Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway plans to shutter the 143-year-old News & Messenger in Manassas, Virginia, just six months after it was scooped up from Media General.
The 10,000 circulation newspaper, its website, and its companion weekly
publication will close on December 30, the day the final print edition will be
published. The move affects the staff of 33 whose jobs will be
The announcement was made on Wednesday by World Media Enterprise, which
operates the 63 newspapers that Berkshire Hathaway acquired from Media General
"Business conditions drove us to this decision," wrote Doug Hiemstra,
president of World Media Enterprises, in a post published on the News &
Messenger's website Insidenova.com.
"We do not see a long-term viable way to maintain a daily news operation
Buffett, who not too long ago derided newspapers as investments, changed
course this year, snapping up scores of small and mid-sized papers throughout
the United States.
In addition to the majority of Media General's newspaper properties, he
recently purchased a paper in Texas and took a small stake in the newspaper
chain Lee Enterprises.
Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Buffett's acquisition approach to newspapers
is to buy small publications that cover the local market. Though he holds a
stake in the Washington Post Co, he shuns large metropolitan
The closing of such a small paper in the Berkshire stable could be a sign
that even publications that are laser-focused on community news are facing
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