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Thursday, February 7, 2013

WASHINGTON POST: Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway adds Greensboro, NC, News & Record to its growing newspaper unit

Published: February 1

OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Thursday that is adding the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record to its growing newspaper division.
Berkshire bought the 122-year-old daily newspaper from Landmark Media Enterprises, based in Norfolk, Va.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The Omaha World-Herald, which oversees Berkshire’s newspaper division, reported that the News & Record has daily circulation of 58,000 and Sunday circulation of 86,000.
Buffett did not immediately respond Thursday to email questions about the Greensboro acquisition.
Omaha World-Herald Publisher Terry Kroeger, who leads the newspaper unit, said the Greensboro newspaper will be a great fit with the other small and medium-sized community newspapers Berkshire has purchased.
“We’re delighted to have the Greensboro News & Record join our growing family of newspapers,” Kroeger said.
Newspapers remain a relatively small part of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns an assortment of more than 80 subsidiaries and holds major stakes in companies like Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo and IBM.
Buffett has said he thinks newspapers will continue earning a decent return as long as they remain the primary source of information about their communities.
Last year Berkshire acquired 63 Media General newspapers for $142 million and launched its new newspaper unit. The Media General paper joined the Buffalo News, the Omaha World-Herald and several other newspapers in Nebraska and Iowa that Berkshire already owned although the Buffalo paper operates independently from the newspaper unit.
Berkshire closed the Manassas (Va.) News & Messenger at the end of 2012 because the newspaper was struggling to compete in the Washington suburbs, but Buffett has said he expects to continue buying newspapers.
The Greensboro newspaper will be the 28th daily newspaper Berkshire has bought.
Buffett has told Berkshire’s newspaper publishers that he won’t influence their editorial policies, and he isn’t routinely involved in the day-to-day operations of other subsidiaries. But Buffett think newspapers should charge for online access to their stories.
Berkshire’s subsidiaries include Geico and General Reinsurance, BNSF railroad, MidAmerican Energy utility, Fruit of the Loom, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Dairy Queen and many others.



1 comment:

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