Jeff Bezos (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has agreed to buy The Washington Post newspaper and other related publications for $250 million in cash.
Bezos is handling the deal individually and the newspaper will not be part of online retailer Amazon.com.
In a letter to Washington Post staffers Monday addressing concerns in the newsroom, Bezos said that "the values of the Post do not need changing."
"The paper's duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners," he wrote. "We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we'll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely."
The deal brings the end to four generations of ownership by the Graham family -- and also symbolizes how dramatically the newspaper industry is evolving. Newspaper revenue and circulation are shrinking as readers increasingly turn to digital media.
In turn, newspaper owners are experimenting with new circulation-boosting ideas, novel ad revenue models - and are open to selling off their struggling printed properties.
Last week, Red Sox principal owner John Henry reached an agreement to buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. for $70 million.
Bezos is also buying the Express newspaper, The Gazette newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing.
Slate magazine, TheRoot.com and Foreign Policy are not part of the deal and will remain with The Washington Post Co.
The Washington Post Co., which also owns Kaplan, Post-Newsweek Stations and Cable ONE, said it will change its name.
Shares of The Washington Post Co. rose 5% in after-hours trading to $597.