Sam Zell: Bezos Will Find Out He Doesn't Really 'Own' Washington Post

Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 05:24 PM

By Greg Richter

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Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos may have paid the Graham family $250 million for The Washington Post, but he'll soon find he doesn't actually "own" it, says someone who's been there before.

Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell bought the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times in 2007, but his attempts to make the struggling media companies profitable did not sit well with the newsroom, Zell tells Fox Business Network.

Newspaper people think they are doing God's work, Zell told host Neil Cavuto. And, "if you're doing God's work, you should get a pass on economic reality."

Zell promised to have no editorial involvement when he bought the papers. He ended up being lambasted as a "bean counter" in his own publications.

Zell mentioned the old maxim of not fighting with anyone who buys his ink by the barrel.

"You owned the barrel," Cavuto insisted.

"That's what I thought. That's what Jeff Bezos thinks," Zell said. "What I found out, and what he's going to find out is, he doesn't own the paper."

When his papers said nasty things about him, Zell said he "laid there like a bear. What are you going to do?"



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