By Hannah Johnson
Social media networks exploded with comments, retweets and shares when the news broke on Monday afternoon that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will buy The Washington Post for $250 million.
Bezos himself will be the owner of the newspaper after the deal is finalized, which will be in 60 days or less, reports The Post. The report also reveals that the name of the paper will change at some point in the future, though no decisions have been made.
In light of the 44% drop in revenue over the past six years, David Graham, CEO of The Post Co., appears upbeat about the newspaper’s future under Bezos:
“The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. But we wanted to do more than survive. I’m not saying this guarantees success, but it gives us a much greater chance of success.”
In a letter to staff at The Post, Bezos wrote:
“There will of course be change at The Post over the coming years. 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. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about — government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports — and working backwards from there. I’m excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention.”
Minutes after the news broke on The Washington Post, Twitter exploded. Reactions ranged from disbelief to predictions about the future of the newspaper, and of course, a little Amazon humor.
So far Bezos has been excellent for Wash Post traffic. If current trends continue, the entire internet will be reading us by November
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) August 5, 2013
There's no finer boss or steward of good journalism than Don Graham. It was very emotional for staff to hear his & Katharine's speeches.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) August 5, 2013
Jeff Bezos told me (when I was Daily Mirror Ed) 12 years ago we'd all be reading newspapers off tablets 'within a decade'. I mocked him…
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 5, 2013
Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post. News to be delivered within 3-5 days.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) August 5, 2013
I kid you not: I have six e-mails in my inbox with the subject line, "Holy shit."
— Jim Brady (@jimbradysp) August 5, 2013
Good news for newspapers looking for an exit: they are now the 'must haves' of successful SV entrepreneurs
— emily bell (@emilybell) August 5, 2013
UNCONFIRMED: Bezos bought WP with 1-Click.
— Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) August 5, 2013
Excellent point. RT @pkafka: Wouldn't expect instant Amazonian overhaul at WaPo. One reason: Unionized staff.
— Sarah Weinman (@sarahw) August 5, 2013
Because it all turned out fine when Lex Luthor bought the Daily Planet, right? http://t.co/tLNQodFLyv
— Edward Champion (@drmabuse) August 5, 2013
Did the Internet just go from killing the newspaper business to rescuing it? http://t.co/QAhGvlQkUS
— Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT) August 5, 2013
Will my Amazon Prime membership give me a WaPo sub now?
— Lucas Wittmann (@bookbeast) August 5, 2013
So who else thinks Jeff Bezos drunk-purchased the Washington Post from Amazon at 3:30 in the morning?
— Jason Pinter (@jasonpinter) August 5, 2013