Washington Post sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon
The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.
Jeff Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.
Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will get a new, still undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without the newspaper.
The Washington Post Co.’s newspaper division, of which the Post newspaper is the most prominent part, has suffered a 44 percent decline in operating revenue over the past six years. Although The Post is one of the most popular news sources online, print circulation has dwindled, falling an additional 7 percent daily and on Sundays during the first half of this year.
Ultimately, the paper’s financial challenges prompted the company’s board to consider a sale, a step once regarded as unthinkable by insiders and the Graham family.
In a note to Post employees on Monday, Weymouth wrote:
This is a day that my family and I never expected to come. The Washington Post Company is selling the newspaper that it has owned and nurtured for eight decades.”
Baron, the former editor of the Boston Globe who joined The Post as its editor in January, said he was surprised to learn last week that the newspaper was being sold.
But he added: “I’m encouraged that the paper will be in the hands of a successful businessperson who understands the world of technology as well as anyone. He’s expressed his commitment to the organization and to its continued independence. I came here because I wanted to join a great news organization, and it will continue to be one.”