Does Jeff Bezos love soccer greater than he loves newspapers? That’s a query getting tossed across the nation’s capital as its NFL franchise hits the block.
Chatter is rising that Amazon’s billionaire founder is seeking to clear the way in which for a purchase order of the Washington Commanders by promoting the Washington Submit — with hypothesis boosted final month by leaked video of writer Fred Ryan disclosing layoff plans at an unruly city corridor assembly.
The issue for Bezos, reportedly, is that the Commanders’ embattled proprietor Dan Snyder remains to be sore over the storied newspaper’s sequence of exposes alleging a poisonous administration tradition on the group the place bosses together with Snyder allegedly enabled intercourse harassment.
Some even imagine that Snyder suspects Bezos, who purchased the Washington Submit in 2013 for $250 million, inspired the robust protection in 2020 in a bid to drive him to promote him the group.
Final week, Bezos stoked fears about looming layoffs on the Washington Submit throughout a clumsy go to to the newsroom. A supply near the state of affairs mentioned that Bezos informed the paper’s senior employees in personal conferences that he had no plans to promote the paper.
Washington Commanders proprietor Dan Snyder doesn’t need to promote the group to Jeff Bezos — a minimum of so long as Bezos nonetheless owns the Washington Submit, sources mentioned.AP
Nonetheless, one logical suitor believes the Washington Submit is on the market and plans to bid, a supply with direct data of the state of affairs mentioned, declining to call the suitor. A second supply who buys and sells newspapers mentioned he additionally has heard the paper is perhaps up for grabs.
“I feel Bezos’ individuals might go to Dan and say as a gesture of goodwill, ‘We’re promoting the paper,” a supply near the state of affairs mentioned. “I feel that will go a great distance with Dan.”
In the meantime, Entrance Workplace Sports activities reported final Tuesday that Financial institution of America, employed by Snyder to public sale the Commanders, “continues to court docket Bezos — even when there are indications that Snyder doesn’t need to promote” to the Amazon founder.
Bezos has not employed an funding banker to promote the Washington Submit, nor has he made it completely clear it’s really on the market, the supply added. Neither supply is near former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg who, in accordance with a Dec. 23 Axios report, is fascinated by shopping for both the Wall Road Journal or Washington Submit.
A spokesperson for Bezos mentioned the Washington Submit is just not on the market. A spokesperson for the Journal, whose proprietor Information Corp. additionally owns the New York Submit, mentioned the paper is just not on the market.
Washington Submit proprietor Jeff Bezos paid a uncommon go to to the newspaper’s places of work on Thursday.Getty Pictures
Final week, studies surfaced that the Commanders have taken first-round bids from potential acquirers and that Bezos — who reportedly has been in talks with Jay-Z to group up for a buyout — wasn’t amongst them.
Bezos has been tight-lipped with reference to the Commanders, other than a November CNN interview through which he mentioned soccer is his “favourite sport” and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez chimed in, “I do like soccer — I’m simply going to throw that on the market.”
Sports activities journalists, in the meantime, have been pleased to weigh in on behalf of the Commanders’ embattled proprietor, Dan Snyder — and his disposition towards Bezos is decidedly much less enthusiastic, in accordance with studies.
“Not solely was I informed Bezos didn’t submit a bid, I’ve had individuals inform me the Snyder household has completely no real interest in promoting to Bezos,” JP Finlay, who covers the Commanders for NBC Sports activities, tweeted final weekend. That was in response to studies that the very best first-round bid got here in at $6.3 billion — wanting the $7 billion-plus price ticket Snyder is reportedly looking for.
That additionally was after an unnamed supply informed NBC Sports activities’ Peter King in November, “It’ll by no means occur. Dan Snyder detests The Washington Submit. No manner he’d promote to the proprietor of that paper.”
A report final month mentioned former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg was fascinated by shopping for The Washington Submit if it was on the market.Bloomberg by way of Getty Pictures
Dan Froomkin, editor of the nonprofit Press Watch, notes that the Amazon tycoon — presently the world’s fourth-richest individual with a web price of $120 billion, in accordance with Forbes — has been identified for libertarian-leaning political beliefs which have lengthy been a clumsy match for the Washington Submit.
“I can simply think about higher house owners for the Washington Submit than Jeff Bezos,” Froomkin mentioned.
In 2018, a Washington Submit op-ed raised eyebrows when it criticized “company welfare tax” laws launched by Sen. Bernie Sanders nicknamed the “Cease BEZOS Act.” Bezos tweeted out the article. Final Might, Bezos sparred on Twitter with Joe Biden over taxes, demanding a authorities fact-check on the president’s assertions that low company taxes have been stoking inflation.
Nonetheless, Froomkin added, “I can much more simply think about worse house owners for the Submit, and that will be a nationwide and journalistic tragedy, in addition to a whole betrayal of the assurances Bezos made to Don Graham when he purchased the Submit in 2013 that he would do what’s good for the Submit.”
Bezos, for his half, has mentioned publicly it was by no means his dream to personal a newspaper. Former Submit proprietor Donald Graham requested Bezos to purchase it in 2013 to offer monetary stability and increase on-line progress. Whereas the paper expanded quickly beneath Bezos early on, beefing up employees and protection, it was reportedly on monitor to lose cash in 2022 after years of income as readership waned following the top of the Trump administration.
“I do know that after I’m 90, it’s going to be one of many issues I’m most pleased with, that I took on the Washington Submit and helped it by a really tough transition,” Bezos mentioned within the 2021 ebook “Invent and Wander”, a set of his writings.
Now, Bezos’ attachment to the paper could also be weaker than ever, mentioned Edward Wasserman, a journalism professor at UC Berkeley who notes that Bezos’ summer time Twitter spat with Biden drew important protection on the time.
“Bezos has grow to be belatedly conscious of the obligations of proudly owning The Washington Submit — if he didn’t understand it could muzzle him, he realizes it now,” Wasserman mentioned. “It might make sense for him to get out of it.”