Is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' move to buy The Washington Post a vanity play or the first real attempt to find the outlets that used to call themselves “newspapers” a viable business model for the 21st Century?
With outlets across the country struggling to survive and many PR agencies changing their own strategies to rely less on media outreach, Bezos' purchase of the landmark newspaper – and the end of eight decades of ownership by the Graham family – will be closely watched.
Here's a roundup of insight from around the web on the groundbreaking media deal:
PRWeek also asked a few digitally savvy communicators to weigh in on the acquisition.
“This move will make the Post even more digitally nimble than it is today. It will further accelerate some of the data-driven programs that [executive producer and senior editor for digital news] Cory Haik and others have built to make the organization more agile. Further, it will enable the Post to, in a few years, become the first paper to shed its print legacy and maybe encourage others to do so.”
-- Steve Rubel, chief content strategist, Edelman
“Once people had a chance to digest the initial shock of the sale itself, it's pretty interesting to see how the analysis has been on what the acquisition means for Bezos, Amazon, or the Washington Post masthead. To me, we've had two venerable papers (Boston Globe) sold to individuals outside the traditional news business in a matter of days. I'm more curious to see if this trend continues, and the effect it will have on how "local" news outlets operate. Maybe this is just what the newspaper industry - an essential component to our information-gathering - needs to survive, and I don't think that's a bad thing at all.”
-- Brendan Lewis, director of corporate communications, Foursquare