The Washington Post

The Washington Post is the largest newspaper in Washington, DC, the capital and seat of government of the United States. The "Post" was founded in 1877; it is thus the oldest published newspaper in Washington, a metropolitan area with more than 8 million inhabitants. She was until 2013 part of the Washington Post Company. On August 5, 2013, the sale of the newspaper to the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was announced.


Start time

The Washington Post first appeared on December 6, 1877 in an edition of ten thousand copies and had a total volume of four sides. Newspaper was founded by the journalist Stilson Hutchins (1838-1912); he was since 1866 deputy in the House of Representatives from Missouri for the Democratic Party.

Among the authors of the early days, among other things Theodore Roosevelt, who later became U.S. president belonged. 1880 Joseph Pulitzer ( a Hungarian immigrant ) editor of the Post.

The newspaper was sold in 1889 to the Republican Frank Hatton and followed a conservative course. 1905 bought John Roll McLean, the "Post", as the founder Hutchins was close to the Democrats. With McLean, the newspaper received a boost in circulation and advertising revenue, which is only changed when the newspaper of McLean's son was taken. The deteriorating financial situation reached its nadir finally in the auction of the leaf 1933 (1929 the Great Depression had begun, it was followed in the U.S., the Great Depression, which lasted until the late 1930s ).

After the auction of 1933

At the auction of the newspaper The Californian banker Eugene Meyer came to the train; Under his aegis, post again developed into a viable business. After the Second World War appeared daily more than 160,000 copies. His son Philip Graham finally took over with his wife Katharine Graham, the head of the newspaper; yet he was able to build a fully fledged team of good journalists. It began in 1939 as a journalist their way in the Group and built it after the suicide of her husband in 1963 to a media empire made ​​, which included radio and TV stations as well as newspapers and magazines. In 1954, she earned the appearing in Washington as a morning newspaper in larger edition Washington Times - Herald ( emerged from the merger of the Washington Times and Herald newspapers ). After merging the newspaper first appeared under both names; the title Times - Herald became smaller and smaller and finally disappeared altogether. 1960 took over the Washington Post Company also the magazine New York-based News -Week (later Newsweek ).

One of the greatest successes of the newspaper includes the uncovering of the Watergate scandal, from June 1971, the paper published in this context, the Pentagon Papers -. A risky venture, as this had been the rivals New York Times prohibited. Significantly involved in the discovery were the two Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; they were honored for their investigative reporting with the Pulitzer Prize.

Started by Warren Buffett in 1973

1973 increased investor Warren Buffett with 10% at the post office and took over until his resignation in 2011 to retire the line of the Supervisory Board. The newspaper continued to solid economies.

The New York Times and the "Post" published worldwide " International Herald Tribune " gave out. On 30 December 2002, the New York Times Company took over the equity portion of the "post "; since they are the " Tribune " out alone.

2010 was the post from Newsweek for a symbolic dollar.


The economic development of the Washington Post suffers because it does have national distribution, but their long-standing majority owners are regionally oriented. To entertain Worldwide offices, was primarily a service for the regional readership, which the newspaper could afford to with increasing penetration of the Internet its circulation fell within a few years in the six figures. The newspaper has released since 2003 repeatedly employees and Foreign Offices closed. The end of 2009 remained in the newsroom by 700 editors (six years earlier it was 900 have been ); addition to its headquarters, there are only offices abroad. In Europe, the Washington Post Office remained in London. The need for radical cuts was initially reduced, because the post in 1984 bought the company chaplain as part of a diversification strategy, the private and for-profit colleges operate. Kaplan took in the 1990s an enormous upswing; the losses of the post could be offset by gains in other parts of the company in the entire company for long.

Change of ownership in 2013

From the end of 2012, the family owners thought seriously about a sale. On August 5, 2013, the Washington Post Company announced that the founder and president of the online mail-order company Amazon, Jeff Bezos, as a private citizen bought the Washington Post and released from the Washington Post Company has. The purchase price was 250 million U.S. dollars. The Washington Post Company and its subsidiaries Kaplan,, Slate Group, Social Code, Post- Newsweek Stations, the newspaper The Gazette, Express, El Tiempo Latino, etc. is under a changed name without their previous "flagship" continue to exist.

Bezos wrote to employees on the day of purchase a letter in which he put it: " The values ​​of the 'Post' need no change. The newspaper will remain committed to their readers and not to engage the private interests of its owner " and he " do not plan to daily business. "

In an interview he gave a few days later announced that he intends to apply to the sheet of the same three approaches that Amazon had made ​​large: the customer first, innovation and patience. He would provide the Washington Post over a longer period the money so that management could try out how the dissemination of news can be profitable.

Many comments take the purchase to the occasion, the newspaper closures and the newspaper crisis and the problems of print media in the context of the rapid spread of the Internet and mobile Internet (smartphones ) to look at.


In 1889, the newspaper commissioned the head of the United States Marine Band John Philip Sousa to compose a march. The march of The Washington Post was on June 15, 1889 as part of an essay contest for children, which the newspaper had sponsored, premiered.