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Posts Tagged ‘Warren Buffett’

Let’s Guess Who is Buying Time Inc.

Alright people, the rumor of the day is that Time Warner is currently in talks with a “serious buyer” who will purchase Time Inc., yet allow Time Warner to retain at least three magazines, including Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. According (oddly enough) to Fortune, “A meeting of the buyer’s representatives” is happening today.

A couple questions arise from this rumor. For starters, why would Time Warner not want to keep People, the most financially robust Time Inc. title? The second — and most important  — question: Who is buying? Below are just a few guesses. Feel free to add any in the comments/hate mail.

This Guy Owns a Ferrari, a Bentley and Now… A Local Newspaper

Alan Smolinisky‘s 15-month old son Charlie was named in honor of billionaire investor Charles Munger. In his home, there is also a framed, flattering hand-written note from another three-comma titan, Warren Buffett.

So why would Smolinisky have paid seven figures for the money-losing Pacific Palisades weekly newspaper the Palisadian-Post? Because, like Aaron Kushner with the Orange County Register, Doug Manchester down in San Diego and the LA Times‘ imminent new owner, this savvy investor believes in the future of a well-targeted and storied print publication. Per Martha GrovesLA Times write-up:

Bill Bruns, managing editor since 1993, likes to joke that, if a resident of Brentwood won a Nobel Prize, the paper would not cover the story. But if the person lived in the Palisades the news would land on the front page.

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Out of Bankruptcy, Tribune Company Plans to Sell Pretty Much Everything

Anyone want to buy a newspaper? How about a TV station? Or maybe you’re more of a web fan, in which case careerbuilder.com might interest you. Either way, if you’re a media mogul with deep pockets, The Tribune Company has something for you.

The company has just emerged from bankruptcy with a new board, and they’re planning a fire sale. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune Company wants to sell its eight newspapers, 23 TV stations and various sites, like Career Builder.

The papers — which include heavyweights like the Tribune and The Los Angeles Times — are only valued at about $623 million total. The TV stations and web properties — including WPIX and national cable channel WGN — are worth much more; at about $2.85 billion.

Somewhere, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett are counting up the change in their respective piggy banks.

The Scoops and Acclaim Keep on Coming for Enterprising Los Cerritos Community News Duo*

The last time a pair of reporters did this much damage on the municipal corruption front, it led to a Pulitzer Prize for the LA Times. Whatever awards the Los Cerritos Community News tandem of Randy Economy and (owner) Brian Hews win in the near future for their enterprise reporting about the massive scandal tainting the LA County Assessor’s office will be equally well-deserved.

Every other day, the duo have been detonating another bombshell, the culmination of many thousands of hours of investigative work and dozens of thoroughly documented articles. On September 27 for example, Economy (pictured) and Hews wrote about some bogus property value breaks given to The Grove developer Rick Caruso. More recently, on October 12, it was about how a modest Huntington Beach home owned by the man at the center of the graft – John Noguez – had somehow earned historical status.

On the top left-hand corner of the Los Cerritos Community News website, there is a quote given by Warren Buffett to the LA Times this spring on prominently display. It reads: ““In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper.” A principle that is at the very heart of Economy and Hews’ reporting for the website and weekly print edition.

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Forbes Lists 400 Richest (White) People in America

The economy is still in the crapper, so why don’t we celebrate that by looking at Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in the nation? As usual, pretty much everyone on the list is white. If that surprises you, please read the following very carefully: White people own everything. It’s not fair, but it’s true.

Bill Gates leads the pack this year with a total net worth of $66 billion, followed by Warren Buffett ($46 billion) and Larry Ellison ($41 billion).

As for New York media moguls, our Mayor, Michael Bloombergcomes in at a respectable 10th, with $25 billion. Rupert Murdoch is tied for 36th with Mark Zuckerberg, at $9.4 billion. We’re pretty sure that makes them best friends, but we’re still waiting on confirmation of that.

A few others: Samuel Newhouse comes in at 46 with $7.4 billion; Donald Newhouse ranks 51st, with $6.6 billion; and Mort Zuckerman ranks 190th, with $2.4 billion.

For the full list, click through.

Warren Buffett Takes a Hands-Off, Bare Bones Approach to Newspapers

Warren Buffett has been saving local newspapers left and right. However, according to the New York Times, he remains unattached and uninvolved in the dailies that he scoops up. Also, being saved by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t mean everything is grand for the staffers who remain.

The offices of The Buffalo News, which Buffett bought in 1977, hasn’t been graced by Buffett’s presence in eight years. Papers recently purchased are going to get the same sort of treatment. In a letter sent by Buffett, he explained that policy issues should be treated as they always have been, and ”I have some strong political views, but Berkshire owns the paper — I don’t. And Berkshire will always be non-political.”

While being rescued from doom by Buffett is great, staffers told the Times that things could be a little better. Buffalo News’ union staff members have only had a one percent raise since 2009, and equipment sometimes becomes severely outdated.

Despite this, most understand the benefits of being supported by Buffett. As one reporter noted, “I hope he lives to be 200.”

Warren Buffett Won’t Stop Buying Newspapers Until He’s Dead

Warren Buffett is going to buy more newspapers. Yes, in addition to the 63 his Berkshire Hathaway Media Group scooped up last week. In a letter sent to the editors and publishers of those publications, Buffett says he “will probably purchase more papers in the next few years.” While that’s not a concrete statement, Buffett is a big newspaper fan, so it’s going to happen.

Not only is Buffett going to buy more papers, in the memo — which was obtained by Jim Romenesko via The Omaha-World Herald — he even outlines where they’ll likely be found:

We will favor towns and cities with a strong sense of community, comparable to the 26 in which we will soon operate. If a citizenry cares little about its community, it will eventually care little about its newspaper. In a very general way, strong interest in community affairs varies inversely with population size and directly with the number of years a community’s population has been in residence. Therefore, we will focus on small and mid-sized papers in long-established communities.

If your town qualifies, get ready. Buffett, the Savior of Small Newspapers, is coming to save your beloved publication.

Unless he dies first. But even then, we bet he puts your little paper in his will. That’s just the kind of guy he is, and FishbowlNY loves him for it.

Warren Buffett Buys 63 More Newspapers

Let the record show that when Warren Buffett says he’s considering something, it means he’s definitely doing it. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Media Group just announced that it is buying 63 daily and weekly newspapers from Media General for $142 million in cash. It was only last week when Buffett said that he “may buy more newspapers,” so he obviously had this purchase in mind already.

The papers involved in the deal — which is expected to close June 25 — are published in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. The acquisition also includes all of the papers’ digital brands and tablet apps. The only property not being sold to Berkshire Hathaway is Media General’s Tampa group.

In a statement, Buffett once again trumpeted the power of newspapers. ”In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” he explained. “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.”

Since we’re big newspaper fans, we might just send Buffett a thank you note.

Warren Buffett Might Save More Newspapers

Attention owners of small, dying newspaper across the nation: Warren Buffett’s warm embrace of print is not done yet. Buffett saved his local paper — The Omaha World Herald — last year, purchasing it for $200 million. According to The Telegraph, the 81-year-old is open to losing even more money:

I think there is a future for newspapers that exist in an area where there is a sense of community. We may buy more newspapers. I think the economics will be ok, but it will be nothing like the old days.

Huzzah! Now, quick, write an email to Buffett and ask him to save your publication. Actually, scratch that. Get in your car and drive to Buffett’s house to beg in person.

Oh, and don’t use the paper’s petty cash for beef jerky and gas along the way. That would be rude.

Warren Buffett Accepts Republican’s Challenge in Latest Time

Tomorrow’s Time features a fantastic interview with Warren Buffett. He doesn’t hold back when discussing the challenge put forth by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. If you’re not familiar, McConnell said that if Buffett was truly feeling guilty about paying too little in taxes, he could go ahead and donate his money to help ease the national debt. Be careful what you wish for.

“It restores my faith in human nature to think that there are people who have been around Washington all this time and are not yet so cynical as to think that [the deficit] can’t be solved by voluntary contributions,” Buffett tells Time.

Buffett then adds that he’ll match any contribution to the national debt that a Republican makes, “and I’ll even go 3 for 1 for McConnell.”

You’ve got to love that man.

Richard Stengel, Time’s Managing Editor, says of Buffett, “This week marks Warren Buffett’s first appearance on the cover of Time. I’m not sure how he’s avoided it until now, but he’s using this moment in his long and storied career to speak out about what the U.S. should do to move forward.”

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