Stereo Tycoon Harman to take over 'Newsweek'

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Washington, August 3 (ANI): Washington philanthropist, education innovator and hi-fidelity stereo pioneer Sidney Harman is all set to buy Newsweek from The Washington Post Co.

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 do this because I see working hands-on at Newsweek as the culmination of a lifetime career in industry and government and education," The Washington Post quoted Harman, as saying.

"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.

According to the Washington Post, the Post Co. did not release the sale price of Newsweek.

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.

In 2009, Newsweek reported a loss of 47.5 million dollars compared to 2007 when it earned 31.4 million dollars profit. The newsweekly magazine now has 1.5 million subscribers, down from its high of 3.2 million.

"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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