In an interview with the paper he purchased, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told the Washington Post that he wants to lead it into a new "golden era," and that he bought it so that he could help it "experiment."
Bezos stunned the journalism world when he purchased the Post from its longtime owners, the Grahams, for $250 million in August. The move led some to express their hope that Bezos would be the kind of deep-pocketed, publicly minded owner who could lead the troubled paper out of its shaky financial situation, and others to wonder whether his temperament, conflicts of interest and business practices were the right fit for such an institution.
Mostly, though, people have been curious about just what Bezos intends to do with the Post. In an interview with the paper's Paul Farhi which was published on Monday night, he gave little away:
"We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient," he said. "If you replace 'customer' with 'reader,' that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.
...If we figure out a new golden era at The Post . . . that will be due to the ingenuity and inventiveness and experimentation of the team at The Post," he said. "I'll be there with advice from a distance. If we solve that problem, I won't deserve credit for it."
Bezos added that he thought he would be good for the paper because he could "offer runway and some skill in technology and the Internet and a point of view about long-term thinking, reader focus and the willingness to experiment."
Bezos is due to visit the Post for the first time on Tuesday.
Read the full interview here.
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