One Entrepreneurs Very Public Diversification

Taken from, August 6, 2013

After managing The Washington Post for four decades, the Graham  family has decided to sell the beloved newspaper.  But it isn't being sold to some major media conglomerate. Instead, its new owner  is Jeff Bezos, the  founder and chief executive of Seattle-based Amazon.

Bezos will pay $250 million in cash in exchange for ownership of the  newspaper and certain affiliated publications. Slate magazine, and  Foreign Policy magazine are not part of the transaction.

The sale process is expected to close within about 60 days.

What Bezos, a high-profile tech entrepreneur, plans to do with the newspaper  is not yet clear. “I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington  D.C. and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change,” Bezos said in a  statement announcing the unexpected sale. “Our duty to readers will continue to  be the heart of the Post, and I am very optimistic about the future.”

Last week, The  Washington Post Company reported $138.4 million in revenue during the second  quarter for its newspaper publishing division, down 1 percent compared to the  same period last year. The company attributed the loss to a general decline in  advertising revenues. The newspaper publishing division also reported an  operating loss of $14.8 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of  $12.6 million during last year's second quarter.

"The deal represents a sudden and stunning turn of events for The Post,  Washington’s leading newspaper for decades and a powerful force in shaping the  nation’s politics and policy," Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi  wrote on today. "Few people were aware that a sale was in the  works for the paper, whose reporters have broken such stories as the Pentagon  Papers, the Watergate scandals and disclosures about the National Security  Administration’s surveillance program in May."

The Washington Post isn't the only major U.S. newspaper to change  hands recently. This weekend it was announced that John Henry, co-owner of the  Boston Red Sox baseball team, had agreed to purchase the Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. for $70 million.