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Buzzing about the WaPoCo

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The Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe’s new Buzz looks at how the Post is packing its corporate board with some of the world’s wealthiest people. Melinda French Gates, wife of the world’s richest man, has recently joined the second richest man, Warren Buffett, on the ten-member board. Buffett has been on board since Gerald Ford took office, and now owns about 22 percent of the company.

Jaffe also reports that Melinda Gates bought a cool million in WashPostCo stock last month, which at $919 a pop, means that later this week she’ll be getting a dividend check for about $2,035.

Beyond the fat paycheck, Jaffe summarizes the benefits as follows:

Strengthening the ties between the Post Company and Microsoft could reap profits for both. The Gates family could use a stronger presence in Washington should it run into regulatory trouble again.

The company would “look kindly” at opportunities to expand the existing cable-TV and Internet ties, one Post executive said. One natural extension of the marriage would be to bring Microsoft into Kaplan, the Post Company’s fast-growing education business, which conducts some classes online.

He also wryly notes that the Post’s reporters–like much of the rest of the world–uses IE as its web browser. And that, like the rest of the world, they find it crashes a lot. Perhaps the Post would do well to go open source.

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