Warren Buffett and his company — Berkshire Hathaway — have purchased plenty of newspapers over the past few years. And given that Buffett was once a paper boy for The Washington Post, many thought he might scoop it up, instead of Jeff Bezos. But Buffett passed on the paper.
He told Fortune that he didn’t buy WaPo because he knew no one else would want that dead weight dragging them down:
True, the company he heads, Berkshire Hathaway, was the largest shareholder of Washington Post Co; an owner of other newspapers: and a sort of natural buyer for the Post. But Buffett said that for him to have bought it for Berkshire would have saddled the next CEO (whoever that might be, taking office at an unknown date) with a metro newspaper that he or she possibly wouldn’t want. And to buy it personally, he added, would have at his death burdened his three children — Susie, Howard, and Peter Buffett — with the same kind of complex considerations.
Now wasn’t that nice of him?