De Niro exits newspaper deal, stage left

Film actor Robert de Niro has given up on the idea of owning a
newspaper. Talks between a film-enterprise group headed by the
tough-guy actor and the owner of the New York Observer have fallen
through – and are not expected to be resumed. The Observer, printed on
salmon coloured paper similar to the Financial Times, is popular in New
York celebrity and media circles.

It's been the launch pad for
many writers, notably Candice Bushnell whose column Sex and the City
first appeared in The Observer. The paper nevertheless has been losing
money – reputedly as much as $2 million a year. Its founder, former
Wall Street investor Arthur Carter, has lately turned to a new hobby –
sculpting. He has sold off other papers he owned including the
Litchfield County Times, which he started in Connecticut where he owns
a farm, his half interest in the East Hampton Star and a controlling
interest in The Nation magazine.

There have been numerous talks with
potential buyers for The Observer, but the most interested seemed to be
a company called Tribeca Enterprises which puts on the annual Tribeca
Film Festival in New York of which de Niro was a founder.

spokesman has confirmed that talks have come to a stop and won't be
resumed. "Unfortunately we couldn't come to acceptable terms." said
Craig Hatkoff, a former real estate investor, and also one of the
founders of the Tribeca Festival.

The editor of The Observer Peter
Kaplan added: "It just didn't happen. Sometimes things just don't.
No-one is being coy," he insisted.

Picture: idols.com

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