Amazon Owner Purchases Washington Post

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Amazon Owner Purchases Washington Post

And another newspaper sort of bites the dust, well, I doubt it will be like it was. Amazon owner Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most well known newspapers.

Bezos bought the paper from the Graham family, who ran the news leading media conglomerate for generations, for $250 million in cash. Bezos himself will own and run the Post; Amazon will have nothing to do with it. During the Grahams’ leadership, the Washington Post has been the leader in informing us about major national events, such as the Vietnam War, Watergate, Jonestown, 9/11 and most recently, the NSA surveillance unfolding.

But in the last 10 years or so, the Internet, smartphones and social media have made the good old American newspaper almost obsolete. Not even one of America’s most respected newspapers could escape this dilemma. That’s what led to their financial crisis.  One article predicts that in 20 years, the newspaper will be dead. Nevertheless, when David Graham made the announcement to his staff, many were in shock, some even wept.

So why Bezos?  The Grahams and Jeff Bezos had been friends for years. Bezos is a great entrepreneur. For example, Bezos started Amazon in his basement on a $300,000 loan from his parents. Now Amazon is worth over $25 billion dollars. Bezos also owns a piece of Pets.com. Since 2004, Amazon’s stock has quadrupled. In 2012, Fortune named him Businessperson of the Year. He’s also looking to start  a feature film production. I think these are good qualities for running a news entity like Washington Posts. Plus, you can see the respect Bezos has for the medium when he says, “The values of the Post do not need changing.” Though Amazon will have nothing to do with the purchase, I can see Bezos using Kindle and other Amazon products to boost Post revenue. Do you think Bezos and Washington Post is a good combination?

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