By Mark Fitzgerald
Just three years ago, billionaire Warren Buffett told stockholders at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. annual meeting that newspapers were doomed to be money-losing propositions. “For most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price,” he said at the time.
But last November he paid $200 million to buy his hometown daily, the Omaha World-Herald. And on May 17, he announced he was buying 63 dailies and weeklies from Media General Inc. for $142 million in cash. The deal includes such notable titles as the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal, but not its biggest property, the Tampa Tribune. Media General said it was in discussions with other perspective buyers for the Tribune.