Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced in a surprise move to purchase The Washington Post for a sum of US$250 million.
The deal, which is by Bezos and is unassociated with Amazon, is expected to close within 60 days. This deal ends the ownership of The Post by the Graham family after four generations.
“Everyone at the Post Company and everyone in our family has always been proud of The Washington Post — of the newspaper we publish and of the people who write and produce it,” said Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company. “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). Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”
The transaction covers The Washington Post and other publishing businesses, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing. The deal does not cover properties such as Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy.
The Washington Post was founded in 1877 and as of 2009, is the fifth largest newspaper in the U.S. by circulation.