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Tulsa World sold to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire
The privately held Tulsa newspaper has a daily circulation of 95,000. The sale was reported Monday by the Tulsa World and Berkshire’s Omaha World-Herald, whose executives oversee the company’s newspapers.
Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in March, weren’t disclosed.
Terry Kroeger, who runs Berkshire’s newspapers, said the Tulsa paper will be a great fit. “The Tulsa World is a special newspaper in an outstanding market and we are honored to have the opportunity to own it,” Kroeger said in a statement.
“Our family takes great pride in the Tulsa World and its many years of service to Tulsa and Oklahoma,” Robert Lorton Jr. said. “The newspaper business has become a difficult business model within a changing society and in particular for local family owned newspapers.”
Besides daily newspapers, Berkshire owns 40 other newspapers that publish less frequently and other monthly publications and regional magazines. The growing media chain owns newspapers in Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida.
Berkshire bought 63 Media General newspapers last year for $142 million to launch its newspaper unit. At the end of 2012, Berkshire did close the Manassas News & Messenger, a Virginia newspaper, because it was struggling to compete in the Washington suburbs.
Buffett has said newspapers that are the primary source of information about their communities will continue delivering decent returns. Buffett, who is Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive, has said he won’t try to influence the newspapers’ editorial policies.
Newspapers are still a relatively small part of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns an assortment of more than 80 subsidiaries and holds major stakes in companies like Coca-Cola Co., Wells Fargo and IBM.
Berkshire’s subsidiaries include Geico and General Reinsurance, BNSF railroad, MidAmerican Energy utility, Fruit of the Loom, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Dairy Queen and many others.
Follow Josh Funk online at http://www.twitter.com/funkwrite
Berkshire Hathaway Inc.: http://www.berkshirehathaway.com
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