Ken Kurson has resigned as editor in chief of the Observer and is joining the corporate world as senior managing director at global advisory firm Teneo.
“I want to thank Jared Kushner for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime,” he wrote in an email to staff, referring to the Trump advisor and son-in-law who had been the Observer’s owner before selling his share to the family trust in January. He continued, launching into a defense of Kushner. “He’s never received the credit he deserves for supporting independent journalism and contributing to the cultural fabric of our city. People can snark it up all they like-they certainly will-but at the end of the day this guy spent a ton of money and mostly let us do what we thought was best. The Observer wouldn’t exist were it not for the willingness, amid a torrent of nasty criticism and nasty bullshit, of the Kushner family to cut those checks,” he wrote.
Kushner purchased the Observer in 2006, and has received criticism for the direction of some of its coverage during the election, as well as the decisions he made as owner. In November of last year, the publication shuttered its print version. In March, former editor Elizabeth Spiers wrote a piece in the Post critical of the actions Kushner took while she was editor there, including enacting staff cuts and having a shallow understanding of the business.
Kurson, described as a “[Kushner] a family friend and former Republican strategist” by The Hollywood Reporter, was appointed editor in chief in 2013.