Retiring Media General CEO was 'always attempting to look to the next mountaintop'

Richmond BizSense

In an exit interview with Michael Schwartz, outgoing Media General CEO Marshall Morton says he'll have no difficulty "unplugging" -- " I was always attempting to look to the next mountaintop and then decide what pathway would be the most productive one to get there," Morton says -- and that selling the conglomerate's newspapers to Warren Buffett was a "relief":

In the past, if we encountered two years of downturn in revenue, we’d have said, “It’s a cycle. It’ll turn around. It always has.” But I did worry about the newspapers. These were our long-term employees who worked hard in a business that had a lot of value in our community. But we just were not able to make any headway. They did induce concern on my part. We’re talking about real people here. So to find an owner like Warren Buffett or Berkshire Hathaway, it was the answer. I’m not going to call it too good to be true, but it was the answer we really didn’t allow ourselves to believe would happen.

Related: Media General execs realized in 2011 newspaper decline wasn’t cyclical | Investment adviser: Media General’s leadership ‘still the worst management team around’

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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