The Windhoek Observer has a new editor at the helm and a new owner poised to take over the 30-year-old newspaper, writes Werner Menges in The Namibian.

While claims that the newspaper is being taken over by a new owner continue doing the rounds in media circles, a now-former reporter with the State-owned daily newspaper New Era, Kuvee Kangueehi, yesterday took his place in the editor’s chair at the Observer.

The 33-year-old Kangueehi yesterday confirmed his appointment as editor of the weekly paper.

An informed source also confirmed to The Namibian that the Windhoek Observer’s owner, Esther Smith, has decided to sell the newspaper to Paragon Investment Holdings, which also has interests in the Namibian advertising industry, property development, and financial services company Alexander Forbes, and runs the duty-free shop at Hosea Kutako International Airport outside Windhoek.

Paragon Investment Holdings Executive Director Lazarus Jacobs however denied yesterday that his company has clinched a deal to buy the newspaper.

“No, we haven’t,” he replied when asked if Paragon had bought the Observer. He said, though, that Paragon was looking at expanding its presence in the media market, and that it was in talks with several newspapers with a view to achieving this aim.

“That’s news to me,” was his reply when he was asked about Kangueehi’s taking up the editor’s post at the newspaper from yesterday.

Yanna Erasmus, a daughter of the late Observer Reporter-in-Chief Hannes Smith, has been the newspaper’s editor following Smith’s death at the age of 75 on August 5 last year. Erasmus however took up a post at a Windhoek radio station from yesterday.

On Friday, the staff members of the Windhoek Observer received letters informing them that their employment with the newspaper would come to an end at the close of February.

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Namibian's website.