When Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post on August 2013, I told some of my friends that when he would get fed up with the ailing newspaper, he would sell it to Politico.
It was not just a joke. I think that the choice of Frederick J. Ryan to replace Katharine Weymouth as the new publisher of the Post goes a long way in this direction.
Lets see the facts. Politico was created 8 years ago by a group of talented journalists coming mostly from the Times and the Post to cover on the web the political life of Washington. The Post and the Graham family refused to get involved in this adventure. Politico was launched instead by Allbritton, the only media group based in Washington.
Since then, both Politico and Allbritton have thrived. Politico has broken even and developed new activities in New York, international affairs and intends to set a new branch in Brussels. Its mother company has made headlines last year by selling its huge television properties in order to finance new developments on Web services. F. Ryan has been one of the founders of Politico and he was in charge of the television branch. After its sale he has been recuperated by Bezos to go where? At the Washington Post.
I would not be surprised if Bezos was in touch with Allbritton for a global deal, a merger of the Washington Post and Politico. it would be a smart move as the future of the print seems very dark and Politico looks more and more like an Internet Post. And Ryan is the right man to organize this merger.
Is it far fetched? Maybe but it would be a good gamble for the owner of Amazon.