Muckety
 
 
 
 
 

Rich guys and newspapers

By Laurie Bennett

August 6, 2013 at 6:42am

It used to be that newspaper barons got rich after they bought the papers.

Now, with readership and advertising in a seemingly endless plummet, would-be publishers make their fortunes first.

Despite the red ink, newspaper ownership is still alluring for some of the wealthiest Americans.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post. Red Sox owner John Henry is buying the Boston Globe.

To the concern of many on the left, the Koch brothers are said to be mulling (a newspaper headline word if ever there was one) acquisition of the Tribune Co. newspapers, which not so long ago were owned by real estate billionaire Sam Zell.

A more progressive billionaire, Warren Buffett, started the current trend. Berkshire Hathaway has long owned the Buffalo News and recently purchased other newspapers, including the Omaha World-Herald.

Last year Berkshire Hathaway acquired 42 daily and weekly newspapers from Media General, along with two other daily newspapers in Texas.

Berkshire’s stock in the Washington Post will bring about $46 million in the sale to Bezos. (Also see Fortune’s discussion of why Buffett didn’t buy the Post.)

Buffett is a self-proclaimed lover of newspapers. The Kochs, ardent libertarians who have become increasingly active in politics, are suspected of having different motives for eying the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Bezos issued a statement Monday saying, “The values of The Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners.”

However, he added, there will be change.

“The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs,” Bezos said. “There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy.”

Follow Muckety on Twitter Tweet This! Share on Facebook

Click here to sign up for the Muckety Newsletter

 Read related stories: Newspapers · Recent Stories · Top one percent  

0 Comments

  • There are no comments yet, be the first by filling in the form below.

Leave a Comment

The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.


Become a fan of Muckety on Facebook

  • Search for stories
      
    Special Features

Follow Muckety on Twitter Follow Muckety on Twitter
Muckety has no direct connection to most of the people or organizations listed on these pages.
We are unable to forward personal messages or provide personal contact information.
We make every effort at Muckety to ensure that our data is correct and timely. However, relationships are in constant flux and we cannot guarantee accuracy. If you come across incorrect or outdated information, please let us know by email.
© 2017 Muckety LLC