Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]
Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]
The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]
Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends? [WSJ]
Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]
Amazon founder, CEO and bajillionaire Jeffrey P. Bezos casually purchased the Washington Post for a cool $250 million not too long ago, and now he’s soliciting advice on what to do with such a decrepit artifact.
Mr. Bezos has been out press-pimping the new Amazon Fire, which, at $379, is the perfect Christmas gift for the whole family. This led him to the Today show, where he mused, “Someday … I think printed newspapers on actual paper will be a luxury item, sort of like how people still have horses but it’s not their primary way of commuting to the office.”
Microsoft took some time off from its Labor Day BBQ to announce that it had acquired the handset and services arm of Nokia. [New York Times]
CBS and Time Warner, two gigantic babies masquerading as multi-million dollar companies, finally reached a deal that allows CBS programming to return to Time Warner. It hit your TV last night at 6pm EST, but unless you watch Two Broke Girls (lol), you probably didn’t notice. [The Verge]
Apparently growing bored of life on his lush New Zealand compound, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has started his own political party, and–yes–he’s President of it. [TorrentFreak]
Here’s a cool interactive graphic from the Times about the next great startup. Snapchat is included, of course. [NYT]
Jeff Bezos intends to use his bajillions to create a new “golden era” at WaPo. [Washington Post]
Naveen Selvadurai finally admitted that he didn’t want to leave Foursquare and his exit was pretty crushing. [Fast Company]
Twitter’s having a tough time balancing its grand global goals with being a free-speech free-for-all. [Wall Street Journal]
Jeff Bezos and Don Graham negotiated the Washington Post sale during the Sun Valley conference. [Reuters]
“This is maybe going out on a little bit of a limb: but look, he’s buying a lot of political influence. And we can’t discard the fact that Amazon hasn’t been an enormous player, at least up until the dispute over sales taxes, and in buying The Washington Post, he has a seat at the table.” [The New Republic]
Apple will replace any non-Apple chargers you might have for a mere $10, after a Chinese woman was reportedly electrocuted while using a off-brand charger. [The Verge]
Leave it to Bezos
At 4:15 p.m., according to Jim Romanesko, Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth called her staffers into the auditorium for a 4:30 p.m. announcement. The news: Amazon founder and noted rocketry enthusiast Jeff Bezos is buying the Post and its “affiliated publications” outright. He’ll pay $250 million in cash.
Perhaps you heard the shrieks of shock issuing from newsrooms all over town?
Robert Samuelson, a Washington Post opinion writer who has apparently never used Seamless, does not believe the benefits of the Internet outweigh its negatives. In fact, he is so terrified by the thought of cyberwarfare and NSA spying that if he could, he would “repeal the Internet.”
Hires and Fires
Planet Daily, the video startup from Ken Lerer, is putting some of that $5 million in venture money to work with a big hire. Poytner reports that the would-be “CNN killer” has poached the Washington Post‘s executive director of digital news, Katharine Zaleski, to serve as managing editor.
From the email that went around the Post:
After two and a half years inspiring and leading digital change here at The Post, Katharine Zaleski is returning to New York to take on a new role as managing editor of a startup media venture under the working name, “Planet Daily”. The idea is to build a 24-hour video channel for the mobile and social web. For Katharine, it’s a chance to get her old band back together: her key partners in the new project were her associates at The Huffington Post, Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau.
Are Mr. Lerer and Mr. Hippeau indeed getting the old band back together? We reached out to Lerer Ventures, but they had no comment.