Billionaire Warren Buffett Buys Atlantic City Newspaper
PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. (CBS/AP) — Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is adding a New Jersey newspaper, The Press of Atlantic City, to its collection of more than two dozen small and medium-sized newspapers.
Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire said Thursday that it’s buying the Press from Abarta, which is a private Pittsburgh firm held by the Taylor and Bitzer families.
The Press will be Berkshire’s 31st daily newspaper. It has a daily circulation of 67,000 and a Sunday circulation of 77,000 and is based in Pleasantville, just outside the shore resort community of Atlantic City, best known for its casino industry.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Buffett has said he believes smaller papers like the ones Berkshire is buying will do well because they remain the primary source of information about their communities.
But Buffett says the newspapers will do little to help Berkshire’s profits because they are relatively small compared to the total conglomerate.
“Warren Buffett is a businessman but he has a soft spot in his heart for newspapers. I think that they have to provide a good return on what they do and there may be some layoffs,” says Temple University Journalism Professor Chris Harper.
BH Media has hired Mark Blum, currently publisher of the Morning News in Florence, S.C., to take over that role at The Press when the sale closes, which is expected to be in August, the company said. Blum was controller of The Press from 1989 to 1993.
Abarta, whose main businesses are in soft drinks, oil and gas exploration and ethnic frozen food, announced earlier this year it was selling the newspaper because it wanted to focus on businesses with higher growth potential.
The Press announced a 15 percent cut in its workforce in April as part of an effort to improve its finances ahead of a sale.
The newspaper traces its roots to The Daily Press, begun in 1895. It moved from Atlantic City to Pleasantville in 1970.
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