Media General, Berkshire Hathaway Close on Papers Pact - Broadcasting & Cable

Media General, Berkshire Hathaway Close on Papers Pact

CEO Morton puts chips on broadcast after 160 years of print
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Media General and World Media Enterprises, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, have closed on their deal for Media General to offload 63 newspapers for $142 million.

World Media Enterprises did not pick up Media General's Tampa Tribune. Media General says it is in discussions with prospective buyers for that property.

"Selling our newspapers represents a monumental change for us -- we've been in the newspaper business for more than 160 years. However, our model has been shifting more toward broadcast and digital in recent years," said Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General.

Broadcast accounted for 77% of company cash flow for the full year 2011, said Morton, and 87% in the first quarter of 2012.

"We will now focus on our higher margin broadcast television business," Morton added. "We have an attractive economic model, fueled by revenue growth, including political, retransmission and digital revenues."

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