News / USA

Bezos to Washington Post: 'Don't Be Boring'

FILE - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Santa Monica, California, Sept. 6, 2012.
FILE - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Santa Monica, California, Sept. 6, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
Jeff Bezos, the soon-to-be owner of The Washington Post, does not plan to cut his way to profitability and says the only path to success is growth, according to an account in The Washington Post on Wednesday.
 
The Amazon.com chief executive is visiting the newspaper for the first time this week since he agreed to purchase the Washington Post Co. newspaper unit for $250 million on Aug 5.
 
Bezos has offered few clues to what he has in store for the storied flagship paper famed for its coverage of the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
 
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Bezos had a series of meetings with employees, including reporters and editors.
 
“All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you're Woolworth's,” Bezos said, according to a report in the newspaper, which has covered his visit extensively.
 
“The number one rule has to be: Don't Be Boring.”
 
Bezos cited two problems that newspapers face. One is the fact that websites such as the Huffington Post can re-write an article that takes a newspaper months to complete “in 17 minutes,” and what he described as a “debundling” problem, with readers going to a website for only one story - as opposed to buying an entire paper.
 
“We can't have people swooping in to read one article,” Bezos said. “What you can't do is go for the lowest common denominator, because then what you have is mediocrity.”
 
Over the past decade, newspapers have been saddled with numerous problems brought on by the Internet. Advertisers have fled the print product, taking with them lucrative dollars once used to staff newsrooms, which have endured numerous cuts. At the same time, online advertising is nowhere close to making up the difference of lost print ads that command much higher prices.
 
Bezos said he was confident that the Washington Post can transform itself, just as Amazon did when it started out as a book seller and transitioned to embrace e-books.
 
It is now the world's largest online retailer.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid