For decades, Jeff Bezos has been synonymous with internet retail giant Amazon. But for the past decade, he’s been associated with another prominent business: The Washington Post.
Bezos purchased The Post in 2013 for a cool $250 million, but in the ensuing years, the newspaper has lagged farther and farther behind its rivals. After reaching peak digital subscriptions around the 2020 election, it has now fallen to 2.5 million. But that’s not all: two people with knowledge of the company’s finances estimate that The Post will lose $100 million this year.
In light of the economic woes, Bezos has taken more of an active role in the newspaper. In January, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee gave Bezos an urgent message. She reported that The Post’s employees were struggling with low morale, much of which she attributed to the paper’s Chief Business Executive, Fred Ryan.
Buzbee’s relationship with Ryan was strained, to say the least. Several people knowledgeable of the situation say Ryan had accused the Buzbee’s top deputy, Cameron Barr, of providing information to the media. Ryan had allegedly gone so far as to try to forcibly remove Barr.
However, in recent weeks, Ryan has been relieved of his duties. Many employees saw it as a victory for Buzbee, and the newsroom’s morale has been lifted in the wake of Ryan’s departure, regardless of who’s replacing him.
The Post continues to strive for “high quality journalism.” In May, it won two Pulitzer Prizes, and one of the reporters, Caroline Kitchener, received a General Nonfiction Award. Kitchener was honored for her coverage of the complex consequences of life after Roe v. Wade and for her story about a Texas teenager denied an abortion.
However, the accolades may not mean much for The Post’s bank account. Even with the high praise and top-notch reporting, the news outlet continues to struggle economically, with its future more uncertain than ever. Many have questioned whether Bezos’ business acumen and innovation will be enough to save the beloved newspaper, which has been trying to remain afloat while its peers also strive to stay competitive.
The Bezos-owned Washington Post has been through a trying year. After being purchased for $250 million, the newspaper has experienced losses and recently saw its chief business executive ousted. The Post continues to strive for quality journalism and recently won two Pulitzers for its reporting. But with a bleak future, it remains to be seen if Bezos’ active involvement can save The Post from its financial woes.