The Age of Billionaire News Ownership Is Waning: Who or What Will Replace Them?

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 Journalism advocates wonder whether major publications like the Washington Post or L.A. Times could become non-profits and function as a community service

Marc Benioff, Patrick Soon-Shiong and Jeff Bezos
Billionaire media owners Marc Benioff, Patrick Soon-Shiong and Jeff Bezos (TheWrap/Chris Smith)

The deep layoffs at The Washington Post late last year eliminating 240 jobs were painful enough. But inside the newsroom staffers have been grumbling deeply about the insult added to injury: Not only did the second richest man in the world decide to cut deep into a celebrated institution, but the buyouts weren’t even paid for by owner Jeff Bezos.

They were paid out by the paper’s pension fund. 

“Are you kidding me?” said one furious staffer. “He’s sending rockets into space, he’s got a $500 million yacht. Do you have unrealistic business expectations or are you just seeing red ink?”

Billionaires, it turns out, don’t like losing money, including Bezos, who lost $100 million last year on the Post.

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