Amazon founder and chief executive officer Jeffrey P Bezos has agreed to buy the newspaper assets of The Washington Post Company for USD 250 million, the daily has announced. The Post announced the deal yesterday.
This would be Bezos's maiden entry into the newspaper industry, which in the last few years has seen a decline in circulation and a drastic drop in print revenue. "This will be uncharted terrain and it will require experimentation," he said in an interview to The Post. "There would be change with or without new ownership.
But the key thing I hope people will take away from this is that the values of The Post do not need changing. The duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners," he said.
"This is a day that my family and I never expected to come. The Washington Post Company is selling the newspaper that it has owned and nurtured for eight decades," The Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth, said in a note to Post employees.
However, Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organisation and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days, the Post reported.
According to the daily, while the discussion in this regard was going on for the past six months now, very few people were aware about it. For much of the past decade, however, 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, has been unable to escape the financial turmoil that has engulfed newspapers and other "legacy" media organisations.