Jeff Bezos

It’s Official: Jeff Bezos Owns ‘The Washington Post’

Screen-Shot-2013-08-05-at-9.39.08-PMAmazon founder Jeff Bezos is now officially the owner of The Washington Post. The deal closed on Tuesday. Bezos purchased the paper for $250 million from The Graham family, the paper’s owners for the past 80 years.

Bezos will lead the paper from afar, as he will remain CEO of Amazon. The Post‘s executive staff including publisher Katharine Weymouth and executive editor Martin Baron will remain in place.

Here is more from The Washington Post‘s report on the deal:

The Post’s new owner hasn’t disclosed specific plans or changes he intends to make for the money-losing paper. But in earlier interviews and on a two-day visit to The Post’s downtown Washington headquarters in early September, he suggested that he’ll provide a financial cushion — or “runway” — that will allow The Post time to conduct experiments that could lead to a successful business model.

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Jeff Bezos Pitches Bundled Newspaper Model to Washington Post Staffers

In his first staff meeting at The Washington Post this week, Jeff Bezos, the newspaper’s new owner, pitched the idea of selling digital news content in a bundled format.

He stressed that the paper should be focused on loyal readers and tablet users, versus random hits generated from the web. Here is more from The Washington Post:

He repeatedly said that the success of The Post depends on its ability to draw readers into a “daily ritual habit” of reading across a collection of different topics — and paying for it. “People will buy a package,” Bezos said, “they will not pay for a story.”

But is this really a good idea? Online news works differently than eBooks and even Kindle Singles, which people are more willing to buy. Consumers are used to the news being free online and will go to find the same story in another publication if they can’t find it on a specific news site. The idea of cutting the paper off from the traffic that a story can get from social media because of a paywall, could mean that the paper has less reach. Post writer Timothy B. Lee criticized the idea. Read more

Will Print Survive at Bezos’ Washington Post?


Jeff Bezospurchase of The Washington Post shocked the publishing industry this week and one of the big questions that people are asking is whether or not the paper will survive in the print medium under the management of such a digitally-focused owner.

Bezos expressed his ideas of the future of reading in the new documentary film Out of Print. ”If you look at technology over the last 20 years, most of our connected devices, whether it be, you know, a smartphone, or a laptop, these are very good for reading news articles, email messages, blog posts,” he said in the film. “We humans do more than what is convenient and easy for us and so I think there has been a shift over the past 20 or so years away from long-form reading, from book-length reading, and toward short-form reading.”

The film, directed by Vivienne Roumani and executive produced by Aryeh Bourkoff, also includes interviews with publishing industry experts including best-selling novelist Scott Turow and Harvard Librarian Robert Darnton.

Do you think print will survive under Bezos’ direction?

Could Kindle Singles Flourish at Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post?

When the news broke that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will acquire the Washington Post, people from around the publishing industry speculated about what it could mean for publishing and journalism.

Over at Thin Reads, Howard Polskin wondered if the new acquisition could boost Kindle Singles production at the storied newspaper. Check it out:

The Washington Post is already in the e-book single business with projects on Osama Bin Laden, President Obama and a compilation of Watergate-related story by Woodward and Bernstein. It seems like the ingredients are all there for The Washington Post to emerge as a bigger player in the fledgling e-book single market under the direction of Bezos.  If that happens – and it’s a big if at this point – here’s how both players could benefit.

Social Media Newsfeed: Social Media Reaction to Washington Post Sale | Facebook Chief Marketing Officer

JeffBezos

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Buys Washington Post for $250M (SocialTimes)
Blockbuster news broke late Monday afternoon that the Washington Post newspaper has been purchased by Amazon owner and founder Jeff Bezos. The Washington Post’s online properties, such as Slate and TheRoot.com, are not part of the deal. The purchase also doesn’t include the land, meaning it’s a pure content buy by Bezos.

Read more

Jeff Bezos Has Bought The Washington Post For $250 Million

Jeff Bezos, the founder & CEO of Amazon, has purchased the award-winning newspaper The Washington Post for $250 million, according to reports.

“Everyone at the Post Company and everyone in our family has always been proud of The Washington Post — of the newspaper we publish and of the people who write and produce it,” said Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company in a statement. “I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, 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 (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders). Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

Graham will continue to serve as CEO of the company, which will continue to publish both print and online content. (Via The Washington Post).

Amazon Net Sales Up 22% in Q2 2013

Amazon’s net sales increased 22% to $15.70 billion in the second quarter of 2013, as compared to $12.83 billion which the company earned in net sales during the second quarter 2012. Today, the company reported its financial results for its second quarter which ended June 30, 2013.

Kindle sales is helping drive the company’s growth. “This past quarter, our top 10 selling items worldwide were all digital products – Kindles, Kindle Fire HDs, accessories and digital content,” Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon, explained in a statement.

Amazon pointed out a number of highlights during the quarter including expanding its digital content libraries for books, films and apps. In addition, during the quarter Amazon expanded the Amazon Appstore globally, making it available to millions of customers in almost 200 countries. Amazon also introduced Amazon Coins, a digital currency that consumers can purchase in bulk at a discount and then use them to purchase apps, games and in-apps.

Amazon Net Sales Hit $16B in Q1 2013, Up 22%

Amazon’s net sales were $16.07 billion in the first quarter of 2013 an increase of 22 percent, compared with $13.18 billion in first quarter of 2012, the company said today.

During the quarter, Amazon acquired social reading platform Goodreads; made the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” available in more countries; and made Amazon MP3s available to iPhone users. They also grew the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which lets Amazon Prime customers borrow eBooks for free, to 300,000 books. The company also focused on expanding its TV and film licensing agreements and on creating original programming.

“Amazon Studios is working on a new way to greenlight TV shows. The pilots are out in the open where everyone can have a say,” stated Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO. “I have my personal picks and so do members of the Amazon Studios team, but the exciting thing about our approach is that our opinions don’t matter. Our customers will determine what goes into full-season production. We hope Amazon Originals can become yet another way for us to create value for Prime members.”