Another Consideration, Jeff Bezos And The Post
Not knowing Jeff’s plans it would seem that he has gotten the very short end of the deal in his recent purchase of the Washington Post. The NYTimes sold its Boston paper that it paid a billion for twenty years ago, two billion in today’s dollars, for 70 million. 3 ½ %. The post is failing at all financial points, sales dropping, ad revenues falling fast and losses climbing radically. If I read thing right the paper will post a loss of a hundred million this calendar year.
Jeff may have a plan but my query is, who would pay nearly a half billion dollars for a clearly failing paper and then take losses of a hundred million a year, at least, for three years or more while he’s turning the paper around.. Seventy million would be more than enough, the paper’s legitimate price might be 0. A dollar.
Yet Jeff ponied up the asking price without so much as a demur. There’s something wrong here, isn’t there?
Jeff knows nothing about running a newspaper, he’s not newspaperman else why would he pledge to keep the staff that run the paper into the ground? Why did the Grahams? Cronyism? He may have a plan, and good one, but if he does it still may take him another half billion before he turns a profit.
His flagship Amazon.com is running a loss for the year. Jeff is mockingly referred to as one who foregoes short term profits for long term market penetration. Perhaps his investors are getting teed off. After all Jeff poured billions of their dollars into developing Amazon while ten years later they have seen almost no returns. Were the Grahams big investors and is this how they’re getting some of their money back? After ten years of no returns those billions are the same as lost dollars with no redemption in sight, although the stock is back over 300 a share.
Jeff himself lists his assets at several billions although a large part of that is probably Amazon stock hence, for him, illiquid.
So perhaps Jeff supinely bought the Post at asking price so that the Grahams recover some of their investment. I don’t know, just speculation. Perhaps Jeff is being taught an object lesson and this is just the beginning of restitution by any means necessary.
Get yourself some objective journalists and take the paper national Jeff and make your coverage objective and trustworthy unlike the former owners who obviously enjoyed losing hundreds of millions. You might be able to teach your creditors an object lesson and make hundreds of millions a year rather than losing them. Go for it.