January 30, 2016 - 13:09 AMT
Jeff Bezos vows Washington Post rebirth as media, tech company

Under new owner Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post is no longer just a newspaper. It's reinventing itself as a "media and technology company" that hopes to blaze a trail for newsrooms struggling to transition to a digital era, AFP reports.

The transformation may not be apparent on the surface, but the Internet billionaire has ripped up and revamped the technology underpinnings at the Post since buying the storied daily in 2013, while investing in the newsroom with more journalists, video offerings and tools for digital storytelling.

In a symbolic step, Bezos was present at the dedication of the new tech-rich Post headquarters, a few blocks from the musty 1970s building that is being razed.

"I am a huge fan of leaning into the future," said Bezos, the founder of online giant Amazon who snapped up the struggling newspaper for $250 million in personal funds.

The Post last year overtook the New York Times in digital visitors, claiming 76 million unique users in December, according to research firm comScore.

That appeared to put it on track toward Bezos's goal of becoming a new "newspaper of record," an open challenge to its New York rival.

The Post is also offering its content for free through websites of smaller newspapers around the United States.

Bezos upgraded the Post technology team which he said rivals "any team in Silicon Valley." At the same time, he said he hopes to maintain the strong journalistic tradition at the Post.

He has hired dozens of journalists to bring the newsroom staff up to 700, second only to the New York Times, with more than 1,200.