Media Navel Gaze: August 12, 2013
The Week Unpeeled
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post last week for $250 million, a surprise to many including The New York Times, which had just published a big feature on the paper’s publisher, Katharine Weymouth, who remains as publisher and whose family has owned the paper for eight decades. The Post had served as advisor to Amazon on designing the Kindle so Bezos was no stranger to management (and now being called a press baron – FT). No surprise though for all the media-covering-the-media coverage and stories of storied publishing families who have relinquished control: Chandlers of the LA Times and Bancrofts of The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, The New York Times was quick to announce that it is not for sale, even though it did sell The Boston Globe to the owner of the Red Sox, highlighting newspaper ownership today is really a who’s-on-first game. Interesting graphic in The Times over the weekend showing the value of recent sales with Tumblr dwarfing others at $1.1 billion.
- On the online news front, AOL announced that it was closing or finding partners for 400 out of its 900 Patch news sites, following in the footsteps of many major news outlets in saying the local online news model does not work;
- The London whale, the ex JP Morgan trader who was tied to billions of losses for the bank, resurfaced amid reports that he will likely not face charges;
- The bank also found itself as a target of Justice Department probe;
- Amid expectations for big withdrawals, SAC Capital reportedly may also be announcing layoffs sometime soon; and
- The Dow ended its six-week winning streak to close down 1.5 percent for the week at 15,425 (although still up 18 percent for the year).