Politico Sale Nets Fortune for Washington Media Mogul Allbritton
(Bloomberg) -- German publishing group Axel Springer SE’s planned purchase of news website Politico for more than $1 billion would benefit one of the lesser-known U.S. media moguls, Robert Allbritton.
Allbritton, 52, is the son of Joe Allbritton, a Texan who made money in real estate and finance and began accumulating Washington media properties in the 1970’s. Robert began running the family media businesses in 1996 when he was four years out of college, according to a 2009 profile in the Washingtonian. Joe died in 2012.
Robert founded Politico in 2007, with a narrow focus on inside-the-Beltway political coverage. He claims the website has been consistently profitable.
Politico’s sale will mark the second lucrative media exit for Allbritton in recent years. The company sold a group of seven television stations to Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. in 2014 for $985 million. Robert said at the time that he planned to use the money to focus on Politico and other online media businesses.
Allbritton will continue as publisher of Politico, as well as tech news website Protocol, which is also being acquired by Axel Springer, the companies said Thursday in a statement.
As well as running media businesses, Allbritton was once the chief executive officer of Washington-based lender Riggs National Corp. He resigned in 2005, shortly before Riggs was sold to PNC Financial Services Group Inc. for $652 million. His father served as the bank’s CEO for 20 years before stepping down in 2001.
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