Billionaire super-investor Warren Buffett will soon be my new boss.
No, I’m not going to work on Wall Street. Buffett is coming to Main Street. His firm, Berkshire Hathaway last week bought The Floyd Press and more than 60 other daily and weekly newspapers owned by Media General of Richmond.
When I first heard the news, I thought Buffett had some nefarious liquidation plan in mind for his new collection of newspapers but he claims he brought the properties because he believes in the future of print-based community journalism.,
In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper. The many locales served by the newspapers we are acquiring fall firmly in this mold and we are delighted they have found a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway.
Stop the presses. In 2009, Buffett said: “For most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price.”
So what changed his mind? He didn’t say.
Berkshire Hathaway has owned The Buffalo Evening News in New York for a long time. The company also bought the Omaha World-Herald last December. Buffett also owns 23 percent of the stock in The Washington Post.
Buffet is known as a shrewd investor who sees trends long before others. Does he sense a comeback for newspapers?
I hope so. I’d hate to outlive my life’s chosen profession.