Washington Post sold to Amazon.com founder

Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com has agreed to buy the Washington Post from the Graham family.

The Washington Post, which was founded in 1877, is the most widely circulated newspaper in the Washington D.C. area and one of the most prestigious newspapers in the USA.

This is a personal purchase by Bezos and not by Amazon.com Inc. The sale is expected to be completed within sixty days of Bezo’s and the Washington Post Company’s announcement on August 5th, 2013.

Bezos will pay $250 million cash for the purchase of: The Washington Post, El Tiempo Latino, Fairfax County Times, Greater Washington Publishing, Southern Maryland Newspapers, The Express newspaper, and The Gazette Newspapers.

The sale does not include Foreign Policy, TheRoot.com, Slate Magazine, WaPo Labs or SocialCode. ‘Foreign policy’ is all about how the government deals with other nations.

In a press release, titled “Jeffrey P. Bezos to Purchase The Washington Post”, the Washington Post Company wrote “The Washington Post Company, which also owns Kaplan, Post–Newsweek Stations and Cable ONE, will be changing its name in connection with the transaction; no new name has yet been announced.”

Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company, said:

“Everyone at the Post Company and everyone in our family has always been proud of The Washington Post – of the newspaper we publish and of the people who write and produce it. I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders).

Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

Key Washington Post personnel to carry on

Mr. Bezos would like the current CEO and Publisher of the Washington Post, Katharine Weymouth, to continue in her post, as well as Stephen Hills (President and General Manager), Martin Baron (Executive Director), and Fred Hiatt (Editor of the Editorial Page).

Mr. Bezos said:

“I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change. Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”

Ms. Weymouth said “With Mr. Bezos as our owner, this is the beginning of an exciting new era. I am honored to continue as CEO and Publisher. I have asked the entire senior management team at all of the businesses being sold to continue in their roles as well.”

This is the third buyout of a major US paper in the last week. IBT Media purchased Newsweek and John W Henry bought The Boston Globe.

Major newspapers have struggled to maintain advertising revenue since people have turned to Internet for their news.

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