Sell Washington Post to Michael Bloomberg? Not so Crazy an idea
Should the Grahams and fellow shareholders sell the Washington Post newspaper, including its online part, even if the family and allies keep the TV stations as well as Kaplan and the rest of the Washington Post Company?Jack Shafer, a Reuters media-blogger and an alum of the Post-owned Slate, laid off in an economy move, is pushing this not-so-wild idea with a buyer in mind. For months I myself had been thinking similar thoughts, abeit not with the newspaper-only angle. Yes, why not see if Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire New York mayor and owner of the news service named after him, might be game to restore the Post's old shine? The Post's national and international operations could mesh well with the Bloomberg news service (part of Bloomberg L.P.), a name already familiar in the Post's pages. What's more, as Shafer sees it, Bloomberg gets along swimmingly with Post Company CEO and Chairman Donald Graham. Mind you, I have some caveats with which Shafer may or may agree (he probably won't). For example, so that the sale happened with the public interest in mind, I would want assurances of proper corporate governance as well as of improved local coverage. Some of my fellow progressives might also worry about Bloomberg's politics. But he is no Schaife, and it isn't as if the current Post editorial page is in the territory of The Nation or HuffPo. For more details, check out the Solomon Scandals.