WashPost Editor: Amazon's Bezos Involved, Investing in Paper

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:14 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Billionaire Jeff Bezos, the liberal-leaning Amazon founder who recently bought The Washington Post, speaks to the newspaper’s executive editor Martin Baron on a regular basis, according to the New York Post.

However, during an Internet Week discussion in New York on the Future of Media panel sponsored by the I Want Media website, Baron said that although his phone calls with Bezos are "pretty constant …it is not as if he is running the business day to day."

Baron added, "He’s been good, he’s investing in us. He’s talked about giving us runway to try new things, and he’s giving us runway."

The Washington, D.C., paper, which Bezos bought last year for $250 million, plans to extend its staff of 650 journalists, mostly in the digital area, Baron said.

Bezos, who lives in Seattle, will likely keep the paper in sync with its fabled liberal editorial bent if the tech entrepreneur's history of political activity is any indication, according to reports.

While Bezos has made an estimated $25 billion at Amazon.com, he has kept a relatively low political profile. But records show that the savvy businessman also leans decidedly liberal and Democratic in his politics.

The New York Post’s media reporter Keith Kelly says Baron and Bezos have phone discussions "every one or two weeks," while they also meet face to face, either in Washington or in Seattle, "once every two or three months."

Kelly noted that Baron did not respond to questions about the reasons behind Bezos buying the paper from the Graham family.

But Baron fueled fears that newspapers are dying by saying that they "will be a much smaller part of the media ecosystem" in the future, and that mobile will play an increasingly larger role.

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