Jeff Bezos, the owner of The Washington Post and founder of Amazon, attended an editorial meeting at the Post Thursday where staff discussed stories about his other business ventures, according to a report by The New York Times.
At the meeting, editorial staff planned a story about the closure of AmazonSmile — a charitable program Amazon discontinued Wednesday citing a lack of impact — and discussed the ongoing sale of the Washington Commanders NFL team, a team Bezos expressed interest in owning last year, according to the NYT, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The meeting was the first editorial meeting Bezos had attended at the company in over a year, and came just weeks after the company announced plans for layoffs amid flagging revenue put the typically profitable company on track to end 2022 at a loss. (RELATED: WaPo Staffers Erupt After Publisher Announces Layoffs At ‘Town Hall’)
“Jeff is here for in-person meetings with [publisher] Fred [Ryan], [executive editor] Sally [Buzbee] and staff across the newsroom,” a Washington Post spokeswoman told the NYT, confirming his attendance.
The NYT report does not indicate that Bezos made any comments beyond exchanging pleasantries with the editorial staff at the outset of the meeting, thanking them for “allowing [him] to listen in.” After the meeting, Bezos was intercepted by a Post employee who wore a shirt with the logo of The Washington Post Guild — a union representing Post employees — asking why the Post was resorting to layoffs before offering buyouts, according to the NYT.
Bezos told the employee that he was not at the Post to answer questions, just to listen, and that he was committed to the Post’s journalism, the NYT reported.
The Post ultimately ran a story on AmazonSmile, which was published just before noon Thursday, noting that the charity program’s cancellation came as the e-commerce giant had recently made plans to cut roughly 18,000 jobs amid a global tech slowdown. The piece included a disclaimer noting that Bezos owned the Post.
The Washington Post did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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