Mort Zuckerman is stepping down as chairman of Boston Properties, the massive corporate real estate company that made him rich and famous.
Zuckerman’s vast real estate holdings– reports are he’s worth $2.7 billion– made it possible for him to buy US News and World, the Atlantic Monthly, Atlantic Monthly Press, and the New York Daily News. He sold off the Atlantic Monthly properties years ago. US News is online only now. The Daily News is run largely by his nephews.
The 78 year old publisher helped reshape the Citicorp Center area on Lexington and 53rd St in Manhattan, and Times Square. In Washington DC he helped build a city out of a largely forgotten area between Dupont Circle and Georgetown.
But Zuckerman, once a presence on TV shows like the McLaughlin Report, is in a retirement mode now. He will become chairman emeritus of Boston Properties.
Meantime, the Daily News is kicking ass with great covers as editor in chief Jim Rich plays every day like it’s going to be the paper’s last. I criticized the News last year for off loading a lot of well known bylines as they tried to shrink themselves ahead of a sale. But somehow they’ve managed to resuscitate, which is a good thing. New York needs the Daily News now more than ever.
I’ve known Mort personally since 1986, when he owned the Atlantic Monthly Press, and I was the publicity director. I worked for Harold Evans, who used to write Mort’s US News editorials in those days. It’s hard to imagine him not running the show after all this time, but I’m happy to say he’s still on the social scene, and is more relaxed and friendlier than ever. This semi-retirement suits him.