Fears for 'Observer' magazine

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SPECULATION was growing last night over the possible closure of the Observer magazine only five months after it was redesigned as part of its parent paper's relaunch.

Staff at the Observer's offices in Farringdon, central London, said privately that they believed this Sunday's edition could be the last.

However, Jonathan Fenby, the newspaper's editor, refused to confirm or deny the magazine was doomed.

Rumours of the magazine's demise were fuelled by a report in the London Evening Standard predicting closure by the end of March. Mr Fenby denied the report's assertion that the publication had cost pounds 2m since the relaunch, but would not deny closure was being considered.

'We are looking at a variety of ways of developing the Observer,' he said. 'This may affect different parts across the paper, but that is all we have said.'