Monday, August 05, 2013

Not Quite As Free Paper

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. Amazon is notoriously uninterested in short-term profitability, so he should feel right at home in the newspaper business.

Bezos has no ties to Washington, D.C. and the very first thing he told Post employees in a letter was that he had no intention of living there. He has been relatively inactive politically for a billionaire, so if he's buying the Post for the eons-old rich person purpose of having a platform from which to shoot off his mouth, whatever projectiles are emanated will come as a surprise at first.

Or it could be that Bezos found the financial logic of the purchase appealing. Maybe he, like Henry, feels that if one buys low, the chances of eventually selling high improve considerably. These guys are good at business, and they're calling a bottom to the so-far bottomless pit of newspaper finance in the 21st century.

They could be wrong. But their opinions are worth considering.


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