The selling of The Washington Post was announced late Monday by the paper’s publisher, Katharine Weymouth (the niece of CEO Donald Graham), whose family has owned the paper since 1933. Bezos bought the paper and its online counterpart for $250 million, along with several other publications including the Express newspaper, The Gazette Newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing. Publications that will stay with The Washington Post Co. (WPO) (which plans to change its name) are Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy magazine. The company will also retain The Washington Post’s headquarters building located in Washington. Bezos is buying The Washington Post as an individual instead of as CEO of Amazon, reports the Associated Press.
According to the deal, Bezos will pay rent to The Washington Post Co. for the use of the paper’s headquarters for the next three years.
Bezos is a good fit for The Washington Post. He successfully brought books into the digital era with Kindle, and has the money needed to fuel the paper amid declining sales and advertisements. Bezos is an innovator who may be able to breath new life into printed papers, or he could change the way papers are distributed online. While Bezos may have purchased The Washington Post separate from Amazon, it is likely that the businesses will affect each other to some degree.