By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

An insightful Times report on Jeff Bezos, Will Lewis and The Washington Post

Portrait of Jeff Bezos (cc) 2017 by thierry ehrmann

Some worthwhile insights in this New York Times story (free link) on Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post. According to Times reporters Benjamin Mullin and Katie Robertson, interim publisher Patty Stonesifer last fall did a thorough scrub of Will Lewis’ involvement in the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal and, according to an anonymous source, “came away satisfied with his explanation and confident that he was the right executive to run The Post.”

Lewis’ miserable attempts to manage the fallout from that scandal, which include reports that he tried to intimidate then-executive editor Sally Buzbee from reporting on it in the Post and that he told NPR media reporter David Folkenflik he could have an interview if he’d agree not to write about it, were apparently not enough to overcome Bezos’ belief that Lewis could be an effective publisher.

Bezos seems especially intrigued by Lewis’ proposal to create a “third newsroom” to include social media and new products, and the Times reports that Bezos pressed Buzbee to accept Lewis’ offer of running that shop. Buzbee declined and left the paper.

I’m intrigued by the third newsroom as well, since the Post desperately needs to find a strategy that involves more than being just like the Times only not as comprehensive. I still wonder if Lewis can overcome his self-inflicted wounds, but he has reportedly adopted a more contrite attitude in dealings with his employees. So we’ll see.

Earlier coverage.

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1 Comment

  1. jeanfromcalifornia

    It’s about all the white males he brought with him.
    JM

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