Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to buy The Washington Post: Reactions to the news

August 5, 2013

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post. You may have heard.

The news sent “#wapo” onto Twitter’s list of trending topics in the Washington area, and “Jeff Bezos” onto the list of national trending topics.

There was a lot of confusion about what, exactly, the deal entails . To be clear, Amazon is not buying The Washington Post. The buyer is Bezos himself. Secondly, the flagship newspaper, the Express newspaper and several local weeklies are being sold. That does not include Slate, The Root, Foreign Policy or separate businesses such as SocialCode, Classified Ventures or WaPo Labs — which should be getting a new name, as will The Washington Post Company itself.

Reactions to the news have been swift, with many asking if Bezos knows what he’s doing getting into the newspaper business.

OH in the newsroom: "Bezos mis-used one-click. He meant to get a subscription and instead bought the paper." #wapo

— Kate Myers (@NPRKate) August 5, 2013

This also comes after the New York Times’ recent announcement that it would sell the Boston Globe.

.@Slate @ezraklein Coming on the heels of the Boston Globe's sale to another ultra-wealthy guy--will this be what saves newspapers?

— annearfannearf (@annearfannearf) August 5, 2013

Post alumni and others in local and national media weighed in on the news, many with praise for the Graham family, which has led the company for decades.

Stunned by Jeff Bezos buying WashPost. He is a brilliant entrepreneur, but sad day for Don Graham and his wonderful family

— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) August 5, 2013

Last time I was this stunned was when I woke up as an AOL employee to find out that AOL had bought Time Warner. I am more stunned today.

— Jim Brady (@jimbradysp) August 5, 2013

And several people noted that Bezos is a business leader who’s proven he’s willing to make long-term investments and isn’t afraid of running a business at a loss.

That's great news for The Post though. If anyone is willing pump money into a company as profits dive, it's Jeff Bezos.

— MG Siegler (@parislemon) August 5, 2013

Meanwhile, while articles and reactions from within The Post continue to pour in, my colleague, Outlook editor Carlos Lozada, took to his Twitter feed to remind his followers of another Washington Post transition, when Donald Graham took over as publisher from his mother, Katharine Graham by combing through the famous publisher’s memoir, “Personal History”:

"Though I had always known Don would one day become publisher, what I hadn't foreseen is that it would be so hard for me to give it up." -KG

— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) August 5, 2013

"My mother has given me everything but an easy act to follow." --Don Graham, 1979, accepting the Post publisher title ("Personal History")

— Carlos Lozada (@CarlosLozadaWP) August 5, 2013

Related stories:

Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos

For our readers: Katharine Weymouth letter to Post readers

Jeff Bezos on Post purchase

Follow The Post’s new tech blog, The Switch, where technology and policy connect.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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