Jeff Bezos’s Washington Submit Go to Brings Extra Questions than Solutions

With anxiousness working excessive within the Washington Submit newsroom, what higher time for Jeff Bezos to point out up? 

The billionaire proprietor made an look, for the primary time in over a 12 months, on the Submit on Thursday, sitting in—together with writer Fred Ryan—on the morning information assembly. The glass convention room was, unsurprisingly, packed. “I’m delighted to be right here and see all these faces,” Bezos advised the room, per the New York Instances. “Thanks for permitting me to hear in.” To which govt editor Sally Buzbee stated, “Nice. Let’s have a information assembly.” 

Submit spokesperson didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, however advised different retailers, “Jeff is visiting The Submit this week and assembly with Fred Ryan, Sally Buzbee and different members of the workers.” Among the many different staffers he met with included prime editors Cameron BarrMatea GoldLori MontgomeryPhil RuckerKrissah Thompson and star political reporter Josh Dawsey, particulars first reported by the Instances {that a} Submit staffer confirmed to Self-importance Truthful

Although framed as an off-the-cuff meet-and-greet, it’s laborious for employees to not marvel if a uncommon Bezos go to is tied to ongoing challenges on the paper. The Submit has been on edge for months now, amid studies of its enterprise strugglesquestions about managementhigh-profile departures, and impending layoffs. Late final 12 months, Buzbee introduced that the Submit can be killing its weekly journal—eliminating, with it, the positions of the journal’s 10 staffers—and laid off Pulitzer Prize profitable dance critic Sarah Kaufman. The scenario worsened a number of weeks later when, throughout a city corridor, Ryan dropped the bombshell that “various positions” can be eradicated within the first quarter of 2023 after which surprised the newsroom by refusing to take questions—and thus turning the city corridor “right into a grievance session for the Guild,” as he put it. A Submit reporter within the room documented the kerfuffle and tweeted it out for everybody to see. 

“The Submit needs to be within the enterprise of placing out the press, not being the press,” one staffer advised me. “The corporate goes within the improper course. Should you’re Jeff Bezos taking a look at an acquisition such as you’d have a look at any, it looks as if there must be a course correction.”

The journal layoffs and Ryan’s bungling of the city corridor drove not less than 60 individuals to affix the Guild, with signal ups persevering with to roll in. The variety of dues paying members has virtually doubled since Bezos purchased the paper in 2013, the Guild stated. Since then, members have pressed for solutions concerning the layoffs—who they may affect, why they’re occurring, and when—in bargaining periods and have gotten no solutions, in line with the Guild. Most just lately they requested such questions in a stop and desist letter concerning the layoffs, despatched by the Guild’s labor legal professional to the corporate’s final week, expressing concern that such cuts can be in violation of the Guild’s contract, together with its seniority clause. The Guild additionally despatched an electronic mail to newsroom leaders and different higher-ups on the group, urging them to cease the layoffs from occurring. Whereas some on the Submit feared that the layoffs might come as early as this week, Bezos being on the workplace seemingly threw issues off. 

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