On Monday, August 5th, The Washington Post Co. surprisingly announced that they are going to sell its flagship newspaper and other publications to the founder and CEO of Amazon – Jeff Bezos for the whopping price of $250 million in cash!!! It is quite an amazing moment of transition in the media. However, it is important to note that Amazon is not the one who is going to own the Washington Post, but Jeff Bezos himself is going to own it.
The Graham family has been controlling “The Washington Post” since four generations. Now it is going to be taken care of by the founder of Amazon. The recent transition or move taken by the WaPo clearly shows how badly the Beltway paper has fallen from its storied past.
Seattle-based Amazon will not be involved in the purchase as Bezos will be the sole owner of the Washington post once the deal is completed, most probably within the next 60 days. The Washington Post will also have a new name, which is still not decided, and will continue as a publicly traded organization without the newspaper.
In a recent interview with a Washington Post reporter, the current chief executive of the Washington Post Co., Donald Graham, said that each and every member of his family was in a deep shock by hearing the news about selling the newspaper, which is considered as one of the most respected newspaper in the country. Graham further said that the idea of transaction with Jeff Bezos has altered his feelings.
There are only a few people who were actually aware about the selling process. They were aware that a sale was in the works for the paper. The final news of the sale of The Washington Post was announced by the Post Co. Chairman and chief executives Donald E. Graham and post publisher Katherine Weymouth at the company’s headquarters in downtown Washington on Monday.
Graham has further added: “ The post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future but we wanted to do more than survive. I’m not saying this guarantees success, but it gives us a much greater chance of success.”
Bezos has been known for making investments that are not related to amazon.com. Earlier in the year 2000, he made investments in rocket launch venture Blue Origin, which has been working on a suborbital launch system to send passengers and payloads into space.
According to the Forbes, Bezos’ net worth is $25.2 billion, which means he is purchasing The Washington Post for even less than 1% of his fortune…!
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