changed. “We’re pro-business and anti-entitlements,” Kushner, a real-estate scion, tells the Times. But as a nod to history, he says, the paper’s two editorial pages, infamously conservative under Kushner, will remain pink.

As for the rest, good riddance. “The advertisers for years have been saying their ads didn’t look good on the pink,” says Kushner. “I don’t miss it.”

R.I.P., Pink New York Observer, 1987—2014