Draft Warren Buffet to buy the paper
Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway.
See update below
THE VERY possibility that the ultra-conservative and ultra-rich Koch brothers might buy the Los Angeles Times is causing concern throughout the nation.
Adam Nagourney and Christine Haughney report in the national edition of this morning’s The New York Times that public employee unions and members of the California Legislature are taking steps to block the sale. Read it here
Times desk Editor Steve Devol and I were discussing this very topic over a beer last week as previously reported on this blog. We came up with a possible alternative.
DRAFT WARREN BUFFET!
IF THERE is one person in the country with the means, the ability and motivation to save the Los Angeles Times from falling into ultraconservative hands – Rupert Murdoch and Doug Manchester are also reportedly kicking the tires – then it is Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway empire.
Just a year ago Buffet purchased Media General Corporation’s newspapers for $142 million in cash, making him one of the largest publishers in the United States.
In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Buffet explained the move:
“During the past fifteen months, we acquired 28 daily newspapers at a cost of $344 million,” he wrote. “Charlie [Munger, Buffet’s long time business partner] and I love newspapers and, if their economics make sense, will buy them even when they fall far short of the size threshold we would require for the purchase of, say, a widget company.”
Demonstrating an uncommon insight into both the business and craft of journalism, Buffet continued:
“News, to put it simply, is what people don’t know that they want to know,” he wrote. “And people will seek their news – what’s important to them – from whatever sources provide the best combination of immediacy, ease of access, reliability, comprehensiveness and low cost.”
Could there be a better new owner for the Los Angeles Times?
I doubt it
Come on folks! Let us start a movement to draft Warren Buffett. Spread the word, those of you reading this from the newsroom at the Los Angeles Times. Jim Romenesko, are you watching?
We cannot let such an important and influential California institution – indeed, national institution – fall into the hands of people like Rupert Murdoch or the Koch brothers.
The L. A. Times plays far too important a role in the affairs not only of Los Angeles, but the entire country.
If one of those currently rumored to be interested in buying it from what’s left of Tribune Co., is successful in purchasing the property, it is likely to become irrelevant.
This would be tragic.
The institution built up over so many years by several generations of the Chandler family, simply cannot be allowed to disappear into the oblivion of the ultra-conservative right.
Stand up and make your voices heard!Are you listening Warren?
This was cross-posted to the Open Journalism forum on LinkedIn about the same time as it was posted here. It is now (May 13, 14:19 PDT) the “most popular” topic on the forum with 47 comments (some quite trivial, however). Check this out: