Just a week after the Boston Globe was sold to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, an Internet billionaire has bought The Washington Post. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, agreed to buy The Post for $250 million, Bloomberg reports. Bezos believes he can turn around the newspaper, according to the report.
Bezos is buying the paper personally, apart from his Amazon holdings. Still the story notes that Bezos is banking that he can apply his e-commerce success to the struggling newspaper industry.
The Washington Post Co. isn’t selling its Kaplan education division and other non-newspaper businesses as part of the deal.
Bezos will get a newspaper famed for its Watergate coverage in the 1970s. In the video clip below, see what The Post’s legendary reporter Bob Woodward thinks of the deal. The sale ends the management of The Post by the Graham family, which bought the publication in 1933.
Some saw the deal as further devaluing newspapers, reports TheWrap.com. The Washington Post Co.’s market value of $4.2 billion should have suggested a higher selling price for one of the best-known names in publishing, said Ava Seave, a consultant at Quantum Media.
"By selling for a very low number it definitely makes comps for other newspapers more difficult," she said.
Still, the newspaper division had been losing money, including a $53.7 million loss in 2012.
Washington Post CEO Don Graham wrote in a letter posted on the company’s website that he and his niece Katharine Weymouth decided to sell the newspaper unit after considering its future following years of dwindling revenue.
"As the newspaper business continued to bring up questions to which we have no answers, Katharine and I began to ask ourselves if our small public company was still the best home for the newspaper," Graham wrote.
Here’s the video with Bob Woodward: