The folks at all his other newspapers should be very nervous. But let’s look at the upside, at least the freshly unemployed won’t be paying a higher tax rate than him.
The news media industry is turning a new page. For residents of Prince William Country, just outside Washington, D.C., this means this means they won’t be turning pages at all. At least, not the pages of their 143-year-old local newspaper.
The life of the five-day-a-week, 10,000 circulation newspaper serving the county’s more than 420,000 residents has met its fate. The last edition of the paper will be printed on December 30, at which point its 105 employees will be out of work.
Just last year, World Media Enterprises, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Company, purchased the Media General newspaper chain, giving many hope for the local paper’s survival in the digital age. But unlike the paper, the hope was short-lived.
Buffett, one of the wealthiest people in the world and widely considered to be among the most successful investors of the 20th century, had relatively little to lose in this business venture. While newspapers may be a small portion of his empire, Buffett is no small player in the news business. Along with the 63 Media General papers Berkshire bought in May for $142 million, Berkshire Hathaway owns some major papers, including the Omaha World-Herald and the Buffalo News. The company also has a significant stake in The Washington Post and Lee Enterprises.