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Washington Post Co puts flagship title up for sale

The Washington Post Company, the family-controlled publisher, announced yesterday it is exploring the possible sale of its flagship magazine Newsweek.

The weekly has been negatively affected by declining advertising revenues facing print publications the world over, whilst also having to compete with the increasing demand for instant information propagated by television and the internet.
Donald Graham, third-generation chairman of The Washington Post Co, said: "The losses at Newsweek in 2007-2009 are a matter of record. Despite the heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek's management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010. We are exploring all options to fix the problem"
Despite reducing staff numbers by a quarter and cutting costs through voluntary buyouts, the magazine division of the Post lost $29.3 million in 2009.
"Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere," Graham concluded.
The Graham family has controlled the education and media company since 1933 when Eugene Myer bought the Post out of bankruptcy. Second-generation Philip Graham purchased Newsweek in 1961. The company now has revenues of $4.5 billion and already has several fourth-generation family members working in the business. (Continue reading here)
Fellow family-controlled publisher McGraw-Hill made a similar move when it sold its weekly news title Business Week in October 2009 and has since seen two positive quarters of growth. (Continue reading here)

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