Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lifeline or tidal wave? Newspapers hold their breath to see what Jeff Bezos will do…

Many years ago, shortly after the development of a quirky little thing called the internet, many of us heard friends talking about a company that was selling books on—of all things—the computer! Obviously, it was just some college kid trying out a wacky idea.

Fifty billion dollars of personal wealth later, Jeff Bezos can rest comfortably in the knowledge that he proved tens of thousands of us wrong. His company Amazon has forever changed the face of retail, not just in the U.S. but around the world.

Last week, news came out that Mr. Bezos (not Amazon) had paid four times more than current market value for the Washington Post, one of the most well-known and influential newspapers in the world. Of course, there are a few who say he bought a pig in a poke, that he just threw two hundred and fifty million dollars at a company well on its way to being swamped by a dying industry.

But then there are the rest of us, those who remember just how WRONG we were about that in-the-computer niche business that went on to become a worldwide marketing phenomenon. And, so, all eyes are glued to the staid old news company that could become…well, no one knows.

What we do know is that the Washington Post transaction will not officially close for another few weeks. While we wait, the journalistic world is holding its universal breath, one simple question on every mind.

Will a likely Jeff Bezos success be replicable, or will history replay itself and see all his competitors washed away?


  1. He obviously has a plan and only he knows what bold moves will follow. I believe he will revolutionize how news is produced. It will be interesting to watch. You know those folks at the New York Times are quivering right now.

  2. Jeff, I suspect the entire news industry is poised on a precipice of fear and anticipation. Thanks for popping by :-)

  3. I think he bought it for its name. He is probaby going to turn it into a marketing machine. 'Washington Post Best Buys' or something like that.

    1. Onelovespace, I suppose on some level all newspapers are marketing machines. It makes sense, then, that Jeff might simply be pushing that machine into the new digital age. Astute observation! Thanks for stopping by :-)


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