Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Aug 5 2013 17:44:24

Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

By: Ina Steiner

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In Boston these days, talk is all about Red Sox owner John Henry buying the Boston Globe from the Times Co. But leave it to Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos to trump that news - he is acquiring the Washington Post.

Bezos (not Amazon) is paying $250 million for the media conglomerate. And just to point out, we're not talking about Washington state - we're talking about the storied Washington Post in the nation's capital, the paper best known for its coverage of the Watergate scandal in the 70s when Katharine Graham was publisher.

The Washington Post, which owns Kaplan and other entities, published Bezos' letter to employees. In a reference to a famous line from a Watergate henchman, he showed a sense of humor: "While I hope no one ever threatens to put one of my body parts through a wringer, if they do, thanks to Mrs. Graham's example, I’ll be ready."

As CEO of Amazon, Bezos has studied publishing, media and entertainment, as part of his work on the Kindle. (It will be interesting to see if he has better luck taking a mainstream publishing outlet into the cyber age than others.) And he understands about lobbying in DC thanks to Amazon.com, most notably on the online sales tax issue, but many other issues as well.

While this may be good news for Washington Post readers thanks to Bezos focus on the customer, it remains to be seen how reporters will fare. On the other hand, will Bezos use his position to try and influence coverage of Amazon, as Bostonians are asking of John Henry and the Red Sox?

It's always fun to think about other high-tech/ecommerce heads when one does something remarkable - any thoughts on how other founders or CEOs would run a publishing business?

Let us know your thoughts about Bezos as media mogul, and keep an eye out for Kenneth Corbin's take on the news in tomorrow's newsletter! (Link is now live.)




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Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Aug 5 18:16:01 2013

Shrewd move to further the corporatist agenda.

Not such good news, I think, for the middle class.

I hope Bezos proves me wrong.

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Aug 5 19:22:32 2013

Washington Post goes digital?

The only thing I have to say is that Bezos is willing to look at long term profitability vs short term gain as Amazon demonstrates.

Interesting that Warren Buffet who owns a substantial minority interest didn't make the move.

Maybe Bezos made an error & wanted the Washington Times???

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Aug 5 19:26:58 2013

I guess when a multi millionaire says he is going out to buy a paper...he goes out and buys a paper.

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Aug 5 19:29:26 2013

Another stoopid though.

Maybe you will be able to subscribe on your Kindle & all the ads for the Washington Post will be local - according to the GPS reading.

That way, you can get a larger advertising base to front the costs of running a newspaper.

Maybe all of the K street lobbyists who do subscribe to the Post will be able to advertise directly to the soon-to-be-bought politicians and bureaucrats who read the Post on their Kindles or Ipods, Androgenoids or whatever.

Way too cynical, but have reasons to be so - eh?

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Aug 5 19:30:35 2013

Make that THOUGHT!

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Mon Aug 5 19:30:57 2013

- Stoopid!

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Aug 5 23:38:37 2013

Does anyone read physical newspapers any longer? I cancelled my Los Angeles Times subscription about a decade ago because I was getting all my news from the internet. It will be interesting to see if Jeff puts the online version behind a paywall.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Aug 6 01:26:29 2013

Fine, as long as he allows negative comments on any eBay stories; assuming he will approve the re-publishing of the nonsense that continually flows from the eBay Dept of Spin ...

“Ignorance can be fixed, stupid is forever.”—Don Wood ...
Sorry Donahoe, your condition is forever … http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 6 06:15:05 2013

Geez, ...

The man started off selling books. He pays himself a reasonable salary and was deemed fit enough by ''the shirts'' to keep his own company.

Being customer-centric is NOT a bad thing.

And corporate and government WILL continue their never ending power plays, all the while hoping to convince US to become willing pawns within their delegated out power plays.

I respect Bezos. I can't say the same for most other corporate giants.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 6 07:15:29 2013

Ina, Lets take another look at this story 12 months from now. Would be very interesting.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Aug 6 09:26:49 2013

I still have my New York Times delivered. But it allows me access to the digital version for the same subscription.

I like paging through & being able to scan the whole article instead of constantly scrolling, etc.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 6 10:15:02 2013

Rich boys and thier toys.

It's all about the advertising sharing with amazon and how to charge affiliates for access to local markets.  

Perminate Link for Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate   Amazon CEO Becomes Newspaper Magnate

by: Epins This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 6 18:31:15 2013

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/06/jeff-bezos-is-buyi
ng-the-washington-post-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-sale/
Jeff
Bezos is buying The Washington Post. Here’s what you need to know about the sale.
By Dylan Matthews



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