The Morning Call | Bloomberg
Warren Buffett is interested in purchasing The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call, Sam Kennedy reports. The Morning Call is among the newspapers reportedly about to be cut loose by Tribune Co. as it emerges from bankruptcy.
Kennedy quotes Buffett as saying: “Allentown is our kind of place.”
“We haven’t heard anything from the Tribune Co.,” Buffett told The Morning Call after the paper emailed him an inquiry, “but if the phone rings, I’ll answer.”
Figures from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations) show that The Morning Call’s average daily circulation in September was 83,654, down a little more than 10 percent over the same month in 2011. Its average Sunday circulation was 120,127, down nearly 3 percent from the year before.
Tribune Co. acquired The Morning Call when it acquired the Times Mirror chain in 2000. Under the chairmanship of Sam Zell, Tribune Co. tumbled into bankruptcy in 2008. It expects to exit bankruptcy before the end of this year, and may sell its newspapers when it does.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased most of Media General’s newspapers in May. Buffett said he’s interested in buying more newspapers; he added a small Texas paper to his stable in June. Last month, he decided to close the Manassas (Va.) News & Messenger.
Terry Kroeger, chief of Berkshire Hathaway’s World Media Enterprises, recently told Bloomberg reporter Edmund Lee that the company’s newspaper division is making money:
“We’re profitable this year,” he said. “I have a high degree of confidence we will remain profitable next year as well. We’re very high on the industry.”