Jeff Bezos wasn’t the first mogul to buy a print paper. Here’s a look at five other magnates who did the same thing.
Yesterday, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, bought The Washington Post Co. from the Graham family — who owned the paper for 80 years — for $ 250 million in cash. He isn’t first entrepreneur to pull such a move. Bezos, who is worth of $ 25.2 billion, is only of many. Here’s a look at the entprereneurs in his company:
John Henry, The Boston Globe
Just days before Bezos purchased The Post, John Henry bought The Boston Globe from The New York Times Co. for a cool $ 70 million. Henry, who’s worth $ 1.5 billion, is also the proud owner of the New England Sports Network, a NASCAR racing team, and a Liverpool soccer club. (Image: Getty)
Warren Buffett, The Press of Atlantic City
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought The Press of Atlantic City from Abarta, a Pittsburg-based, family-owned holding company, for an undisclosed amount in July. Buying The Press wasn’t anything new for Berkshire, which has 31 dailies to its name. In fact, Buffett admits his strategy is to gobble up as many community newspapers as he can because they generate profits through ads and the classifieds. Though Buffett told CNBC that he doesn’t expect the dailies to “move the needle” at Berkshire, he believes they can bring an annual return of 10 percent. (Image: Wikimedia)
Carlos Slim, The New York Times Co.
Helú was once the richest man in the world with $ 53.5 billion to his name. In 2009, he bought a 7 percent stake in The New York Times Co. for $ 250 million. Two years later, he bought additional shares, bringing his ownership stake to just over 7 percent. Slim and his family hold a warrant to buy nearly 16 million shares, but they must do so before 2015. (Image: itupictures / Flickr.com)
Sam Zell, The Tribune Co.
Zell purchased The Tribune Co. back in 2007 for $ 8.2 billion, but things didn’t go so well. Its eight newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, as well as 23 local television stations, were hampered by debt and massive cuts to ad revenue. Zell thought he could turn things around by taking the company private and selling off pieces to turn a profit. But months after the deal, the Great Recession hit, and less than a year later, Tribune Co. filed for Chapter 11. Soon it was the biggest bankruptcy case in the American media industry, with $ 13 billion in debt. Before leaving the company to senior debt holders in 2010, Zell told The Wall Street Journal: “What precipitated the filing was a huge erosion in revenue and a total lack of visibility going forward. That’s a tsunami you can’t swim up against.” (Image: AP)
Alan Smolinisky, the Palisadian-Post
Alan Smolinisky, 33, fulfilled his life-long dream of owning a newspaper in 2012 when he purchased his local Californian weekly, the Palisadian-Post. Smolinisky, who grew up in the Pacific Palisades, said he hasn’t caught on to the web, never used social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and reads five papers cover to cover every morning. Buying the paper wasn’t a power move so much as a personal one, told The L.A. Times: “I have a moral obligation to make sure this newspaper arrives every Thursday for as long as I live.” (Image: LA Times)
Brian Tierney, The Philadelphia Enquirer
Brian Tierney, a former PR mogul known to fight with reporters, formed Philadelphia Media Holdings with investors. He bought The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com for $ 515 million in 2006. Shortly after the deal, he became publisher of The Inquirer. After seeing a 10 percent decline in ad revenue and accumulating debt worth $ 350 million, Philadelphia Media Holdings went bankrupt in 2010. (Image: hyku / Flickr.com)