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May 20, 2016

Jeff Bezos: We need to take The Washington Post from being a great local paper, which was a very successful strategy for decades, and transform it into a great national and global paper. We have the capability to do that, and as we do that we’re going to change the revenue structure. Weve historically made a relatively large amount of money per reader on a relatively small number of readers. We need instead to make a relatively small amount of money per reader on a much larger number of readers. If you are studying the news business, the Internet has been a disaster for traditional news companies for the most part, because it takes a lot of things away. There are a lot of anti-gifts the Internet brought to the traditional news business. But it does bring one huge gift. You have to maximize your usage of that new gift, which is that it provides almost free global distribution. We could have hundreds of millions of readers and make very little money and have an amazing institution. And I’m happy to fund that until we get there.
 
Note: For this week’s show, I am bringing you extensive excerpts from a Jeff Bezos interview conducted by Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, on May 18, 2016 at an event named Transformers. I have interspersed the clips with my comments on the interview, which I thought was extremely well done and revealing.  Here are some links to coverage of the interview.
 
“‘Not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave’: Bezos fires back at Donald Trump” by Paul Farhi at The Washington Post - May 18, 2016
 
Next Week Show
Interviews and observations from Book Expo America in Chicago
 
Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named "Well, You Needn't." This version is "Ra-Monk" by Eval Manigat on the "Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive" CD by Public Transit Recording" CD. 
 
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