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“The very word newspaper is confining. Newspapers that think they are in the newspaper business will fail. They are in the entertainment and information business. All involved should welcome Jeff. I am certain he will bring new ideas on which we can all build to an exciting future. Amazon has taught him the enduring value of great content, and he saw an opportunity to acquire some and took it.”
-Bill Raduchel, technology veteran and consultant to the Daily Mail and General Trust PLC, one of the largest media conglomerates in the United Kingdom
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“I am a huge fan of The Post. I still receive the daily paper delivered to my home. But the economics of publishing certainly no longer make sense with the current model. Jeff Bezos has demonstrated innovative thinking … and, perhaps more importantly, action. It’s time to try something new and hopefully he will be the guy who can implement the changes necessary for The Post to flourish for the next 100 years. ”
-Early-stage investor Cal Simmons, whose portfolio includes Parature, burger chain Five Guys and hospitality site Five Star Alliance
In other news ...
The largest piece of art in any of Marriott International’s 3,880 properties worldwide is now being installed in the Washington Marriott Marquis, the 1,175-room hotel that opens next May across from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington. The first phase of the installation — it’s that big! — was dropped by crane into the atrium of the hotel a few days ago, where it will be bolted into the ground. The “Birth of the American Flag,” as the sculpture is called, was made by Baltimore artist Rodney Carroll, with input from J.W. “Bill” Marriott Jr., chairman of the Bethesda-based hospitality company. The giant sculpture is 56 feet high and weighs 27,000 pounds — more than 13 tons — and is by far the artist’s largest project. The installation is being done in phases and finishes later this month. This is Carroll’s first commission for Marriott, and includes other artwork for the hotel. The sculptor perforated the steel at the base of the artwork to create a “star” effect of the original 13 colonies. The steel bands have been curved to make it look like the “flag” is waving in a breeze.
Factoid of the Week
$3.2BThat’s the value of The Washington Post Co.-owned Cable One cable company. The Washington Post Co.’s decision to sell its flagship newspaper for $250 million means the corporate parent keeps its far more valuable assets, including education, cable TV and broadcast television units, in a publicly held firm that will be renamed after the sale to Jeff Bezos closes later this quarter. The estimate is based on Cable One’s recent subscriber estimates and using the average private market value per subscriber of $5,550, which is in line with what the larger deals have fetched so far this year, according to Kagan media analyst Justin Nielson.