tweet of the moment:
@davidplotz: No, Slate was not sold to Jeff Bezos. We’re still happily at the WP company. Tho not sure what our parent company’s name is.
The Washington Post lost $34 million last quarter. Can Jeff Bezos turn old media around? The Washington Post has been dying a slow death over the last decade — ever since the internet re-invented the way people received and reported news. With today’s announcement that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will buy the Washington Post, we see that the sinking ship of old media continues to sink hard and fast. Just last week the Boston Globe was sold for $70 million and Newsweek was off-loaded to the International Business Times.
The sale of the Post to Bezos doesn’t include Slate, The Root or Foreign Affairs magazine.
With high overheads, tons of staff, vast offices and other encumbrances in an age of tele-commuting, it’s clear the Washington Post was top-heavy with old ideas once successfully built up by money. Though the Post plans to launch an online TV channel this month, it’s unclear how much revenue it will create. Other than Kaplan, the Post had few valuable revenue streams.
That the Graham family, who’ve owned the Washington Post for four generations, could not keep the Post speaks volumes on the state of old media. In many cases the slow demise of old media brands was linked to old school management who didn’t adjust quickly enough to changing technology.
Jeff Bezos’s net worth is $25 billion and he’s purchasing the Washington Post for $250 million — less than 1% of his fortune, Post writer Ezra Klein wrote today. The Washington Post may in fact be very lucky to have found a tech saavy owner. What that owner will do now to turn around a dying breed is unknown. The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune are also up for sale as well.