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Media Owner Starting Commercial Real Estate Paper

Despite growing concerns of a collapse in the commercial realty market, the Observer Media Group owner and publisher Jared Kushner is launching a commercial real estate newspaper: The Commercial Observer.

“It’s actually a good time to innovate,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re looking at good niches where we can try to create good markets. I think now, in the real estate market, there is such a need and demand for information.”

(See the accompanying video for the complete interview.)

The weekly publication targets commercial brokers and building owners at an annual subscription of $250. The paper is likely to break even or profit by next year, said Kushner.

“We’ve already exceeded expectations,” he said. “And the real thought process behind it as well is you have a lot of advertisers that want to let the market know about deals they’re doing and building and spaces that are available, but all the other places, they just want to reach these 8,000 people.”

Despite increasing pressures on the old media business model and hard copy publications, the New York Observer is still in the black, he said.

“The way the place was run for so many years, it was run like it was a recession for the last 21 [years],” he said. “We’ve brought in a lot of new revenues; we’ve found new avenues.”

Kushner recently purchased several media businesses such as IAC's The Very Short List, a cultural recommendation e-mail service, in addition to a New Jersey Web site, which have proven profitable, he told CNBC.

“At the end of the day, we speak to the most important and influential people in New York, which are the most important and influential people in the world essentially,” he said. “It’s a very targeted product and it doesn’t take a lot for it to make it work.”

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