The Washington Post has been gobbled up by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos for $250 million, only a few days after the Boston Globe was sold for $70 million to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry.
The Wall Street Journal noted: Bezos is taking over the publishing concern as an individual, and not in his
capacity as the CEO of Amazon.
Washington Post Chairman and CEO Donald Graham said the company
decided to sell “only after years of familiar
newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner
who would be better for the Post.”
What does it mean that the newspaper of Woodward and Bernstein, who cracked the Watergate caper in the 1970s and forced President Richard Nixon from the White House, will now be controlled by one of America’s most prolific business titans?
The Post had faced the same deep problems as every other newspaper in the digital age — an inability to monetize the Internet, a notable inability to attract print advertisements and a reluctance, early on, to tinker with its archic, ad-reliant business model while new media companies were stealing its aura.
The Washington Post Company’s newspaper publishing operating losses expanded in 2012 to $53.7 million from $21.2 million in 2011, the Journal said.
Yes, a lot of people will mourn this transaction as another sign of the times, that old-line newspapers and magazines can’t compete with websites.
That’s sad. Nothing held back these traditional media properties except their own questionable management and inability to innovate. These assets had brilliant legacies and entrenches readers. Bt for the Post, that wasn’t quite enough.
Welcome, Jeff Bezos, media mogul.