The Washington Post had a good year. The newspaper more than doubled digital subscriptions and grew revenue from digital advertising, leading to its second consecutive year of profitability despite the media industry’s challenging landscape.
Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan touted those accomplishments in an email to staff obtained by Axios. Ryan made a similar announcement at the end of 2016, pledging to hire scores of journalists and double down on technology. In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Post for $250 million.
Ryan said the profits will help the paper expand its Washington, D.C., headquarters, grow its editorial team to more than 800, and continue to invest in technology.
“The partnership between news and technology is powering our growth,” Ryan told employees, calling the paper’s newsroom a “laboratory for innovation, capitalizing on the latest advances in storytelling tools.”
Traditional journalism has also been key to the Post’s growth. The paper’s explosive investigation into Roy Moore’s history with teenage women led to the election of Alabama’s first Democrat Senator in 25 years.
Bezos, who today was declared the richest person in history, is hands-off when it comes to the Post’s editorial operations but is focused on the underlying economics of making a digital news publication work. Speaking at a newspaper conference last year, he said his ownership “is not a philanthropic endeavor. For me, I really believe a healthy newspaper that has an independent newsroom should be self-sustaining. And I think it’s achievable. And we’ve achieved it.”