The media world is being rocked by news that the Washington Post has been sold to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s more than 40 year ownership. Bezos will pay $250 million in cash for The Post. No word on the fate of the other products owned by the Washington Post Co., including Slate, Foreign Policy, and The Root. This follows the sale of the Boston Globe to billionaire Red Sox owner John Henry, which was announced on Saturday.
Why the Washington Post sale?
“Our revenues had declined seven years in a row,” writes Don Graham, CEO and chairman of The Washington Post Co. “We had innovated and to my critical eye our innovations had been quite successful in audience and in quality, but they hadn’t made up for the revenue decline. Our answer had to be cost cuts and we knew there was a limit to that. We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed.”
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