I Know How to Save The Washington Post! Find a New Billionaire Owner Who Doesn’t Care If the Paper is Losing Money!

I know how to save The Washington Post! Just have Jeff Bezos, net worth $196 billion as of June 4, 2024, owner of the newspaper, give it to MacKenzie Scott, net worth $33.3 billion as of June 4, 2024, Mr Bezos’ ex-wife and a noted philanthropist who has no problem in giving away her money. Just a straight-up reassignment! Mr Bezos stops losing $77 to $100 million a year on the Post, and Miss Scott, with five times as much money as Patrick Soon-Shiong, net worth $6.3 billion as of June 4, 2024, and who is finding the Los Angeles Times’ losses too much to bear, can easily handle losing money, because she doesn’t seem to care if she makes money or not.

“I Can’t Sugarcoat It Anymore”: Will Lewis Bluntly Defends Washington Post Shake-Up

Addressing a rattled newsroom in the wake of Sally Buzbee’s resignation, the Post’s CEO and publisher stressed the need for taking “decisive, urgent action to set us on a different path.”

by Charlotte Klein | Monday, June 3, 2024

When Washington Post publisher Will Lewis and new interim executive editor Matt Murray met with staff Monday, the newsroom was still coming to terms with the abrupt exit of Sally Buzbee, who had led the paper since May 2021.

“Everyone was pretty shocked with your email last night,” one reporter said at the meeting, according to a source present. The reporter suggested that “the most cynical interpretation sort of feels like you chose two of your buddies to come in and help run the Post, and we now have four white men running three newsrooms,” and expressed surprise at this development given Lewis’s prior commitments to diversity.

When you are losing $77 million a year, ‘diversity’ doesn’t seem to count all that much. Mr Bezos, who bought the Post for $250 million in 2013, which had “been unable to escape the financial turmoil that has engulfed newspapers and other ‘legacy’ media organizations,” — the Post’s genteel way of saying that the newspaper had been losing money — and The New York Times noted last year that the billionaire is now taking more direct oversight and wants the Post to actually make money.

Murray, who previously led The Wall Street Journal, will replace Buzbee as executive editor through the presidential election, at which point, Robert Winnett, a veteran of the UK’s Telegraph Media Group, will take on the new role of editor. Murray will move over to a new division of the paper that Lewis referred to as its “third newsroom” — Opinions being the second — which will focus on “service and social media journalism” and run separately from the core news operation.

Am I the only one who thinks that perhaps, just perhaps, “Opinions” being the “second newsroom” is a significant part of the problem? A screen capture from the Post’s online home page taken at 1:30 PM EDT, which you can click on to enlarge, shows seven different opinion columns this Tuesday afternoon, seven different pundits telling readers just what they think. How much is Jennifer Rubin being paid? How many dollars of that $77 million loss comes from paying Dana Milbank?

Lewis explained to staff that the news “began to leak out, which is why we had to scramble last night.” Indeed, I’ve learned that The New York Times was chasing a story on Buzbee’s potential resignation, and the Post didn’t want to get scooped. Hence the 8:40 p.m. staff memo from Lewis announcing that Buzbee would be stepping down. Senior editors close to Buzbee didn’t know this news was coming, according to two sources familiar with the situation. “We found out on a Sunday evening in an email. That’s not how well-functioning companies announce major personnel news,” one staffer told me. “What the fuck—that’s how I feel right now.” (The Times got their story up before the Post, as Playbook pointed out on Monday morning.)

I admit to being wryly amused that the Times scooped the Post on a story about the internal workings of the Post. So, who squealed? 🙂

After a point about Mr Lewis being asked about ‘diversity’ in the hiring process, we get to this:

At one point Lewis was asked whether he was intentionally bringing in people who come from a different culture than the Post. “We are losing large amounts of money. Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff. I can’t sugarcoat it anymore,” Lewis said. “So I’ve had to take decisive, urgent action to set us on a different path, sourcing talent that I have worked with that are the best of the best.”

“Your audience has halved in recent years. People are not reading your stuff.” Thud! That’s putting the harsh light of truth on the hoitiest and the toitiest of the journalists in the United States. Whatever they are doing isn’t being seen by enough Americans to be worth enough to pay for it. Though the socialist left and the #woke are appalled, people still have to produce something that other people will buy to get paid for it.

A “third newsroom,” “which will focus on “service and social media journalism”? Is Taylor Lorenz really bringing in that many subscriptions to the Post, or just a few subscriptions to her substack

The truth is simple: television is out there, the internet is out there, and people are already paying for television service and internet access. It takes an idiot like me to also be paying newspaper subscriptions, because I much prefer to read the news than watch it on television, and I grew up with newspapers. But I’m 71 years old, and the generations which grew up with the dead trees editions of newspapers are slowly going to their eternal rewards. Print newspapers need billionaires to buy them up, but billionaires who are willing to bear the financial losses until someone can figure out a way to get people to pay for stuff that’s already free.
¹ – Humorously enough, Miss Lorenz, who blocks hundreds of people, including me, from seeing her tweets, complained that Elon Musk suspended her from Twitter.
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