Washington Post sells Newsweek to stereo mogul

By Blake Ellis, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Washington Post Co. said Monday it has sold struggling Newsweek magazine, which it has published for half a century, to audio industry pioneer Sidney Harman.

The financial terms of the deal were not announced. According to an article in the Washington Post citing an unnamed source, Harman is paying a "minimal" amount of cash but assuming obligations that could cost tens of millions of dollars.

"[Harman] has pledged not only to continue to produce a lively, compelling and first-rate news magazine, but also an equally dynamic Newsweek.com," Donald Graham, chairman and chief executive officer of the Washington Post Co. (WPO, Fortune 500), said in a statement.

Harman, founder and chairman of audio equipment maker Harman International, called the Post a "national treasure." He said he was looking forward to "this great journalistic, business and technological challenge."

In the statement, the Washington Post Co. said that Harman plans to keep "a majority" of Newsweek's staff. Newsweek reported that the magazine's editor-in-chief, Jon Meacham, has already announced he will step down after the deal is completed.

Harman apparently wasn't the only one eyeing the magazine. Other bidders included Fred Drasner, a former executive at U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News, as well as hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, which has a stake in America Media Inc., according to Newsweek. To top of page

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