Feeds

Amazon founder Bezos snaps up Washington Post

Citizen Kane 2.0 forks out $250 million for loss-making bauble

High performance access to file storage

Along with funding the creation of a clock that will run for 10,000 years, recovering the rockets from the first moon mission, and trying to shake up the commercial space industry, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos today put his dosh into another tricky, long-term enterprise: a print newspaper.

The $250m cash acquisition for The Washington Post, affiliated publications, and some 2,000 employees was announced on Monday, and represents a massive bargain when compared with the $1bn Facebook paid for photo-spaffing app Instagram and its staff of 13 young employees.

The deal sees Bezos himself – not Amazon – putting his dosh into the troubled publication group. The Washington Post Company's newspaper division has had a 44 percent decline in revenue in the past six years and lost $39m in 2012, according to a WaPo article on the buy.

"I don't want to imply that I have a worked-out plan," Bezos said. "This will be uncharted terrain and it will require experimentation."

No layoffs are "contemplated," and Katharine Weymouth will remain as publisher and chief executive, and exec editor Martin Baron will continue on as well.

Taking on a loss-making business will be familiar to Bezos: Amazon lost $7m in its most recent quarter, and expects to lose far more next time around. Investors aren't troubled because there's evidence that all the money that could be realized as profits is instead being poured back into the business to fund future expansion.

But e-retail and print media are very different businesses, and where one is an immature market that rewards Davids that want to be Goliaths, the other is a mature ecosystem in which all the giants are growing old and ceding ground to younger, leaner competitors – like online-only El Reg, for example.

The sale did not involve Slate.com, Root.com, or Foreign Policy magazine, but did involve several regional newspapers, the Robinsomn Terminal production plant, and the Comprint printing operation, alongside The Washington Post.

"There will of course be change at The Post over the coming years," Bezos said in a letter addressed to the newspaper's employees. That's essential and would have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs." ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.