The Washington Post, historically one of America’s most respected and recognizable daily newspapers, is being sold to Amazon.com’s founder, Jeffrey K. Bezos, for $250 million.
The publication has had a well-documented and turbulent transition into the new millenniums’ demand for portable news delivery which has flummoxed its leadership. However, The Washington Post will always be remembered by Baby Boomers and many Gen Xers as the towering and trusted news source that produced the incomparable Woodward-Bernstein reporting duo (then reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein) that unraveled the Watergate scandal — under the direction of legendary editor Ben Bradlee — that toppled Richard M. Nixon’s presidency in the 1970s.
Katharine Weymouth, the newspaper’s publisher, made the announcement on Monday afternoon to the employees of The Washington Post Company’s flagship possession, The Washington Post. Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Company, had this to say:
“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 (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders).”
Mr. Bezos reiterated that The Post would be a personal holding and not a possession of Amazon, the Internet retailer that he founded.
The deal includes all of the publishing businesses owned by The Washington Post Company, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing.
The Washington Post company plans to hold onto Slate magazine, The Root.com and Foreign Policy. According to the release, Mr. Bezos has asked Ms. Weymouth to remain at The Post along with Stephen P. Hills, president and general manager; Martin Baron, executive editor; and Fred Hiatt, editor of the editorial page.
“I am honored to continue as C.E.O. and publisher,” Ms. Weymouth said in a statement. “I have asked the entire senior management team at all of the businesses being sold to continue in their roles as well.”