Tom McGeveran announced to staff today that he is leaving The New York Observer to start a new business venture. His last day at The Observer will be Dec. 31.
Mr. McGeveran took over as editor in May, replacing Peter Kaplan. In a statement, he said, “I have to thank Jared for giving me the opportunity I’ve had to work with this great staff and to make The New York Observer. But I’m moving on to something new, and as sad as it makes me to leave, change is good and I wish Jared and The Observer all the best.”
Observer publisher Jared Kushner, through a spokeswoman, sent the following statement:
Tom is a great editor and journalist and the Observer has been lucky to have benefitted from his talents for so long. Under his editorial leadership, we launched the very successful Commercial Observer. Tom also did a wonderful job of revamping and reinvigorating our culture section and re-launching our web site. I am grateful to him.
UPDATE: After meeting with staff to announce the news, Mr. McGeveran wrote the following email:
In our meeting this morning I told you I’ve decided to leave the paper. But I wanted to write a note to all of you before this day is over.
I’ll be here until Dec. 31, and I’ve chosen to stay till then so that I can help the Observer find the right successor and make sure that he or she has everything needed to continue to make this paper a success. After that, I’ll be starting work on a new venture I’ve been concocting for some time now.
One of my favorite things about working at the Observer has been our close reporting and analysis of what’s happening right now in the media industry. It’s obvious to me that there is a place in the emerging economy for a product that’s built by journalists, and a home for an idea of journalism that’s been too hastily written off.
In the five months I’ve worked with you as editor we’ve managed something pretty incredible. We’ve reinvented the Culture section and the Transom, designed a real feature-well to give stories the space they deserve every week. We’ve taken on Very Short List and made an entire second weekly newspaper on Real Estate. We’ve redesigned the Web site and have made it the fast, reliable and original product we know our readers expect and deserve. We’ve begun the process of remaking the Observer. This gives me a lot of confidence in my prospects for the future, in yours, and in the Observer’s.
Nobody here knows better than I how much of your extraordinary talent and energy you’ve invested in these accomplishments. And nobody here knows better than I how gracefully, cheerfully and devotedly you’ve invested it. We’ll have had our own chapter in the history of the Observer, and though it’s been short it is one of the happy ones. Person for person this is the best staff we’ve ever had here. Don’t ever think that you missed the golden era of the paper; different papers are for different times, but this is the best Observer I’ve ever read. I thank you for that, because that more than anything else is what has made this period so worth our while.