Graham Holdings Company
|Traded as||Class A Common Stock: unlisted
Class B Common Stock: NYSE: GHC
|Founded||August 4, 1947 (as The Washington Post Company)
November 29, 2013 (as Graham Holdings Company)
|Headquarters||Arlington, Virginia, U.S.|
|Donald E. Graham
(Chairman and CEO)
Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy (president)
Hal S. Jones
|Revenue||US$ 3.49 billion (2013)|
|US$ 346 million (2013)|
|US$ 236 million (2013)|
|Total assets||US$ 5.811 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||US$ 3.300 billion (2013)|
Number of employees
|14,000, full-time basis(2013)|
Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company) is a diversified American conglomerate, best known for formerly owning the newspaper for which it was once named, The Washington Post, and Newsweek.
Its holdings include the online magazine Slate, Graham Media Group (formerly Post-Newsweek Stations), a group of five large-market television stations, higher education company Kaplan, and Trove (formerly WaPo Labs)—the developers of a news reader app. Graham Holdings Company also owned cable television and internet service provider Cable One until it was spun off in 2015.
The history of Graham Holdings Company dates back to 1877, when the Post was first published. The Washington Post Company was incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1889, and remained a District of Columbia corporation until it changed its place of incorporation to Delaware in 2003. It is a public company and its Class B common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GHC; it went public in 1971.
Descendents of the late Eugene Meyer (including Chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham, his sister Lally Weymouth, and the beneficiaries of various family trusts) collectively control the company through their ownership of the unlisted Class A common stock that selects 70% of the company's board of directors. As of 2014, it forms more than 90% of the family's assets. Prior to 2014, Berkshire Hathaway was a substantial holder of the public Class B common stock that selects 30% of the company's board of directors, but exchanged most of that stock for WPLG-TV, one of Graham Holdings' television stations, and other assets, in 2014.
2013 sale of The Washington Post
On August 5, 2013 it was announced that the Washington Post Company would sell the flagship newspaper for $250 million to Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com. The Washington Post Company agreed to adopt a new corporate name once the sale was finalized. It adopted Graham Holdings Company as the new name effective November 29, 2013. Amazon.com was not involved in the sale. Nash Holdings LLC, a company owned by Bezos, closed the purchase of the newspaper and affiliated publications on October 1, 2013. Graham Holdings Company retained ownership of WaPo Labs, its technology innovation group, since rebranded as Trove.
Since 1950, the company had been based in the Washington Post building in Washington, D.C., which was sold off separately in 2014. Its new headquarters are at 1300 North 17th Street in Arlington, Virginia, with the choice of state motivated (according to Don Graham) by the proximity to Congress and the fact that two of the holding's activity areas, education and health care, are subject to federal regulation.
The Education area yielded 61% of GHC's revenue in 2014. Kaplan, Inc. is one of the world's largest providers of educational services. Kaplan focuses on three areas: higher education, professional training, and test preparation. Headquartered in New York City, Kaplan had $2.2 billion in revenue in 2013.
StudentAdvisor.com is the latest[when?] education resource launched by Graham Holdings Company. StudentAdvisor.com is an education research (reviews written by students, alumni, and parents) and comparison destination (tools to download and compare multiple colleges) for students, parents, and lifetime learners.
Through its Graham Media Group subsidiary (formerly Post-Newsweek Stations), Graham Holdings owns a group of five television stations. Based in Detroit, Graham Media Group is led by chief executive officer Emily L. Barr.
Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.
|City of License / Market||Station||Channel
|Owned since||Primary affiliation|
|Orlando - Daytona Beach - Melbourne||WKMG-TV||6 (26)||1997||CBS|
|San Antonio||KSAT-TV||12 (12)||1994||ABC|
Graham Holdings Company also owns three firms active in various capacities on the World Wide Web. These include The Slate Group, which publishes Slate, Slate V, and ForeignPolicy.com. The Root, an online magazine focusing on African American culture, used to be held by The Slate Group until Graham Holdings sold it to Univision Communications in 2015. Graham Holdings Company also owns SocialCode, an advertising agency specializing in Facebook and Twitter marketing.
In October 2012, the firm purchased Celtic Healthcare Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Celtic Healthcare, based in Pennsylvania, provides home health care in western, central, and northeastern Pennsylvania as well as Montgomery and Baltimore County, Maryland. It also provides home hospice services in the same areas, as well as owns a 10-bed inpatient hospice in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. In 2014, it had around 558 full-time and 45 part-time employees.
In July 2013, Graham Holdings purchased Forney Corp. for an undisclosed sum. The company, which is based in Addison, Texas, manufactures equipment that monitors and controls the combustion of coal, natural gas, and other materials. This equipment is sold to electric utilities for use in power generation plants.
- "2013 Form 10-K, Graham Holdings Company". United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
- District of Columbia Corporation records show the original Washington Post Company was registered as a domestic corporation in 1889
- District of Columbia Corporation records show the original D.C.-based corporation's charter was revoked in 2003 and replaced by a Delaware-based foreign corporation.
- Graham Holdings: 2014 Annual Report (available on GHCO.com)
- Wilgoren, Debbi. "Washington Post Co. Renamed Graham Holdings Company to Mark Sale of Newspaper." Washington Post. November 18, 2013. Accessed 2013-11-18.
- Farhi, Paul (August 6, 2013). "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon". Washington Post. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
- Fahri, Paul (October 1, 2013). "The Washington Post Closes Sale to Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos". The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
Bezos’s $250 million purchase was completed as expected with the signing of sale documents. The signing transfers the newspaper and other assets from The Washington Post Co. to Nash Holdings, Bezos’s private investment company.
- Clabaugh, Jeff (October 1, 2013). "Jeff Bezos Completes Washington Post Acquisition". Washington Business Journal (American City Business Journals). Retrieved October 1, 2013.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now officially the head of a newspaper, completing his $250 million acquisition of the Washington Post’s publishing business Tuesday afternoon.
- "Washington Post's former TV arm changes name to Graham Media Group". Chicago Tribune. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Clabaugh, Jeff (November 13, 2014). "Graham Holdings to spin off cable business". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
- "Graham Holdings Completes Spin-off of Cable ONE". Business Wire. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
- "The Washington Post Company Announces The Slate Group." Washington Post. June 4, 2008.
- Bond, Shannon (2015-05-21). "Univision buys African-American news site The Root". Financial Times. ISSN 0307-1766. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
- Clabaugh, Jeff. "Washington Post Enters Hospice Business With Purchase of Celtic Healthcare." Washington Business Journal. October 1, 2012. Accessed 2013-11-18.
- Clabaugh, Jeff. "Washington Post Buys Utility Products Company." Washington Business Journal. July 18, 2013. Accessed 2013-11-18.