Ken Kurson: Adviser, Consultant, Writer and Journalist

Ken Kurson has had something of a unique career spanning decades, in a variety of different fields. From journalism to politics to speechwriting to entrepreneurship, Kurson has succeeded in an array of different challenging situations and predicaments. For instance, in journalism, Ken Kurson was the longtime editor-in-chief of Observer Media, which includes properties as diverse as the, the New York Observer and Commercial Observer.

Kurson’s career in journalism has been noteworthy for a variety of different reasons, not the least of which was his ability to lead the company through a time when so many media properties are struggling. From media outlets as diverse as The Forward and The Huffington Post, as the media environment has grown more and more fragmented over time, the industry has unfortunately been the site of an enormous number of lay-offs.

The number of journalists that have been furloughed during this latest pandemic due to the financial constraints that the Coronavirus has wrought on the industry has been a very disappointing moment. Journalists play a key role in our democracy; and their roles serving as checks and balances on our lawmakers’ actions is critical to any functioning democracy.

But Ken Kurson understood the direction the media industry was heading. Somewhat early on during his tenure at The Observer, Kurson worked on constructing a digital media property for the media outlet. The reality is, that not unlike any other industry, print has become a dying breed. Everybody is online and Kurson’s foresight about transforming the Observer’s rudimentary web presence into an online behemoth ended up proving critical.

Ken Kurson in a field. photo c/o Ken Kurson.
Ken Kurson. Photo by Kevin B. Sanders c/o Ken Kurson.

In recent years, we’ve seen many other news properties also pursuing development in the digital arena. This development has led to the survival of many media properties that otherwise would be on life-support due to all sorts of internal and external challenges, mainly including the fact that Google and Facebook together account for an estimated 80% of all online ad dollars. Much like print media, editors and publishers of digital media properties are able to monetize their sites by selling advertising, and generating considerable revenue that way.

There’s a host of different ways that the movement from print to digital in the media space has affected the public’s interest and consumption of news. But the reality is that it’s merely a way that publishers, editors and press barons have grown to adapt to the changes in consumers’ own reading habits. Beyond the obvious generational gap and stylistic differences in consuming news between younger and older demographics, there are also obvious differences that are prevalent among audiences regardless of the age bracket they might fall into.

When it comes to consuming television, for instance, the ratings from a variety of different sources have indicated that audiences are consuming less and less television in the traditional way through their cable providers. Instead, the consumption of news and entertainment via one’s mobile phones and alternate avenues has also increased with time.

This change in the way members of the public have chosen to consume broadcast media is in no way limited to television. It also extends to print, newspapers, magazines, and the like. As the media industry continues to transform, and the blogosphere continues evolving, the ways media properties adapt to those changes will be critical to ensuring their survival.

This environment has also presented ample opportunity for smart, savvy entrepreneurial journalists to build a trove of digital media properties that rely on digital advertising revenue in order to produce quality content for their respective audiences. In recent years, Kurson has created a number of digital media properties that have succeeded in building loyal readerships that are dedicated to their content.

Fine Art Globe and California Globe are two of several of these successful properties. The network has grown to include Rock & Roll Globe as well, with Wine and Whiskey Globe being the newest addition. Kurson’s innovation in the field is hardly surprising given his successful tenure at Observer Media, and as a journalist before that.

During his nineteen years at Esquire as a contributing editor, Kurson penned a monthly section entitled “Green,” which covered the world of investing. Kurson’s work in Republican politics has also been legendary and written about extensively.

Besides for his work for Mayor Rudy Giuliani, with whom he co-authored the No. 1 bestseller “Leadership,” Kurson’s close relationship with White House adviser Jared Kushner has served as a source of much interest. He was spotted during the 2016 RNC Convention sitting beside Ivanka Trump in the Trump family luxury box. His relationship with Kushner dates back decades; and is a testament to the loyalty he proved to Kushner and many other prominent figures who consistently seek out his counsel and advice.

Although Jared Kushner is far from the only political heavyweight to lean on Kurson for advice and guidance, given his senior position in the current presidential administration, it is no surprise that Ken Kurson’s relationship with him continues to be written about with much enthusiasm.

Frederick Pearlman

Frederick Pearlman is a dedicated activist promoting dialogue in both political and non-political contexts. When not fishing, Frederick can be found caring for his golden retriever Ronald.