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Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Billionaires' love affair with buying a piece of journalism

Pierre Omidyar, chairman and founder of eBay Inc.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pierre Omidyar's $250 million investment in a nonprofit digital journalism start-up is just the latest example of a billionaire spending a ton of money to keep the struggling business of journalism alive.

He's following in the path of Amazon's Jeff Bezos with The Washington Post and Rupert Murdoch with News Corp (although he has split the publishing assets off from Fox's entertainment assets, leaving the company with $2.6 billion in cash and no debt).

The list goes on and on—billionaire investor John Henry bought The Boston Globe from the New York Times Company this summer, and in 2012 Aaron Kushner, who made his fortune in the greeting card business, bought the parent company of The Orange County Register, while Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes bought a majority stake in The New Republic. It hasn't always turned out well—Barry Diller called buying Newsweek in 2010 a "mistake" and sold it to IBT Media in August. But it's been a trend going back to William Randolph Hearst.

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