WaPo sale: What does it mean for the newspaper industry?

(CBS News) The Washington Post marks the end of an era this week. The Graham family -- which has owned the paper for four generations -- announced the sale of the paper to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com.

Donald Graham, the chairman and CEO of The Washington Post, told his own paper just how quickly the $250 million cash sale came about.

"Jeff reached out to me less than a month ago. ... We spent an hour to together. ... He asked for time to study the numbers. We then spent another two hours together...he and his team needed time to really look over the business and understand it more thoroughly," he explained Monday.

The sale comes days after the announcement of the $70 million sale of The Boston Globe to the principal owner of the the Red Sox, John Henry after years of decline in circulation and advertising revenue for newspapers. Print advertising revenue across major papers was down $1.8 billion in 2012 and down 55 percent overall since 2007 and print newsrooms have shed 2,600 jobs in 2012.

Media critic Ken Auletta said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," that "like all newspapers," The Washington Post, is "going through tremendous decline."

"What Don Graham said in his statement is that, f you're looking to preserve the paper and make it healthy, you take a bet on someone who's got unlimited amount of money" and "value in the digital realm," Auletta explained.

It is not yet clear why Bezos might be interested in the newspaper business -- "the only other journalistic venture he's invested in is ... Business Insider, which he invested $5 million in earlier this year," Auletta said.

Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994 and is personally worth $25.2 billion according to Forbes, has so far been a "disruptive force" in the book publishing and retail industries and may be looking to expand into the newspaper business to "make it viable," Auletta suggested.

The sale of two major newspapers including family-owned Washington Post has prompted many to wonder whether The New York Times, also a family-owned paper, is next on the docket for sale.

"They've always resisted. They're the last great family-owned newspaper," Auletta said of the storied New York paper. "[The Sulzberger family] derive their identity from the newspapers. They've always said no ... but I would keep my eye on it. The family has not received dividends in four years," he added.

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