At the top of my list for next year was a post on Jeff Bezos buying a newspaper company. And today he ruined my joke:
The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.
Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will get a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post.
I’m not all that surprised that Jeff Bezos bought The WaPo; this trend has been showing for a while now. It’s not unusual for new media to buy the old media it is replacing. Comcast bought NBC, The Daily Beast bought Newsweek, Amazon launched their own publishing company (and bought parts of others), and now Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post.
Okay, Bezos isn’t strictly new media but look at what Amazon has done for the ebook market under his watch. It has been revolutionized, so the same rule of thumb applies. There’s no word yet on what he plans to do with the company, but something tells me he’s going to run it like a newspaper.
Update: Jeff Bezos has penned an open letter to the staff of the Washington Post.
image by niallkennedy