Warren Buffett to build media empire

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s firm Berkshire Hathaway announced Thursday it would be purchasing 63 newspapers from Media General for $142 million.

Media General is a regional media company that owns multiple newspapers and 18 local television stations in the Southeastern United States and was formerly known as Richmond Newspapers.

Most of Media General’s newspapers and television stations are located in Florida and the Carolinas.

The sale will include newspapers such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia), the Winston-Salem Journal (North Carolina) and the Morning News of Florence (South Carolina).

Media General is looking to sell off many of its newspaper operations, including its flagship newspaper, the Tampa Tribune of FloridaThe Tampa Tribune of Florida was not one of the papers purchased by Berkshire Hathaway.

The announcement comes as a bit surprise as Buffett is on record telling investors that newspapers faced unending losses because of their essential nature in 2009.

Buffett also said he would never buy most U.S. newspapers ‘at any price’ just three years ago, according to the Daily Mail. But Buffett has recently been defending newspapers as essential to their local communities.

Berkshire Hathaway is also feeling charitable suddenly, offering Media General $445 million in loans to pay off their debts in return for a 19.9 percent share in the company.

“In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” Buffett said in a statement Thursday.

Buffett also said that newspapers will have a ‘decent’ future if reporters can come up with news that cannot be found elsewhere, but newspapers also need to stop delivering news for free online.

Other media acquisitions by the suddenly bullish Berkshire Hathaway in the past include the Buffalo News (New York) and the purchase of the Omaha World-Herald (Nebraska) in December.

Buffett’s company is also the largest stakeholder in The Washington Post, with a 23 percent sharehold.

Comments

Polititainment

Jenner comes out as trans, Republican
Former Olympian and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Bruce Jenner finally revealed that he identifies as a woman in his Friday night “20/20″ interview with Diane Sawyer, but it was a different announcement that had viewers freaking out. Sawyer asked if Jenner cheered when President Obama became the first president to even say the […]
Waka Flocka Flame endorses Hillary

Just days after announcing his own candidacy for president in 2016, Waka Flocka Flame is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the White House. The Atlanta rapper said during a recent interview with MTV News that he will vote for Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama honors New England Patriots

President Obama honored the Super Bowl Champion football team on the South Lawn, kicking off his remarks with a joke about the team's long since past "Deflate Gate" controversy.

Olivia Wilde endorses Hillary Clinton

Actress Olivia Wilde is "excited" by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The film star, who campaigned for then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008, expressed her enthusiasm for the "political discussions" that result from election season during a recent interview with The Daily Beast.

Robert Downey Jr. walks out of interview

Robert Downey Jr. cut short a recent interview with British Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy when the journalist questioned the actor about a past statement regarding how being imprisoned impacted his political beliefs.

2016

Sen. Cornyn worried about Clinton transparency

On Jan. 20, 2009, the U.S. Senate was poised to nominate then-Senator Clinton as secretary of State by a unanimous consent vote, but Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-Tex.) objected, temporarily thwarting Clinton’s nomination.

Jeb Bush is on the Paleo diet

Jeb Bush is slimming down ahead of his likely 2016 bid for the White House. The former governor of Florida has lost about 30 pounds on the Paleo diet since December, according to a report in The New York Times.

NYT reporter: Hillary calls everything 'off-limits'

New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday that Hillary Clinton ahead of her run for president in 2016 is dismissing every critical report about her as illegitimate and "off-limits."

Seth Meyers defends Hillary Clinton

Seth Meyers defended Hillary Clinton during Thursday's episode of "Late Night," dismissing allegations about the former secretary of State that will be laid out by the forthcoming anti-Clinton book "Clinton Cash."

Rick Perry disagrees with Christie on pot

Rick Perry is against legalizing marijuana--but, unlike Chris Christie, wouldn't "crack down" on states that choose to legalize.

Policy

Obamacare brings growth in food stamp enrollment
CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law has had a surprising side effect: In some states, it appears to be enticing more Americans to apply for food stamps, even as the economy improves. New, streamlined application systems built for the health care overhaul are making it easier for people to enroll in government benefit […]
DC gets mad at Gowdy and Buck over gun photo

Reps Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) just dodged a run-in with the D.C. authorities.

The danger of policing through Facebook

These days, everything happens on social media--including solving crime.

Police seized 11-yr-old for defending legal pot

One Kansas school apparently found a child's earnest defense of marijuana legalization so threatening they called the police on his mother.

Support for Obamacare hits surprising high
Support for Obamacare has hit a two-year high, despite the tax season surprises that followed the law this year. According to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Tuesday, the percentage of people who say they support the healthcare law is greater than those who oppose it for the first time since the fall of 2012. […]