Amazon founder and top dog Jeff Bezos has bought The Washington Post.
And he is reported to be a Libertarian.
That will be an interesting dynamic to say the least. While Bezos supports gay “marriage” and often donates to Democrats, he also donates to Republicans and has fought the “tax the rich” mentality.
Tree based news media is fading fast. In this age of smart phones, tablets, and the instant new cycle, it is easy to see why the Washington Post lost 87% of it’s value over the last decade.
So will this prove to be a smart move, or an investment in the latest version of the buggy whip?
And does Bezos have a plan? Surely his technical expertise will lead to a larger presence online. And as the advertising money shifts from print media to digital media, Bezos will grab a share of that for the online version of the WaPo. He paid a lot of money and the Washington Post is a well known brand. Even online. $250 million is a lot to pay for a domain name, but when you consider that the record is currently sex.com which sold in 2010 for $13 million. And that was only the name, not a newspaper and brick and mortar buildings, not to mention a pretty large distribution network.
So that was probably a pretty good deal, all in all. Even for a business in decline.
Probably the biggest question on everyone’s minds is what changes may come.
Will the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party become pro business? Surely the social leanings will not change.
If anything, the newspaper may become less partisan and reflect a realistic attitude towards fiscal matters.
And the WaPo has been pro union. Amazon has gone to battle against unions in the past and displayed a sound understanding that unions are bad for business and even worse in the public sector.
One thing is certain. Change will be inevitable. And enterprise that has lost 87% of it’s value in a decade simply was not bought to carry on business as usual.
I would suggest that the new WaPo try something unique in the print media world that is in rapid decline – unbiased reporting!
They now have the name, the platform and the attention of the country.
And make no mistake, if they begin to stray too far fro Obama’s liking, the full force of the many punitive departments of the Obama Administration will be at the ready to bring the errant cheerleader for the left back into compliance.
Historically, the government tried to avoid picking a fight with anyone that bought ink by the barrel. But the Obama administration is far more brazen and owns the rest of the rags. So it may come down to quite a battle of wills.
But whatever happens, the Washington Post can’t get any worse.