The world of old media has just been rattled again: The Washington Post has officially been sold to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $250 million.
Now, this isn't to say that Jeff Bezos won't be the savior that'll save one of America's most iconic newspapers from impending doom. He may very well do that. But, the sale of the Washington Post is the materialization of something so many had long thought impossible.
“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, whose family has owned the company for about four generations. “But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings.”
"I’m not saying this guarantees success," Graham continued. "But it gives us a much greater chance of success.”
Bezos' purchase is an individual one, meaning he owns it, and not Amazon. He faces the uphill battle of turning around a media organization with a large online and print audience, though it has been losing print customers at high rates. Over the past six years, operating revenue fell 44 percent, and another 7 percent just this year for daily and Sunday editions.
"I don’t want to imply that I have a worked-out plan,” Bezos said. “This will be uncharted terrain, and it will require experimentation.”