Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will buy the Washington Post newspaper in a landmark deal worth $250 million. The deal will see Bezos take ownership of Washington's leading newspaper and affiliated publications. Best known as founder of etail giant Amazon, the Washington Post reports that Bezos is making the purchase by himself. That is, this is not Amazon buying the Washington Post but Bezos himself.
Once the sale is completed, Bezos will become the sole owner of the Washington Post newspaper and the Washington Post Co will change its name and continue operating without its flagship newspaper. The sale of the Washington Post was initiated by the company's board and the newspaper reports that the company hired investment firm Allen & Co to approach a half a dozen buyers including Bezos. Bezos doesn't seem to have any plans to relocate to Washington anytime soon, though. The Amazon founder says he's happy with his day job and that he he plans to stay in Seattle and leave the day-to-day operation of the newspaper to current management. What's more, the newspaper doesn't expect any redundancies as a result of the sale and publisher Katharine Weymouth is to stay on as publisher and chief executive of the paper.
The Washington Post has been owned by the Graham family for eight decades. Speaking in a letter about the sale, Katharine Weymouth, the niece of The Washington Post Company CEO Donald Graham, said that the deal represented an opportunity for the paper.
"I firmly believe that today’s announcement represents a remarkable opportunity for us, unique among media companies, she said. "In Jeff we have found an owner who believes in The Post as a business but also cares deeply about the role it serves in our society." She later added: "Jeff knows as well as anyone the opportunities that come with revolutionary technology when we understand how to make the most of it. Under his ownership, we will be able to accelerate the pace and quality of innovation."
CEO Donald Graham said that the paper would have survived had it not sold, but that it wanted to do more than survive. The deal is expected to close in sixty days and includes Greater Washington Publishing, the Gazette newspapers, Express, El Tiempo Latino and Robinson Terminal as well as the Washington Post.