When Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos consummated the deal to acquire the Washington Post last August there should have been a cascade of cheers from the newsroom.
No longer bound by the shackles of shareholder expectations thrust upon a public company, the newspaper’s executive management will have more flexibility to invest in the journalists who produce the content. Bezos bought the Post to continue its mission, rather than score a dramatic financial return.
Of course, I find it ironic the source of Bezos’ wealth (online commerce) played a lead role in the slow and painful demise of the traditional publishing business model, which was based on the frothy profits of classified advertising.
So, what can we expect from the Washington Post under Bezos’ ownership?
That was one of the questions posed to publisher Katharine Weymouth in this exclusive Q&A published by the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). Here is a comment from Weymouth I found particularly telling:
Jeff Bezos has a track record of great patience, has proven himself to have a long-term vision and an obsessive focus on the consumer. With his vision and ideas, we will build The Washington Post for generations to come.