off the record
Late on the night after Thanksgiving, on what is typically an unplugged weekend for the media, the wires lit up with sad news: Peter Kaplan, the legendary former editor of this newspaper, had died.
He would have loathed the obituaries—most of them, anyway.
The ones that associated his name with mere snark, a quality that was far beneath his intelligence and integrity. The ones that described him as a pied piper of dewy-eyed ingénues, as if he had not given new life and new freedom to veteran journalists who turned down offers elsewhere mostly because of him. The ones that portrayed the newspaper he edited as an in-house newsletter for the city’s media elites, as though the paper’s coverage of politics, finance, real estate and culture were mere add-ons.
Peter’s New York City was filled with villains and knights, and no subject was too small to escape his sharp eye and golden tongue. Read More
Peter W. Kaplan, the editor of The New York Observer from 1994 to 2009, died Friday of cancer, The New York Times reported earlier this evening.
Mr. Kaplan, who died at age 59, was an outsized figure at the newspaper and across the city itself, not least for launching the careers of writers in every corner of journalism, book publishing and beyond. Their remembrances will start flowing as the news spreads, but there’s no better source on Mr. Kaplan than the editor himself. After the passing of Clay Felker—another New York City editing giant—Mr. Kaplan wrote an elegant tribute, republished below, that was as much about his own approach to the craft of newspapering as his mentor’s.
The piece, quoting Mr. Felker, was titled “Never Hold Your Best Stuff.” Mr. Kaplan never did:
Sure, you’ve seen a hundred shots of Katie Holmes celebrating at The New York Observer‘s 25th Anniversary Party by now. If you didn’t know what Rex Reed looked like, now you do. And those pictures of Spike Lee, Mayor Bloomberg and Chuck Close? Sure, we could see how some Read More
M, the magazine for “The New Class of Man” hit newsstands on Monday. The relaunch of the men’s lifestyle glossy with heavy matte paper stock was excitedly heralded by a profile of M editor (and former longtime New York Observer editor) Peter Kaplan in The New Republic.
But nobody has been more fired up about the new mag than the Twitter feed @real_kaplan. The parody feed, which is written by former Observer staffers Peter Stevenson and Jim Windolf, has long furthered the legend of Mr. Kaplan’s New York, old-school sensibility.
Punch!, a Spy-inspired iPad “appazine” that paired long-form journalism with short comedy segments and interactive games, has scrapped its editorial content to focus entirely on an authoring tool for apps.
With New York Observer alum Jim Windolf at the helm and featuring contributions from George Gurley and Mark Ames, Punch! put out three issues before announcing that it was going on hiatus on August 14.
Tyler Rush, The New York Observer’s production manager and a 13-year veteran of the paper, died on Saturday at the home he shared with his partner, Melanie Hogue, in Cairo, N.Y. The cause was a heart attack. He was 49 years old.
Merger talks between Newsweek and The Daily Beast are back on—but then again, they were never off.
The New York Post’s Keith Kelly reported this morning that “after a three-week cooling off period, talks are back on.” Two sources close to the search for the next editor of Newsweek tell the Observer that Read More
Delays, Subpar Subways
Well, not really. But they might as well.
All Things D blogger Peter Kafka turned up this funny faux subway warning on the Tumblrs, as well as another that pretty accurately encapsulates the most recent round of service cuts and fare hikes. Both declare what we New Yorkers have Read More