A U.S. media company announced today that it would be selling 63 newspapers to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway holding company for $142 million, according to the Associated Press. Berkshire Hathaway will also be loaning the company, Media General, $400 million to pay off other debts.
Buffett's company will now own Virginia's Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina, among others. But when it came to picking up newspapers in Florida, the billionaire said no thanks.
Media General will hang on to the Tampa Tribune
and its affiliated community papers until it can find another buyer, according to Poynter
"In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper," Buffett said in a statement. "The many locales served by the newspapers we are acquiring fall firmly in this mold and we are delighted they have found a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway."
Well, the Tampa market didn't find a home there. It might mean something about a "strong sense of community," but it probably also has something to do with Media General reporting profits last year in all of its markets except Florida
, and that round of 165 layoffs at the Trib
just before Christmas.
And it looks like one of the most successful investors of all time thinks newspapers might be a moneymaker one day... as long as they're not in the Sunshine State.