Warren Buffett Buys His Hometown Newspaper

Wednesday, 30 Nov 2011 12:56 PM

 

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Billionaire investor Warren Buffett buys newspapers every day, the hometown daily included, but Wednesday he dispensed with the single-issue price and bought the whole company instead.

Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway said it would buy the Omaha World-Herald Co, owner of the paper of the same name, six other dailies and a series of weekly papers in Nebraska and Iowa.

The World-Herald, which calls itself the last major employee-owned paper in the country, splashed the news across its website. With average daily circulation of just over 135,000, it is one of the larger papers in the country.

In a statement, the World-Herald Co said Buffett's ownership would make it easier for the paper to raise money while also preserving local control.

Berkshire is no stranger to the newspaper business. The company bought the Buffalo News in New York in 1977 and has operated it since, though Buffett said in 2009 his owning the paper was not entirely rational.

Buffett was also a long-time board member of the Washington Post Co and a confidant of legendary publisher Katharine Graham.

Buffett has said that newspapers face years of "nearly unending losses" because they lack a sustainable business model.

Advertising revenue and circulation at many U.S. papers have fallen in the past several years as people turn to the Internet for free news and their advertising needs, forcing some newspapers out of business and some publishers into filing for bankruptcy or laying off thousands of employees.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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