Looks like insurance company GEICO and The Omaha World-Herald Co. will be in the same conglomerate --- Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., notes Grumpy Editor.
Buffet, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, also based in Omaha, says his company is buying Nebraska’s principal daily newspaper.
The $200 million deal, subject to a Dec. 20 vote by 275 employees and retirees who own World-Herald stock, also includes Nebraska dailies in Kearney, Grand Island, York, North Platte and Scottsbluff.
The 126-year-old World-Herald has an average weekday circulation of about 135,000.
Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries focus on diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services.
Yet, it’s not Berkshire Hathaway’s ’s entrance into the newspaper business. Buffet’s company also owns The Buffalo News and is the largest shareholder in the Washington Post Co., holding about 21 percent of the publicly traded shares.
Buffet says his hometown newspaper is “an important institution here” and “is a reasonable investment.” The paper, he adds, “delivers solid profits and is one of the best-run newspapers in America.”
At a meeting yesterday, Buffet, 81, reveals he got his first taste of the newspaper business as a child when he earned $5,000 delivering newspapers, an activity that became the basis of investments that grew into Berkshire Hathaway.