retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has hired Jay Carney, the former White House press secretary in the Obama administration, to run its public relations and public policy operation. The goal, the story says, is to give Amazon "added heft in Washington" ... because having its founder/CEO Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post apparently is not enough.


• The Columbia Journalism Review reports that Starbucks has hired Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior correspondent and associate editor at the Washington Post, to form a new media company that "will produce longform social-impact content' in the form of nonfiction documentaries."

The story notes that the initial focus of the company will be on veterans' issues; Chandrasekaran co-authored a book about veterans, "For Love of Country," with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Chandrasekaran says that over the long term, the goal is to branch out to look at different social and public policy issues.

"“I’m not doing this so they can sell more cups of coffee. What we’re doing is trying to play a positive and constructive role — and broaden understanding across the country around issues that matter to our nation,” Chandrasekaran said in an interview.
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