Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post for $250 Million

| News

Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is adding another hat to his vast collection, newspaper publishing. The New York Times reported that Mr. Bezos has purchased The Washington Post for US$250 million in a deal that brings with it several other newspaper properties.

The purchase is being made by Jeff Bezos himself, rather than under the umbrella of Amazon. It's not clear what role, if any, Mr. Bezos will have in day to day operations of the company, but Mr. Bezos has already asked Katherine Weymouth to remain at the newspaper as publisher.

Other top executives staying in their jobs include Stephen P. Hills, president and general manager; Martin Baron, executive editor; and Fred Hiatt, editor of the editorial page.

The deal includes the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing, all companies owned by The Washington Post Company.

Not included in the deal are Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy magazine. The Washington Post Company has not announced its plans for those properties.

The newspaper industry is an industry in crisis. Local papers and national newspapers alike have found it difficult to transition to the age of the Internet, where online ad revenue doesn't match print ad revenue of days gone by.

But money is one thing that Jeff Bezos has in spades. It's difficult to imagine that Mr. Bezos bought The Post because he thinks he can make a ton of money on it, but he has shown again and again that he knows how to think differently about all facets of business.

If can breathe new life into a newspaper as important as The Post, which plays a vital role in covering national politics, it will be a great thing for all of us. Here's hoping he can.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

Comments

geoduck

Maybe the DOJ and SEC are hoping to position Bezos as America’s answer to Rupert Murdoch

iJack

This is not GOOD thing. Another icon of American culture becomes a toy for a Silicon Mogul. Bezos knows absolutely nothing about newspaper publishing. Shopkeeper should stay in the shop.

Winski

IF, Jeff can come in and COMPLETELY WIPE OUT the incredibly negative right-wing hate machine that’s been festering there for YEARS, he’s got a handle of re-establishing WaPo as one of the Nation’s great communication outlets. Here’s hoping.

If not, a complete waste of time and money.

ibuck

Bezos has been described as a Libertarian, so he may not stand up to the right wing and their propaganda. We’ll have to see how his ownership of these different newspapers affects their reporting (whether their coverage is honest and thorough—without omitting key facts or important stories—and what their editorial slant will be).

propaganda:  noun, chiefly derogatory information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view

iJack

”..the incredibly negative right-wing hate machine that’s been festering there for YEARS..”

Huh?
- WaPo has been known as “Pravda on the Potomac” by conservatives for decades.

- On March 26, 2007, Chris Matthews said on his television program, “Well, The Washington Post is not the liberal newspaper it was, Congressman, let me tell you. I have been reading it for years and it is a neocon newspaper”.

- In a November 16, 2008, column, The Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell stated: “I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo”.

- In 2009, independent journalist Robert Parry criticized the newspaper for its allegedly unfair reporting on liberal politicians, including Vice President Al Gore and President Barack Obama.

- According to a 2009 publication, in the blogging community, liberal bloggers link to the Washington Post and New York Times more often than other major newspapers, however, conservative bloggers also link predominantly to liberal newspapers.

The Washington Post apparently pisses both sides off by offering the opinions of both. Nonetheless, the bias there is moderately Left, and is certainly no “right-wing hate machine.”

Log-in to comment