Last month, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $US250 million. Last night,
the Post finally published an interview with its new owner.It was the first he’s given anyone since the deal was announced.
In the interview, Bezos revealed his master plan for the paper. It’s pretty basic. Bezos said he’s going to contribute just two things to the Post.
He said his first contribution will bring his “point of view.” Bezos says the reader should come first and Washington Post must be innovative. “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient. If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”
- Bezos said his second contribution will be “runway.” “Runway” means cash — lots of cash. Here’s how the Post phrased it: “[Bezos] also said he provides ‘runway’ — financial support over a lengthy period in which the management can experiment to find a profitable formula for delivering the news.”
Other than those two contributions, Bezos says he plans to “keep his day job” at Amazon, and let the Washington Post’s current management team figure out how to run the paper.
“If we figure out a new golden era at The Post . . . that will be due to the ingenuity and inventiveness and experimentation of the team at The Post,” Bezos said. “I’ll be there with advice from a distance. If we solve that problem, I won’t deserve credit for it.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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