'Financial Challenges Prompted' Washington Post to Sell

'Financial Challenges Prompted' Washington Post to Sell

In its surprise announcement Monday, the Washington Post Co. agreed to sell its flagship newspaper to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com. The release, written by Paul Farhi, disclosed that the paper’s recent financial troubles “prompted” the board to look for a buyer.

Over the past six years, the Post reports, the newspaper…

…has suffered a 44 percent decline in operating revenue over the past six years. Although the paper is one of the most popular news sources online, print circulation has dwindled, too, falling another 7 percent daily and Sundays during the first half of this year.

Ultimately, the paper’s financial challenges prompted the company’s board to consider a sale, a step once regarded as unthinkable by insiders and the Graham family itself.

In February of this year, the Washington Post announced a series of layoffs and that in the fourth quarter of 2012, the company had lost $45.4 million. Daily circulation had dropped a full 8.6%.

This was just one of many bad financial reports in recent months and years.

The sale of the Post for $250 million marks the third major move made by a major media company in as many days that points to a continued collapse of the media, at least in print form. Over the weekend, the Daily Beast unloaded Newsweek for an undisclosed sum.

Saturday, the New York Times sold the Boston Globe for a 93% loss.


Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC