WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Washington Post, exactly one year after announcing its sale to Internet entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, said Tuesday it had its “biggest traffic month” ever in July.
In a rare update for the now privately held daily, the Post also said it has hired “more than 60 people” in the newsroom and has launched “new verticals” or initiatives covering subjects such as health, science, sports statistics and digital culture.
As a private venture owned by Bezos outside his corporate empire of Amazon, the newspaper is not required to disclose its finances, and Tuesday’s update offered a bit of insight into plans for the prestigious daily.
The update suggests Bezos is focusing on transitioning the newspaper to digital, amid troubles for print media.
“We are thrilled to announce that The Washington Post had its biggest traffic month in its history in July. The success is testament to the work being done in every corner of the newsroom and with our partners in engineering,” said a blog post from executive editor Martin Baron, and managing editors Kevin Merida and Emilio Garcia-Ruiz.
The blog said some of the record online readership was likely due to recent major news events like the conflict in Gaza and the World Cup.
But it added that “the engineering and digital design teams worked to roll out crisp, quick-loading article pages to reach our audiences faster on mobile devices and improve performance in search.”
“By all our digital measures, our performance in July easily surpassed the previous high in October 2013, which included coverage of the government shutdown,” the editors said.
“We have much more work to do. But this is a moment to congratulate and thank all of you for the amazing work and the astounding results.”
Bezos has said little publicly about the Post. When he announced plans to purchase the daily he said he had “no map” for the Post but that he was optimistic about the newspaper’s future.
“It’s a personal investment. I’m hopeful that I can help from a distance in part by providing runway for them to do a series of experiments, in part through bringing some of the philosophy that we have used at Amazon to the Post,” he said.