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What Will A Bezos-Owned Washington Post Look Like? (WPO)

What Will A Bezos-Owned Washington Post Look Like? WPO
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Now that Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has announced his intent to purchase a portion of The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) for $250 million, a couple of questions come to mind.

Related: Jeffrey P. Bezos to Purchase The Washington Post

First, what does this all mean for Amazon? Since Bezos made the deal with his own money, technically it doesn’t affect Amazon.

The second and more important question is “What does this all mean for The Washington Post?”

According to Bezos, in an interview with German newspaper Berliner-Zeitung in 2012, and reported by Gizmodo, the paper part of the newspaper just might be history.

In the interview, Bezos said, “There is one thing I’m certain about: there won’t be printed newspapers in 20 years. Maybe as luxury items in some hotels that want to offer them as an extravagant service. Printed papers won’t be normal in 20 years.”

For those who believe print journalism means printed on paper, Bezos’ prediction probably seemed bleak. On the other hand, as Gizmodo pointed out, 20 years is a long time.

Bezo didn’t just predict the end of paper last year. He also addressed newspaper paywalls on their online sites and, unlike many of his “soon to be peers” in publishing, Bezos said he wasn’t a fan.

Related: Independent Poll of Publishing Executives Trumpets the Benefits of Metered Paywalls

Bezo also noted that the future of newspapers would be tablets.

According to Forbes, Bezos said, “I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change.” He added, “Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”

Washington Post Chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham seemed to be in a positive mood, telling Forbes that Bezos’ “proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach, and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

According to Monday’s press release by The Washington Post, the leadership team of the newspaper, including CEO/publisher Katharine Weymouth, president and general manager Stephen Hills, executive editor Martin Baron, and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt — would all keep their jobs.

One change was announced and reported by CNNMoney. The name of the company will no longer be The Washington Post Co. What it will be has not yet been announced.

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Posted-In: Inc. Berliner-Zeitung Donald E. Graham Fred Hiatt Jeff BezosNews M&A Media Best of Benzinga


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