Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. ( BRK.A ) (BRK.B) has
made an announcement to buy Roanoke Times from Virginia's Landmark
Roanoke Times is a closely held newspaper company with a daily
sale of 76,000. The price of the deal is unknown.
Over the past one and a half years Buffett has added a number of
newspaper companies to its print media business.
However, in 2009, Warren Buffett stated that it was not very
reasonable to continue his ownership of any newspaper business. At
the time, he had declared his particular reservations about the
practice of newspaper companies providing news online for free, yet
charging for the same in print. According to Buffett, online news
posed a threat to the print medium.
Nevertheless, Buffett appears to have changed his outlook toward
the future of the newspaper industry and has added a number of
newspaper companies to its print media business since then.
In 2011, Buffett purchased The Omaha World-Herald Company,
publisher of Nebraska's principal daily newspaper, for $200
million. The deal added the World-Herald six other daily newspapers
and several weekly newspapers to the company's media business
portfolio. Berkshire's media business portfolio also includes
Business Wire and The Washington Post Co. (WPO).
In 2012, Berkshire bought 63 Media General newspapers for $142
million. It also bought the Manassas News & Messenger, a
Virginia newspaper, by the end of 2012. Buffett's continuous buying
of newspaper businesses suggests his optimism towards the newspaper
industry. The company's newspaper unit consists of nearly 30
small-or medium-sized dailies. Besides dailies, Berkshire owns 40
other newspapers businesses engaged in less frequent publishing
along with other monthly publications and regional
According to Buffett, a newspaper is an institution, which is
important in regions with a strong sense of community. He also
believes that newspapers, which have been facing stiff competition
from digitization, can prevent waning sales by focusing on
Berkshire Hathaway retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other players
from the same industry such as Alleghany Corp. ( Y ), Hanover Insurance
Group Inc. ( THG )
and Global Indemnity plc ( GBLI ), all with Zacks
Rank #1(Strong Buy), are worth considering.BERKSHIRE HTH-A (BRK.A): Free Stock Analysis
ReportGLOBAL INDEMNTY (GBLI): Free Stock Analysis
ReportHANOVER INSURAN (THG): Free Stock Analysis
ReportALLEGHANY CORP (Y): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment