Folio’s Jason Fell was in touch with the CEO of the Syria-based publishing company Haykal Media during the Newsweek auction.
The CEO, Abdulsalam Haykal, told Fell early on the he was rounding up investors make a bid for the magazine. After the sale, Fell checked back in with him. Turns out he was ignored by The Washington Post Co.’s banker, Allen & Co.
The media market in the Middle East is growing fast, and international media companies are eying the region. It was a perfect moment for us to think of this opportunity, and the risk seemed justified. However, I expected with a reasonable amount of sympathy that the Washington Post wouldn’t sell to a non-American group, let alone an Arab group led by a Syrian media company. It will sound like selling Aljazeera to Fox News. But it would have been nice for them to get back to me, with a diplomatic or a blunt answer, but I got neither.
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