The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) will change its name to Graham Holdings as part of an earlier agreement with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who recently bought the newspaper The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) and other publishing assets, reports Jennifer Booton for Fox Business. The company will also change its ticker symbol from WPO to GHC.
Washington Post to change hands after 80 years
Bezos bought the newspaper separately from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and has taken it private, so it would be confusing if a publicly traded company kept the name The Washington Post when it no longer owned the eponymous paper.
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The Graham family owned the newspaper for 80 years, but it was announced in early August that Bezos would acquire it for $250 million. The Post, like most newspapers, has had a tough time with declining ad revenues, and struggled to find a way to make money online. A number of prominent investors, including Warren Buffet, have said that newspapers are probably undervalued right now even though it’s not clear how to bring them back to profitability.
Bezos will give Graham Holdings the runway it needs
But this deal was especially controversial because, as the CEO and face of Amazon, Bezos is one of the people who gets blamed for putting so much pressure on publishers in the first place. On the other hand, Bezos has taken a long view of building Amazon, losing money to gain market share when necessary, and he has earned investors’ trust while doing so. Even without knowing exactly what Bezos has in mind, it’s clear that he is going to give the newspaper the financial space it needs to try out different business models while it looks for something that will work in the online era.
“It’s a personal investment. I’m hopeful that I can help from a distance in part by providing runway for them to do a series of experiments, in part through bringing some of the philosophy that we have used at Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to the Post,” said Bezos.
No one knows how involved Bezos will be in the newspaper’s management – after all, he will still have his hands full running Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) – but he has plenty of experience in content delivery even if he hasn’t been involved in newspapers specifically and he’ll undoubtedly have new ideas on how to turn it around.