On both sides of the Atlantic, the newspaper business is experiencing its own episode of back to the future, reverting to a past when billionaire sugar daddies buy and prop up ailing titles.

The motivations sit on a continuum from a public service minded sense of noblesse oblige all the way to treating media as something akin to a U.S. super-carrier, as the ultimate tool to project power. The new class of owners include former KGB agents, hotel developers, hedgies and, of course, this week, Jeff 'Vishnu' Bezos, the creator and destroyer of retail business models.

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