Blockbuster news broke late this afternoon that the Washington Post newspaper has been purchased by Amazon owner and founder Jeff Bezos.
The Washington Post’s online properties, such as Slate and TheRoot.com, are not part of the deal. The purchase also doesn’t include the land, meaning it’s a pure content buy by Bezos.
Jeff Bezos says he is retaining current management team and will stay in the “other” Washington, where he “loves his day job.”
The Washington Post does have some ties to the tech community. Donald Graham serves on Facebook’s board of directors and is considered a close counselor of Mark Zuckerberg. In addition, Graham, as well as his mother, the legendary Katherine Graham, is a regular at the tech titan summit each summer in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Kathryn Weymouth, granddaughter of Katherine Graham and publisher of the paper, told an all-staff meeting this afternoon that, “Years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post.”
In a Post story about the sale, Donald Graham, former publisher, said the family reacted with shock to the idea of a sale, until Jeff Bezos’ name emerged.
An individual entity related to Bezos but not part of Amazon is actually purchasing one of the nation’s premier papers. Bezos has never owned a newspaper.
Across Twitter, journos and media commentators alike took to the microblogging site to weigh in on the shocking news and the irony that comes with it. ”The man putting print out of business buys a print publication,” one Twitter user mused.