Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post though he won't be leading it
The longtime publisher, The Washington Post Co has agreed to sell its newspaper assets, including its flagship daily, to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million. Bezos is buying the paper as an individual. Amazon.com Inc. is not involved.
The longtime publisher, The Washington Post Co has agreed to sell its newspaper assets, including its flagship daily, to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million. The transaction covers The Washington Post and other publishing businesses, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing. Bezos is buying the paper as an individual. Amazon.com Inc. is not involved.
The move comes as newspapers face unprecedented challenges with declines in advertising revenue and readership. In a statement posted on Washingtonpost.com and adressed to the employees of The Washington Post, Bezos said he anticipated "apprehension" at his acquisition of the company, and vowed to be uninvolved in The Washington Post's day-to-day operations.
"I won't be leading The Washington Post day-to-day. I am happily living in "the other Washington" where I have a day job that I love. Besides that, The Post already has an excellent leadership team that knows much more about the news business than I do, and I"m extremely grateful to them for agreeing to stay on."
"Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about – government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports – and working backwards from there. I'm excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention."
Washington Post Chairman and Chief Executive Donald E. Graham, whose family owns the paper, said it would be better served with another owner. "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," Graham said.
"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."
The Washington Post Co. will be changing its name in connection with the transaction. It didn't announce a new name.