For those of us who are wondering how The Washington Post’s new publisher, William Lewis, plans to revive Jeff Bezos’ sagging paper, he provided a few hints over the weekend at Davos. He talked about doing more to surface Post journalism that tends to be buried under the paper’s investigative reporting and voluminous coverage of politics. Specific areas he identified are “climate, well-being and sports,” according to Semafor (scroll down to “The Post’s Smorgasbord.”)
Climate makes sense because the Post has made it a real priority, and it may be one of the few areas in which the paper can distinguish itself from The New York Times, although the Times’ climate coverage is excellent as well. Well-being? Does Lewis really want to compete with the Times’ Well section? As for sports, maybe Lewis sees an opportunity given that the Times has offloaded its sports coverage to its subsidiary The Athletic and that Sports Illustrated may be on the verge of going under. Here’s a thought: Why not acquire SI and run it as a Post vertical?
Lewis also talked about dynamic pricing for subscriptions. I have no idea what that means except that it generally refers to charging some people more than others.
The overall strategy, as Semafor describes it, is to “focus on improving the packaging of the Washington Post’s existing journalism, rather than expensive new initiatives.” No surprise — the money-losing paper is unlikely to go on a hiring spree right after cutting 240 jobs. And it still has one of the largest newsrooms in the country.