Amazon’s Bezos to buy the Washington Post

Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos is putting up $250 million to purchase The Washington Post and affiliated publications of the company.

The acquisition of the 80-year-old United States publication if being carried out by the Amazon founder in a deal that is separate from his role at the e-commerce and software-as-a-service giant.

The planned acquisition was confirmed by a letter to the paper’s reads by Katherine Wymouth, who will continue her role as publisher of The Post.

In her letter to readers, she said the company is also selling the Greater Washington Publishing, the Gazette newspapers, Express, El Tiempo Latino and Robinson Terminal.

“In Mr. Bezo’s we have found an owner who will continue the tradition that the Graham family started with the purchase of The Washington Post by Eugene Meyer in 1933,” she said. “The Washington Post has earned a worldwide reputation for tough, insightful and indispensable journalism. With the investment by Mr. Bezos, that tradition will continue.”
Bezos turned Amazon from an online bookseller to the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon also makes the Kindle e-reader device, provides music and movie streaming services and allows companies to rent IT infrastructure services through the Amazon cloud platform.
Although one of the most popular online news sources, print circulation of The Post has dwindled The company has suffered a 44 per cent slide in operating revenues in the past six years, according to online technology publication, SiliconValley.com.  Donald Graham, The Post’s CEO earlier hired an investment firm to look for a buyer for the company. The Post’s board settled on Bezos.

In a letter published in the Post yesterday, Bezos, 49, gave his assurance to the newspaper’s employees that he will not change the “values” of the publication.

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“When a single family owns a company for many decades, and when that family acts for all those decades in good faith, in a principled manner, in good times and in rough times, as stewards of important values – when that family has done such a good job – it is only natural to worry about change,” he said. “…The values of The Post do not need changing.”

He did say that “change at The Post” will take place in coming years.

“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs,” he said. “There is no map and charting the path ahead will not be easy.”

Bezos said The Post already has an “excellent leadership team” he will not lead the paper’s day-to-day operations.

 



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