Stereo Tycoon Harman takes over Newsweek for ‘for a dollar’

August 3rd, 2010 - 5:23 pm ICT by ANI  

London, August 3 (ANI): Washington, August 3 (ANI): Washington philanthropist, education innovator and hi-fidelity stereo pioneer Sidney Harman has bought the struggling US current affairs magazine ‘Newsweek’ from The Washington Post Co. for a nominal amount reported to be just a single dollar.

The declaration came three months after Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham admitted that his company could not lead the struggling newsweekly back to profitability.

“I look forward to this great journalistic, business and technological challenge,” The Guardian quoted Harman, as saying in a statement.

“I see it as both the culmination and synthesis of everything I’ve ever learned, . . . and I find it extraordinarily meaningful to be entrusted with carrying on the legacy of the Graham family,” he added.

Although the cash component of the purchase is minimal, the total obligations taken on by Harman assuming leases, satisfying subscribers who have already paid to receive the magazine, run into the tens of millions of dollars, according to a source close to the deal.

The Post Co. will continue to pay the Newsweek staffers’ pensions. A majority of the remaining 350 employees will be retained, but no decisions have been made on when or how many employees might have to leave.

Newsweek has suffered operating losses of 44 million dollars since 2007. In common with many other magazines, it struggled to cope with a deep slump in advertising and waning circulation, as readers migrated to digital publications.

“In seeking a buyer for Newsweek, we wanted someone who feels as strongly as we do about the importance of quality journalism, we found that person in Sidney Harman,” Graham said in a statement. (ANI)

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