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Sunday, July 02, 2017

Washington Post desperate for revenue

Jeff Bezos of Amazon purchased the Washington Post as a tax write-off and hedge against congressional action against Amazon.

But the Washingtonian reported on a directive to staffers that makes me wonder how much money Bezos is willing to sink into the Old Lady.

Like a small-town weekly, Bezos and his executives have told the peasants who work at the Post to lay off friends (a staple of American newspapers since Publick Occurrences debuted in Boston on September 25, 1690) and to lay off advertisers (a staple of failing newspapers).

The latter is the red flag of discouragement for the staff, as it reflects worries about revenues.

Reporters expect the newspaper not to make a big deal about the DUI of the 16-year-old son of a friendly politician.

But when advertisers are placed off limits that may mean the publisher is in trouble.

Given that Craigslist gutted classified ads (a major revenue source), the recession killed car dealership, and Walmart and Amazon are killing retailers, the revenue streams are drying up. Google's domination online means newspapers are not going to make up for lost revenues online.

Especially if they put up a pay wall.

From the Washingtonian:
A new social-media policy at the Washington Post prohibits conduct on social media that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” In such cases, Post management reserves the right to take disciplinary action “up to and including termination of employment.”
The Post‘s Guild sent out a bulletin Sunday night protesting the policy. “If you’re like most of us, you probably acknowledged its receipt without reading it,” says the note, which was written by Guild co-chair Fredrick Kunkle. “But what you don’t know could hurt you.”
It's not about free speech, guys.

It's about keeping a business afloat.

Bezos is not as sugary a daddy as I thought.

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  1. "Jeff Bezos of Amazon purchased the Washington Post as a tax write-off and hedge".

    Hedge? Bocage for Trump, more like. Didn't count on The Donald's Rhino Tank approach, did they?

  2. It's STILL a pretty danged good way to a tax write-off--just as WKRP was for Mrs. Carlson.

  3. Bezos may be worried about antitrust and inhibitions on his ambitions while his competitors are encouraged.

  4. This idiot shops are bottomless pits. Bezos bought the ComPost to influence US policy for his business and especially to influence the 2016 election to his advantage but it didn't work out. The prospects of influencing policy now is even less than it was in 2016 and he is looking at 4 to 8 years of keeping a bottomless pit of expenses afloat for nothin'. Carlos Slim did the same thing with investing in the NYT and accomplished nothing also. Sunk costs with years of more sunk costs ahead thus the economizing until they sell out or it collapses.

    1. Couldn't happen to a nicer pair of guys, no-sirree-Bob!

  5. A pay wall for the Washington Post won't work. Right wingers won't pay to be lied to and Leftists never spend their own money.

    1. Speaking of paywalls- how's that working for the WSJ? (Which always struck me as having a bad case of schitzophrenia- some of it right wing, but most of it left.)

      I used to read that rag fairly often, until it vanished behind a paywall. Since then, hardly ever. Has their policy paid off?

  6. "Washington Post desperate for revenue"

    Ain't nothin' lower than a revenooer.

  7. WaPo's advertising tagline is, or at least used to be, "If you don't get it, you don't get it." Snob Appeal, much? Well, boys, get used to the media recession, and don't say we didn't warn ya. We get it. You turned into a clown show completely worthy of Trump's mocking, brilliant tweet yesterday. Time to cue up Zep's Nobody's Fault But Mine. Sing it, JoeMika!

  8. I never seek WP articles but often links to them are on Drudge or Lucianne. If there were several you get a flag saying you must pay to read more articles.By opening the incognito window on the browser you bet by this. Thake that Bezo