Amazon founder buys The Post

Tech pioneer Jeff Bezos to buy Washington Post for $250 million in cash

Written by New York Times | Washington | Published: August 7, 2013 1:07 am

CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY

The Washington Post,the newspaper whose reporting helped topple a president and inspired a generation of journalists,is being sold for $250 million to the founder of Amazon.com,Jeffrey P Bezos,in a deal that has shocked the industry.

Donald E Graham,chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Company,and the third generation of the Graham family to lead the paper,told the staff about the sale Monday afternoon.

Graham,in a statement,said nobody should be sad — except,“for me”. The announcement was greeted by what many staff members described as “shock”.

In Bezos,The Post will have a very different owner,a technologist whose fortunes have risen in the last dozen years even as those of The Post and most newspapers have struggled.

In the meeting,Graham stressed that Bezos would purchase The Post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of Amazon the company.

The $250 million deal includes all of the publishing businesses owned by company,including the Express newspaper,The Gazette Newspapers,Southern Maryland Newspapers,Fairfax County Times,El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing. The company plans to hold on to Slate,The Root.com and Foreign Policy.

Bezos has asked publisher Katharine Weymouth to remain at The Post along with Stephen P Hills,president and general manager; Martin Baron,executive editor; and Fred Hiatt,editor of the editorial page.

Timeline

1877: Washington Post founded by Stilson Hutchins on December 6.

1880: The paper adds a Sunday edition,becoming DC’s first newspaper to publish seven days a week.

1933 – Former chairman of Federal Reserve Eugene Meyer buys Washington Post at a bankruptcy auction. His daughter,Katharine Graham,would go on to lead the company.

1946 – Philip L Graham,who married Katharine in 1940,takes over company.

1961 – Bought Newsweek.

1963 – Philip Graham commits suicide with a shotgun; Katharine becomes president of the Washington Post Co.

1971 – Katharine takes The Post Co public with the sale of Class B stock at a price of $26 per share.

1972 – The Post publishes first article concerning a break-in at the Democratic National Committee’s office at the Watergate complex. Subsequent coverage by reporters Woodward and Bernstein is instrumental in President Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

1973 – Warren Buffett makes first purchase of Washington Post stock.

1984 – The company purchases Stanley H Kaplan Education Centers Limited for $45 million.

2008 – Katharine Weymouth,Katharine Graham’s granddaughter,takes over as publisher of the Washington Post.

2010 – Newsweek sold to Sidney Harman for $1.

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