Warren Buffett is the new owner of the Press of Atlantic City. The prominent investor and head of Berkshire Hathaway takes control of the family-owned paper, adding it to dozens he already owns, mostly in small and medium-sized markets.
He made his bid for the Press of Atlantic City because it fits into his larger bet, says Ken Doctor, media analyst for Outsell and author of the book “Newsonomics.”
“It is that sense that these are important community institutions and businesses and that, long term, they can be financial winners,” he said.
Doctor says at other papers, such as the Roanoke Times, Buffett has not made big changes or cut back newsrooms when he walks in the door.
“In general,” Doctor says, “they have bought these papers knowing that they are profitable, not greatly profitable, and told the publishers and editors, keep up the good journalism, put up a paywall.”
The Press of Atlantic City already has a partial paywall online. Readers must pay for access after they read more than a handful of articles. The paper also shed staff in April, as it went on the market. The paper has a circulation of about 67,000 during the week and 77,000 on Sunday.
A call to Berkshire Hathaway Media to learn more about future plans for the paper was not returned.