To prop two of his businesses up against one another, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is planning to deliver a curated collection of Washington Post stories on the incoming 8.9-inch Kindle Fire, sources say.
As the newspaper industry creaks and slowly bends under the rushing waves of change, The Washington Post has managed to stay afloat.
The D.C. newspaper has weathered the battering tide that's has washed over the industry and it even reported in August a 50 percent increase, year-over-year, in unique visitors.
Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million in October 2013, bringing an end the Graham family's 80-year hold over the newspaper. In what's said to be an effort to propel the Post's national presence, Bezos is pushing the newspaper out onto Amazon's popular line of tablets.
The new app from The Washington Post will allegedly deliver to the Kindle Fire a magazine format, populated with pictures and national news. The Post's app will come preloaded on the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire when it ships this month and will be available to both iOS and Android tablets later on.
The app will be free at first, though a subscription fee is expected to kick in later. The app has been in the works inside a project called Project Rainbow, which is said to be spearheaded by a summer hire.
Back in June, the Post announced a new hire that was brought on board to "lead a new mobile initiative." Kerry Lauerman began serving the Post as senior mobile editor, after serving as editor in chief of Salon.com and The Dodo.
"Kerry's strong editing skills, the vast range of his experience, and his time spent building new products and luring new readers make him especially well-equipped for an initiative focused on the fast-growing mobile readership," states the Post. "Kerry brings to our mobile ambitions the perfect blend of innovation and journalistic chops, as well as a collaborative spirit."
Before Bezos became head of the historic household, the Post was already working on a major project to bolster the newspaper's digital presence. Known as PageBuilder, the newspaper has been developing a free-form platform that enables its journalists to create digital storyboards populated with mixed media.
"We're not trying to come up with easier ways to produce the content that we've always produced," said Greg Franczyk, director of software engineering at the Post. "We're looking at the actual content forms, the story forms, the type of content we're producing, structuring that content in ways that allows us to do and create user experiences that we haven't yet dreamt of."