The Observer

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The Observer is a British newspaper. It is not part of or connected with The New York Observer (



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In 1977 Robert O. Anderson "was the man who first saved the Observer (now owned by Guardian Media Group) and then delivered it into the hands of its most controversial owner, Lonrho, headed by Roland "Tiny" Rowland.

"Arco's acquisition of the Observer newspaper in 1977 was, Anderson believed, an act of corporate responsibility. The newspaper, then owned by the Astor family, was in dire financial straits. One of the paper's senior journalists, seeking a buyer, explained the situation to an American acquaintance, who in turn contacted Anderson. Within a few days, Arco bought the paper and pledged $10m to keep it afloat.

"Three years later, in 1980, Arco's foundation took another step into publishing when, jointly with the MacArthur Foundation, it rescued Harper's magazine, which was planning to print its last issue. As with the Observer, financial support was pledged to tide the magazine over.

"Arco owned the Observer for four years, with Anderson growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress achieved in getting to grips with the print unions. It was this, coupled with Thornton Bradshaw's decision to leave Arco, that led him to sell the newspaper to Lonrho in February 1981.

"The sale earned Anderson a great deal of criticism, not least because the deal was effectively done over the heads of management. However, Arco did retain a 15% interest and he remained on the board as chairman until 1985." [2]

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  1. Guardian: Comment is Free: profile Accessed: 4 April 2012.
  2. Obituary: Robert Anderson,, accessed June 23, 2010.