Lewis W. Diuguid

Sale of Washington Post may be positive sign for newspaper industry

Updated: 2013-08-06T17:37:32Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

The sale of the Washington Post Co.’s flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has created a buzz among journalists.

However, it may be a good sign for the industry. The 49-year-old Seattle billionaire has agreed to pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications.

The good news is that newspapers are still attractive to investors even though many have struggled especially in the last 10 years to stay afloat because of declining print advertising, the loss of subscribers and the need to build a stronger online presence. Bezos told the Lost Angeles Times he is “very optimistic” about The Post’s future.

He said he had no radical changes planned in the editorial operations, however, he said the paper will need to “invent” and “experiment,” stressing Internet content and the changing habits of readers.

Bezos joins billionaire Warren Buffett in substantially investing in newspapers. The Omaha World-Herald reports: “Since the December 2011 purchase of The World-Herald, (Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett’s company) has purchased more than two dozen daily newspapers in small and medium-sized markets, cities where Buffett said residents have a strong sense of community and where newspapers report local news of interest to readers.”

Buffett owns a share of the Washington Post Co. and is a close adviser to the Graham family, which for four generations owned the newspaper in the nation’s capital.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here