A lot of chatter on the Internet and elsewhere about the surprising, and maybe not so surprising, sell of The Washington Post to the billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. The online tech titian paid a reported $250 million for one of the most respected newspapers in the world. The negotiations reportedly went on for months in secret. The sale has been rumored for a while — but still a jolt to many when the announcement came out in the Post yesterday.
On the surface this may not look like a smart move by Bezos, but it is. Forbes estimates Bezos’ net worth at around $28 billion. So he can afford to take a risk, however, I think Bezos is very in tune with the developing online world. Major Internet companies are expanding and their need for content is growing. Note, Bezos not Amazon bought the 136- year-old Washington Post. Three years ago, Amazon started Amazon Studios to develop its own content like movies, series and comic books. Amazon Studios has a first look deal with Warner Bros. Viewers are drawn to content. Some in the news media have forgotten this. Amazon and Bezos have not.
Over the weekend it came out that the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox franchise, John Henry, had shelled out $70 million for another legendary newspaper, The Boston Globe. Even more than before, attention is now focused on the Los Angeles Times and its community newspapers, which includes The Burbank Leader. It’s no secret, the Tribune Company is shopping for a buyer for those newspapers. More here.