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Memo Pad: Observer Names McGeveran Interim Editor... Froelich Feted...

On Wednesday, the Observer tapped McGeveran as interim editor.

PERMANENT TEMP?: When Peter Kaplan stepped down as editor of The New York Observer, WWD reported deputy editor Tom McGeveran was a strong candidate to be his successor, at least on an interim basis. On Wednesday, the Observer tapped McGeveran as interim editor, only days before Kaplan moves to Condé Nast Traveler as creative director. The “interim” in the title, according to an Observer spokeswoman, “means McGeveran will be in the position for an indefinite period of time, which will conclude when a decision is made about a permanent editor.” That could in fact be McGeveran — according to a report on the Observer’s Web site, owner Jared Kushner described McGeveran’s role as “an interim job that could be converted into a permanent one.”

McGeveran’s appointment was revealed by Kaplan on Wednesday afternoon during the Observer’s weekly staff meeting, upon which staffers maintained a minute’s applause. “Tom is absolutely adored here. He was the newsroom’s choice,” said one staffer. McGeveran joined the paper in 2000 from the New York Blade, and has done nearly every job, from editing real estate and news stories to overseeing Observer.com. Insiders also say McGeveran, 37, has a good working relationship with Kushner, 28.

McGeveran was the choice for the job despite several high-profile candidates being discussed, including Radar founder Maer Roshan and Maxim executive editor Steve Garbarino. While Kushner wasn’t present at the afternoon meeting, Kaplan told WWD the decision to promote McGeveran to the role was the owner’s. “It was Jared’s call; he was the quarterback on this one,” he said. McGeveran’s first issue will be next Wednesday’s edition.

— Stephanie D. Smith

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