He will pay US$250 million out of his own pocket – Amazon is not the purchaser. The move catapults Bezos overnight into the position of major newspaper mogul. And despite it being a deal with the man himself rather than the company he founded, it has significant ramifications for the future of media.
Print newspapers everywhere are in trouble. Even Rupert Murdoch recently spun off his print division to sequester his digital media assets from the effects of their decline. Bezos will no doubt find a clever way to get Amazon and the Washington Post to scratch each other’s back just a little.
The deal includes many other newspapers owned by the Washington Post Group, but significantly does not include Slate, one of the world’s most influential online newsletters. The Post people know where the future lies.
Reports from the US say that with the departure of its flagship. The Washington Post Company will likely change its name. The company also owns education provider Kaplan, the Post–Newsweek TV stations and cable company Cable One.
“We 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," Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company, was quoted as saying in the Potomac Tech Wire newsletter. It reported that Bezos cut the deal following secret negotiations with the Graham family, which has controlled the newspaper for 80 years.
“His proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”
Bezos said: “I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington, DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change.”