Tags: buffett | pa | newspaper | buying

Buffett Eyes Buying Pennsylvania Newspaper

Friday, 14 Dec 2012 11:10 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Warren Buffett may be about to expand his growing media empire into Pennsylvania.

The outspoken billionaire investor gave a tantalizing hint that he is interested in The Morning Call newspaper of Allentown, which is currently owned by the Tribune Company.

“Allentown is our kind of place,’’ Buffet told the Morning Call. “We haven’t heard anything from the Tribune Company, but if the phone rings, I’ll answer.’’

The Tribune Company, expected to emerge from bankruptcy at the end of the year, could end up selling off its impressive stable of newspapers which include the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway acquired 63 newspapers from Media General last June, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal. His company also owns The Buffalo News and Omaha World-Herald and is a major stockholder in the Washington Post Co.

The Morning Call is the 77th-largest newspaper in the country and has a weekday circulation of 83,654, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

Newspaper analyst John Morton told the journalism website poynter.org that Buffett is interested in newspapers because “they got so cheap so quickly."

“When you get the prices as low as they are now, newspapers in the smaller communities have enough cash flow to make it an interesting investment. He has become convinced of that."

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