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

Stewart calls House GOP 'turds'

Jon Stewart was looking forward to the end of congressional gridlock now that Republicans control both houses.

John Oliver gloats over net neutrality

John Oliver, who once spurred his followers to crash the FCC’s website demanding net neutrality, is positively gleeful over the news that the agency has approved rules to regulate the internet like a public utility.

Biden jokes about his creepy photos

Remember that time Joe Biden got close to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s wife?

The 'Notorious RBG' takes over SNL
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gives pretty hilarious and biting interviews in real life — “not 100 percent sober” ringing any bells? — but Kate McKinnon’s version of the “Notorious RBG” on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” may just take the cake. From jokes about her morning exercise routine to her sexy dreams about […]
Jimmy Kimmel 'censors' Obama

Thanks to some mischievous editing from Jimmy Kimmel, these originally innocent TV clips will put your mind straight in the gutter.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

Dems worry about Warren's leftward push

The Hill reports that Democrats are beginning to worry about Elizabeth Warren's gravitational pull on the party's direction. It's a black hole of progressivism, baby.

Boehner: GOP infighting over 'tactics'
After a week that saw Republican infighting leading to a dramatic near-shutdown situation for the Department of Homeland Security, House Speaker John Boehner was questioned on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about his leadership. Boehner downplayed the divisions and said that it wasn’t the big picture that they disagreed on, but rather how to accomplish it. […]
DCCC fundraises off shutdown that didn't happen
Democrats really jumped the gun on this one. It seems that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was in such a hurry to fundraise over their hatred for Republicans this weekend that they were willing to spread a little misinformation to do so. The DCCC emailed supporters Saturday morning incorrectly saying that Republicans had allowed the Department of […]
Rand Paul calls on Hillary to retire

Rand Paul’s speech at CPAC Friday felt a lot like a campaign rally—and the crowd left little room to doubt that they wanted it that way, breaking out into chants of “President Paul! President Paul!” at least three times over the course of his remarks.

Cruz: Obama, Carter similarities 'uncanny'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has his sights set on 2016, but he is not very optimistic about what will happen both at home and abroad in the mean time. Cruz laid out his predictions for the direction he believes President Obama is leading the country in during a round table event with reporters and bloggers […]