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Wash Post Co. 'Rebranding' Will Stress Education Properties

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wash Post Co. 'Rebranding' Will Stress Education Properties

Article excerpt

Nine months after The New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller critically referred to The Washington Post Co. as "an education company that happens to own a newspaper," Post Chairman Donald Graham appears ready to agree with him, at least in part.

Noting that its flagship paper provides just 21% of The Washington Post Company's revenue, while educational brand Kaplan brings in half, The Post reports that Graham plans to "rebrand" the family business as an "education and media company."

In a Post story today, Graham said he planned to explain the somewhat symbolic change at a meeting in New York today with Wall Street analysts and shareholders. The story stated that change reflected "the rise of Kaplan Inc. within The Post Co. and the decline of its flagship newspaper."

"Kaplan, which The Post Co. purchased in 1984, now accounts for 50 cents of every dollar in Post Co. revenue, by far the top earner in the company, according to the company's third-quarter earnings report released last month," the Post reported. "The newspaper division, primarily The Post, accounts for 21 cents of every dollar. Kaplan passed the newspaper division in revenue in the third quarter of 2003.

"In recent years, The Post has lost subscribers and revenue, as readers and advertisers have turned to other media -- chiefly, the Internet -- for their news and information," the story added. "Though washingtonpost.com is among the most popular news sites, and is profitable, it still accounts for only about one-fifth of the ad revenue generated by the newspaper."

The story reported that Kaplan "is now growing at about a 20 percent annual clip, as the company has diversified far beyond SAT test-preparation."

Keller, in comments to the American Journalism Review last March, offered his assessment of the Post along with comments about other national rivals. …

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