Observer‘s New Art Section May Grab Some Unclaimed Ad Dollars

The Observer‘s new art section is about more than just writing about pretty paintings and the people who make them. It’s also a business move — the paper is tapping into a potentially underserved advertising niche.

Observer editor Kyle Pope told FishbowlNY, “The big picture is that The New York Times, for instance, has been scaling back its art coverage and there’s nobody really aggressively covering the art scene anymore in New York.”

As an indication of the Observer‘s level of aggression, observe the hiring of David Gursky, whom the paper has brought on as its new vice president of sales and marketing. He said, “We felt that there was a void left by the Sun, and the Times wasn’t covering it as much anymore either. And there’s a huge art community in New York.” From a business standpoint, the reception for increased coverage of the art world has been “tremendous,” he said. Gursky’s job will consist mainly in selling ads directly to the art community. Spencer Sharp, director of arts and entertainment advertising at the Observer, will continue to serve other areas in the New York culture market, but Gursky will be handling the art business.

The Observer announced today that Alexandra Peers will oversee the section as editor-at-large. Full-time art reporter Leon Neyfakh will write for the section. The paper also plans to bring in some additional freelance writers to supplement the work of its current stable of stringers.