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Showing posts from August, 2013

What the Washington Post and Boston Globe Sales Tell Us About the New Breed of Owners

The sales of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos and the Boston Globe to John Henry raise the question why people would want to own newspapers if they aren’t doing so for obvious financial gain. There are clearly people who want to own papers for political purposes so they can directly influence debate and policy.This is certainly the case for the ultra-conservative Koch brothers, who have been trying to buy the Los Angeles Times this past year. But Bezos and Henry don't seem to fit that mold. Bezos’ purposes for buying the Post are not the pursuit of profit. He certainly would produce better returns putting more effort into Amazon or another commercial firm. John Henry can expect far more returns from effort in his investment firm or his sports empire than the Globe. So why are they buying legacy media?  The answers lie in human traits.All of us need diversions. We need toys to play with; things to spark our interest and imaginations.  Bezos can clearly bring ideas and expertise gained…