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Newsweek Goes to Sidney Harman

Multiple news outlets are reporting that electronics tycoon Sydney Harman has inked a deal to buy Newsweek from The Washington Post Co.

“It’s official: Sidney Harman, the businessman who made his fortune selling stereo equipment, has secured a deal to buy Newsweek from the Washington Post Co.,” writes Nat Ives of Advertising Age.

The New York Times earlier today reported that the deal would go down today. Politico came out with a similar report this morning.

The Times says:

The financial details of the sale were not known, though one person with knowledge of Mr. Harman’s bid said last week that he would pay $1 in exchange for absorbing Newsweek’s considerable financial liabilities.

We’ve called the Post Co. for confirmation and will update when we hear back.

Update: paidContent has confirmed the Ad Age report.

Update 2: Shares of The Washington Post Co. are up 2.8% at $432.11 in midafternoon trading.

Update 3: NYT‘s Media Decoder blog has a preemptive reaction piece featuring Northwestern University journalism professor Charles Whitaker.

“It always seemed clear to me that the person or people who bought Newsweek were going to have an egotistical or emotional reason for stepping in — that it wasn’t going to be purely a business decision. Because if you looked at the numbers, it just didn’t make sense,” he said.

Update 4: Citing “a source close to the situation,” Keith Kelly at the New York Post is reporting that Newsweek editor Jon Meacham has told Harman that he’s ready to step down as soon as Harman finds a successor.

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