The Washington Post is being sold for $250 million cash to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the paper announced Monday. Bezos willl have have sole ownership of the flagship paper and its affiliated publications within 60 days, when the sale is complete.
The Washington Post Co. itself is not for sale, meaning Slate, Foreign Policy and The Root are not being sold.
Post chief executive Donald Graham acknowledged that financial pressures at the company precipitated the sale, something most people probably would have presumed was the case anyway.
“The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future,” Graham said in an interview. “But we wanted to do more than survive. I’m not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success.”
Graham said that that “Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.” Bezos himself suggested an open-minded attitude toward the sale, calling it "uncharted terrain" and claiming to not yet "have a worked-out plan" as to how the company will be run.
Bezos claimed that despite the change of ownership, “the values of the Post do not need changing,” and announced his intention to retain Post CEO and Publisher Katharine Weymouth, President and General Manager Stephen P. Hills, Executive Editor Martin Baron, and Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt in their current roles at the company.