Jeff Bezos is now the proud owner of the Washington Post, a brand one could argue is stalled, stuck and stale. To some, it’s an occasion for hand-wringing: What if this filthy-rich business titan dares to insert himself into–gasp–editorial decisions? For others it’s a celebration: At last–someone who has both a vision and a track record sees something worth saving at what was once a venerable American institution.
I tend to fall in the latter camp. From all appearances, Bezos’ and the Post’s editorial leanings are similar; were he to meddle with the newspaper’s positions it would no doubt annoy journalism purists but would likely go unnoticed by readers. There is little doubt, however, that he will bring radical change to the way news is promoted and delivered–first at the Post and soon after throughout the Fourth Estate.
To paraphrase my thoughts in “Newspapers and Creative Destruction” back in 2009, paper is to news as an aluminum can is to Coke—a proven way to deliver the product but not the source of its value:
There will always be a market for news, and newspapers still have core competencies in gathering, reporting and interpreting what’s important to their readers. If they do their job well, they’ll continue to be able to provide the exclusive content for which readers will pay, regardless of whether or not it results in ink-stained fingers. The more the newspaper industry focuses on “news” rather than “paper,” the better off it (and we) will be. That will enable it to embrace evolving distribution opportunities and find new sources of revenue and competitive advantage. Just like every other industry must do.
With Bezos now seated at the head of the table at the Washington Post, we’re going to see real innovation in news distribution. And quickly, I predict. That will be a boon to the citizenry of every city.
Share This Insight
This smart looking guy is our agency’s president. When he’s not sitting in his not-so-oval office looking official, he’s busy writing books and winning awards for them.
Published on September 6th, 2013
Why Walmart Will Still Lose to Amazon
It’s Walmart who is terrified.Read More
The Eyes Have It: Looking Beyond Numbers
The value of today’s accountant is changing and we need to be willing to change too, or risk becoming an obsolete machine.Read More
Secrets of a B2B Marketer Part Three
In a multi-channel marketing world, proving accurate sequential attribution and in-turn ROI by media tactic is unattainable.Read More
Exclusivity Doesn’t Mean a Big Price Tag
The principle of exclusivity is easily understood, but too often brands assume there’s no room in their strategy for an exclusive approach.Read More