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Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos

Jango

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The Washington Post Co. has agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations.

Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men,will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to the Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.

Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter.

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. 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.

For much of the past decade, however, the paper has been unable to escape the financial turmoil that has engulfed newspapers and other “legacy” media organizations. The rise of the Internet and the epochal change from print to digital technology have created a massive wave of competition for traditional news companies, scattering readers and advertisers across a radically altered news and information landscape and triggering mergers, bankruptcies and consolidation among the owners of print and broadcasting properties.

“Every member of my family started out with the same emotion—shock—in even thinking about” selling The Post, said Donald Graham, the Post Co.’s chief executive, in an interview Monday. “But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings.”

Added Graham, “The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. 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.”

Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post

This came out of left-field. I think re-branding the Post with a new name is a mistake, but the new owner is entitled to do what he pleases. I just hope that there isn't a degradation of journalism and mission.
 

Zyphlin

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Wow, I'm shocked he's going to change the name. WaPo is easily the most respected and well read paper here in the area.
 

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Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post

This came out of left-field. I think re-branding the Post with a new name is a mistake, but the new owner is entitled to do what he pleases. I just hope that there isn't a degradation of journalism and mission.

Wow, I'm shocked he's going to change the name. WaPo is easily the most respected and well read paper here in the area.

Perhaps I'm reading it wrong but I don't believe Bezos is rebranding the paper but The Washington Post Company, which just sold the paper, is going to re-brand itself and move forward as a company unrelated to The Post.

I knew the newspaper industry was in serious financial trouble but I'm shocked at just how little these companies are worth. The New York Times effectively gave The Boston Globe up for nothing the other day as what Henry will pay will basically cover nothing but the pension.
 
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head of joaquin

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Bezos is a genius at creating value using new technology. I'm glad he's interested in the legacy media. If anybody can keep newpapers relevant, it's him.
 

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Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post

This came out of left-field. I think re-branding the Post with a new name is a mistake, but the new owner is entitled to do what he pleases. I just hope that there isn't a degradation of journalism and mission.

Hmm... how long before it becomes a electronic publication only, saving the airport edition? Get a Kindle with your subscription, as long as you agree to a 2 year deal. Slashing the huge cost of printing the damn thing. Oh, and I think it is only the holding company that will change it's name, not the paper (or electrons) itself.
 

Fiddytree

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Interesting, but I hope that when he moves electronic, he thinks long and hard about the look of the soon-to-be-renamed newspaper on electronic devices of all sorts.
 

CalGun

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It'd be nice if they were not just a pupet for the DNC but that's not likely to change.
 

iacardsfan

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It comes as a shock that he is changing the name, but I guess when you are trying to revamp a somewhat dead business as newspaper, you gotta go for it all.
 

donsutherland1

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Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos - The Washington Post

This came out of left-field. I think re-branding the Post with a new name is a mistake, but the new owner is entitled to do what he pleases. I just hope that there isn't a degradation of journalism and mission.

The newspaper's name won't be changing. The name of the Graham family's holding company will be changing.

Finally, I share your hope that there won't be a degradation of the newspaper's journalism and mission.
 

jonny5

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Itll be interesting to see what happens. It would ne nice if he got rid of the bias, the editorial page, and made wapo.com the place to go to get actual original content about real news on everything, and then figured out a way to sell it without being sensationalist, but I dont know if thats possible.
 

AliHajiSheik

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It comes as a shock that he is changing the name, but I guess when you are trying to revamp a somewhat dead business as newspaper, you gotta go for it all.

Reading is fundamental. Read the article closer.
 

jonny5

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I think if I was the Grahms, I wouldnt have sold till I was dead. Some traditions are just sacred. What they could have done instead is try to attract the 50% of Americans that arent liberal. Theres a whole bunch of potential customers they arent getting simply because of their bias.
 

LowDown

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I think if I was the Grahms, I wouldnt have sold till I was dead. Some traditions are just sacred. What they could have done instead is try to attract the 50% of Americans that arent liberal. Theres a whole bunch of potential customers they arent getting simply because of their bias.

I agree, and it is a problem that has gotten more acute. Talk to the news people at the Washington Post and the left side of the blogosphere and you won't find a single one who will admit that overly biased content had anything to do with the paper's demise.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is growing in readership and profit.

What will Bezos do with it? I'll throw in my 2 cents and say that he ought to bite the bullet and put the whole thing behind a pay wall. Subscription only, no exceptions, like the Wall Street Journal.

My other recommendation for saving the newspaper industry is to ban all J-school grads from the news room and hire high school graduates and teach them how to write copy.
 

uncleray

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Thought that the WaPo had something like a 40% drop in circulation in recent years but can't confirm.
With Jeff at the helm, will we get free Amazon shipping with a WaPo subscription?
 

Ryan5

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Let the newspaper industry die. It's worthless.
 

tech30528

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The new format will have to be a series of tweets since the current generations lack the attention span to read a newspaper.
 

Ryan5

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Burn the books in the Library while we are at it!


You demonstrate how simple minds will run to the wildest extreme with as little information as possible. Then again that would self describe almost all Libertarians.



Newspapers are worthless. There are a minimum of over 50 great global news sites with great authorship and for those that dig far more even. The concept of newspapers is obsolete. No local paper could possibly hope to give accurate news anyways to a globally connected world news consumer. Local news is inherently biased by its very nature.
 
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You demonstrate how simple minds will run to the wildest extreme with as little information as possible. Then again that would self describe almost all Libertarians.



Newspapers are worthless. There are a minimum of over 50 great global news sites with great authorship and for those that dig far more even. The concept of newspapers is obsolete. No local paper could possibly hope to give accurate news anyways to a globally connected world news consumer. Local news is inherently biased by its very nature.

I am sorry you didn't catch sarcasm.
 

Fiddytree

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You demonstrate how simple minds will run to the wildest extreme with as little information as possible. Then again that would self describe almost all Libertarians.



Newspapers are worthless. There are a minimum of over 50 great global news sites with great authorship and for those that dig far more even. The concept of newspapers is obsolete. No local paper could possibly hope to give accurate news anyways to a globally connected world news consumer. Local news is inherently biased by its very nature.

Bias is inherent in the entire process of journalism.

They aren't worthless until global news sites start doing their own reporting and investigative journalism, rather than rely on the work of the bigger outlets. Furthermore, local newspapers are probably going to be the best source for local and state information, as national outlets cannot decently cover micro-level developments to the degree that homegrown journalists can. What we have right now is some online outlets being able to report on a small number of things, while heavily relying on the established, but wounded traditional outlets.
 

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I agree, and it is a problem that has gotten more acute. Talk to the news people at the Washington Post and the left side of the blogosphere and you won't find a single one who will admit that overly biased content had anything to do with the paper's demise.

Just like an alcoholic they first have to admit that their bias exists and has become a problem and that would apply to all media.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is growing in readership and profit.

What will Bezos do with it? I'll throw in my 2 cents and say that he ought to bite the bullet and put the whole thing behind a pay wall. Subscription only, no exceptions, like the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, this is the only way that newspapers will be able to survice in the 21st Century. It is not a blog and cannot subsist on web ads only.

My other recommendation for saving the newspaper industry is to ban all J-school grads from the news room and hire high school graduates and teach them how to write copy.
This idea is good for the whole media. Well they can be College grads but I would also not hire English grads and Literature grads also.
 

Ryan5

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Bias is inherent in the entire process of journalism.

They aren't worthless until global news sites start doing their own reporting and investigative journalism, rather than rely on the work of the bigger outlets. Furthermore, local newspapers are probably going to be the best source for local and state information, as national outlets cannot decently cover micro-level developments to the degree that homegrown journalists can. What we have right now is some online outlets being able to report on a small number of things, while heavily relying on the established, but wounded traditional outlets.


To demographics that matter, Newspapers are 100%, entirely, completely, absolutely worthless. They have no influence whatsoever.

I cannot count on two hands the people that I know that have read a newspaper in the last few years.
 

Fiddytree

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To demographics that matter, Newspapers are 100%, entirely, completely, absolutely worthless. They have no influence whatsoever.

I cannot count on two hands the people that I know that have read a newspaper in the last few years.

They matter a great deal. Bloggers and radio jockeys might disagree, but they suck, so who cares what they think?
 
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