June 1, 2012
Can Warren Buffett Save America's Newspapers?
Last week, The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans announced that it was succumbing to the economic realities of the new media age and reducing its print frequency from seven days a week to three. Yet just as that announcement was being made, Warren Buffett disclosed that he was buying 26 more dailies to add to the ones he already owns. Community-minded papers have a "good future," he proclaimed. More purchases are expected. So can an obscenely rich old liberal who admits to holding "strong political views" save an industry of underpaid liberals with strong political biases? They wish. Unfortunately, Buffett isn't joining their cause so much as capitalizing on their misfortune. He's scavenging the remainders, acquiring at bargain prices small and mid-sized papers that still offer a nice return for his investors with the promise of a profitable salvage when things finally do go south in a few years. In other words, he's just...(Read Full Article)