Warren Buffett said newspapers faced the possibility of nearly unending losses and he would not buy most newspapers in the U.S. at any price in May 2009 at a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. However, the billionaire announced Wednesday that he has agreed to buy Omaha World-Herald Co., publisher of his hometown newspaper the World-Herald.
While still in high school, one of Warren Buffett's first jobs was delivering newspapers. Filing his first income tax return in 1944, Buffett took a $35 deduction for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route.
Berkshire Hathaway also owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper Buffalo News and is the largest shareholder of the Washington Post Co.
The World-Herald delivers solid profits and is one of the best-run newspapers in America, Buffett said in today's statement.
In addition to the Omaha World-Herald, the purchase includes daily newspapers in Grand Island, York, Kearney, North Platte and Scottsbluff in Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. The company also owns World Marketing, Inc., a direct marketing firm.
The transaction is expected to close in late December, pending approval of the Omaha World-Herald's shareholders, comprised of active employees, retired employees and the Peter Kiewit Foundation.