Apparently, the Washington Post staff is brushing up on their Kremlinology. Not even the top editors or Katharine Weymouth herself know what Jeff Bezos has in mind for the American-icon-turned-Kaplan-subsidiary. But they have been traveling to Seattle to pay their respects to the new Czar and try to divine some of his intentions. Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt offered to resign, thinking this might please The Bezos, but was met merely with a cool, sphinx-like stare. Bezos seemed somewhat more responsive the idea of dropping the new pay-wall, reportedly raising an eyebrow and twitching his lip slightly. National Journal‘s Matthew Cooper has the story:
“Bezos has tread cautiously. He has only been to D.C. once since the purchase, although a second visit is planned soon. Even more intriguing, there’s no landing party of Bezos acolytes scurrying about nor is there a massive, McKinsey-style evaluation of the enterprise beyond the due diligence that Allen & Co. handled with the initial $250 million sale—one that included The Post and a handful of community newspapers. Insiders say Bezos will go through The Post carefully in something of a listening tour, beginning with the business side.
But top Washington Post management has made a pilgrimage to his home in Seattle, National Journal has learned. Earlier this fall, Editor Martin Baron, Publisher Katharine Weymouth, and the president of the company, Steve Hills, visited Bezos at the billionaire’s home on Lake Washington—a residence so big tax records show it cost $28 million a few years back. Bezos himself made pancakes for the group and brought no staff as they conducted a long session reviewing the paper’s business and editorial content.
What can be derived from these first modest steps? They add flesh to Bezos’s public statements about The Post and the 49-year-old’s style as one of the great entrepreneurs in American history. And they are emblematic of his methodical approach.”