The newspaper business continues to slide and Berkshire’s BH Media Group, which owns 31 daily newspapers,47 paid weekly newspapers and 32 print and on-line products. , has trimmed its workforce by 289 positions across its publications.
While the number most have reports have focused is 289, the number is actually far less, as 108 are vacant positions that will not be filled.
“While more readers than ever turn to our digital products, our digital revenue is not growing fast enough yet to offset print revenue losses from both advertising and circulation,” Terry Kroeger, president and chief executive of BH Media, wrote in a memo to employees.
Kroeger emphasised the cuts were need to preserve profitability.
“It is imperative that we take this action. Otherwise some of our operations will become unprofitable. And, like it or not, profitable news organizations are necessary to practice exceptional journalism.”
The company will also reduce the number of pages it will print in some publications.
BH Media cites slumping regional advertising, as one of the sources of its problems.
Just last week, HHGregg, a regional retailer of consumer electronics and home appliances with a strong presence in the Midwest, went belly up, and as retailers shutter brick and mortar stores, newspapers lose one of their major sources of display advertising.
© 2017 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.