Jewish businessman buys Newsweek

By Jennifer Lipman, August 6, 2010
Sidney Harman and his wife Jane, a Congresswoman

Sidney Harman and his wife Jane, a Congresswoman

A Jewish businessman has brought one of the most influential and oldest news magazines in the world – for less than the price of a copy.

Sidney Harman, 91, reportedly paid just $1 (60 pence) to purchase Newsweek from its former owners, the Washington Post Company.

The weekly publication, first published in 1933, is estimated to have lost approximately lost £28 million over the past three years.

Mr Harman, who served as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce under Jimmy Carter, has reportedly agreed to keep on the majority of the current staff.

Mr Harman made his money originally by selling stereo equipment. He is married to longstanding Californian Congresswoman Jane Harman, known for her strong support of Israel.

Donald E Graham, chairman of the Washington Post Company, said: “In seeking a buyer we wanted someone who feels as strongly as we do about the importance of quality journalism.

“We found that person in Sidney Harman.

“He is a quality man, a man who cares, and a man who will be trying with all his power to shape a successful future for Newsweek."

Mr Harman said: "I would be delighted over a period of a few years to see Newsweek get by on its own fuel.”

But he added: “I’m not here to make money. I’m here to make joy.”

Last updated: 9:20am, August 6 2010