Some big (and surprising) news in the media industry today: The Washington Post has just confirmed that it and its affiliated publications have been acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $250 million in cash. The paper notes that Amazon itself "will have no role in the purchase," and that Bezos "will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days." It also goes on to explain that the existing Washington Post Company, which owns a number of other businesses (including Slate), "will change to a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post thereafter."
In an interview with the paper, the Post Co.'s chief executive, Donald Graham, says that "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," adding, "I'm not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success." In a letter to Post employees, Bezos, who was apparently one of several suitors considered by the company, says that he "won't be leading The Washington Post day-to-day," but that "there will of course be change at The Post over the coming years," and that "we will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment."