In it’s second newspaper conglomerate acquisition in six months, HoumaToday tells MHProNews.com Berkshire Hathaway has purchased 63 of Media General’s newspaper properties for $142 million cash, including the Richmond Times Dispatch and Winston Salem Journal. “In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire 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.” Buffett delivered papers in his youth and decries the decline of newsprint. Thomas A. Silvestri, publisher of the Richmond Times Dispatch, says four BH executives visited the newspaper and greeted the staffers. Responding to comments on Facebook comparing the purchase to Sam Zell’s twisted acquisition of the Chicago Tribune, Silvestri says, “I don’t think I would ever put Warren Buffett and Sam Zell in the same sentence. In many ways, it’s the best possible outcome. We’ve got a new owner who loves newspapers and understands the vital role they play.” BH purchased his hometown paper, the Omaha World Herald Co. in November for a reported $200 million. Berkshire, which owns Clayton Homes also owns the Buffalo (NY) News and has a stake in the Washington Post. Sam Zell is CEO of Equity Lifestyle Properties, the largest MHC owner in North America.
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