Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of internet retailer Amazon, has reached a deal to purchase the Washington Post newspaper and related assets, the paper announced Monday afternoon.
Bezos will spend $250 million in cash for the paper and other properties, the Washington Post said.
News of the acquisition was first reported by media journalist Jim Romenesko on Twitter. Romenesko acknowledged in several follow-up tweets that he was listening in to an all-staff meeting via a phone number meant to be used by Post employees who were unable to attend Monday’s meeting in person.
Bezos will acquire the Washington Post, Express, Gazette, Fairfield County Times and El Tiempo Latino newspapers along with two newspaper production plants. The deal does not include Slate.com, theroot.com, Foreign Policy magazine or the WaPo Digital Labs.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Bezos’ plans for the Washington Post is anyone’s guess.
“I don’t want to imply that I have a worked-out plan,” Bezos told the Post. “This will be uncharted terrain and it will require some experimentation.”
Bezos said the value of the Post wouldn’t change under his ownership, adding that “the duty of the paper is to the readers, not the owners.”
Bezos’ acquisition of the Post and its related assets continues an unusual recent trend of news organizations changing hands. On Saturday, the New York Times company announced the sale of the Boston Globe newspaper and website to baseball team owner John Henry for $70 million. Over the weekend, the International Business Times acquired Newsweek for an undisclosed amount of cash, splitting the Newsweek Daily Beast Company after two years.
The sale is the latest to shake up the Washington, D.C. media scene. Last week, Sinclair Broadcasting Group announced it would acquire television stations from Allbritton Communications for $985 million, including two stations that operate in Washington.