Category Archives: BH Media

BH Media Making $10 Million Investment in North Carolina Plant

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Berkshire Hathaway’s media company, BH Media, is investing $10 million to expand its existing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The 12,000-square-foot expansion includes a new building next to its current facility that will house a new press.

When the project is completed, the new press will print papers covering Morganton, Marion, Statesville, Hickory, Mooresville, Concord and Rockingham County.

BH Media publishes 31 daily newspapers and websites, and a number of associated weekly publications.

BH Media also owns operates WPLG, an ABC television affiliate in Miami.

© 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.

BH Media Job Cuts Less Than First Reported

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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.

BH Media Group Among Newspapers Outraged By New Browser That Substitutes Advertising

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A new browser that substitutes online publishers’ ads with its own ads, thereby denying site owners of revenue, has drawn the ire of a consortium of newspaper publishers, including BH Media Group.

Brendan Eich, one of the founders of Mozilla, is launching Brave, a new Web browser that substitutes its own ads for those of content creators.

The move immediately drew the wrath of newspaper publishers belonging to the Newspaper Association of America, including Newsday, McClatchy Company, The Washington Post, Dow Jones & Company, Gannett Co., Tribune Publishing, The New York Times Co., and Berkshire Hathaway’s BH Media Group.

In a joint letter they accuse Eich of engaging in behavior that takes their creative content and sells advertising in a manner that “everyone else has recognized that it would be blatantly illegal for one company to hijack all the content on the Web for its own benefit.”

They also state, “Your plan to use our content to sell your advertising is indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website.”

As newspapers struggle with declining print readership, they count on online advertising to continue to keep them viable. Newspapers have invested hundreds of millions in recent years to develop and manage their online platforms.

“We publish some of the most highly valued and widely read sites on the Web. Our sites and mobile applications provide news reporting, photojournalism, video content and feature writing that is researched, reported, edited, and produced at extraordinary cost. Our industry spends more than $5 billion per year on reporting in the United States alone. We distribute that reporting online for free or at highly subsidized rates, in no small part due to revenue from online ads.”

In response, Eich says that the “NAA sent a letter to Brave Software that is filled with false assertions.” And claims that the “NAA has fundamentally misunderstood Brave. Brave is the solution, not the enemy.”

It is unlikely that Eich’s letter will draw any converts, and the whole matter looks headed to court.

The NAA threatened potential legal actions to protect their rights.

“We reserve the right to seek all remedies for this infringement, including but not limited to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 504.”

© 2016 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.

BH Media Group Adds Fredericksburg Newspaper to Virginia Print Media Outlets

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Berkshire Hathaway’s BH Media Group has acquired The Free Lance-Star, a newspaper serving Fredericksburg, Virginia. The paper was purchased from the investment firm Sandton Capital Partners, which picked up the paper through bankruptcy in June 2014.

BH Media Group acquired The Free Lance-Star daily newspaper, its website fredericksburg.com, the Star Weekly, and a commercial printing facility.

Published for more than 140 years, The Free Lance-Star has a Monday through Friday daily circulation of 36,991, Saturday circulation of 40,685, and Sunday circulation of 43,070. In addition, the Star Weekly newspaper has a total circulation of 79,400.

The acquisition gives BH Media Group a total of 37 newspapers, publications and websites serving Virginia.

In total, BH Media Group owns 73 newspapers and other titles located in 10 states, including: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. They also own and operate WPLG-TV, an ABC affiliate in Miami, Florida.

© 2016 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.

BH Media Partners With McClatchy’s Tru Measure

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BH Media Group’s digital ad agency, BH Digital Services, has formed a partnership with the McClatchy Company. BH Media will use McClatchy’s Tru Measure solutions to help run BH Digital’s offerings for small- to medium-sized businesses in local markets.

Tru Measure is a metrics-driven, technology services company that focuses on capturing consumer engagement generated from media and advertising. Its core products enable non-obtrusive collection of engagement analytics for all media types, including print, online, and mobile.

BH Media’s white-label brand will offer Tru Measure solutions that provide aggregated and consistent analytics in order to effectively optimize local advertising budgets.

Tru Measure was founded by Charity Huff in 2009, and acquired by the McClatchy Company in 2013.

© 2015 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.

BH Media Launches Midwest Agricultural News Website

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Berkshire Hathaway’s wholly-owned BH Media Group has launched a new website called agNET.net that focusses on agricultural news for the Midwest.

The website is a product of the Farm and Ranch family of publications. The focus of the website is agricultural news that directly impacts farmers, and has everything from reports on Federal legislation, USDA rule making, and international trade agreements, to farming tips such as “Tips and Tricks for Avoiding and Removing Ticks.”

News and information for the site is culled from BH Media’s publications throughout the Midwest, and additional news comes from wire services, including the Associated Press.

Robert Pore, who writes for BH Media’s The Grand Island Independent in Grand Island, Nebraska, is the site’s editor.

While agNET.net has a full-range of banner advertising and classified advertising, BH Media has also launched a sister site called agstuff.com, which focuses on the sale of agricultural equipment.

Playing to BH Media’s Strengths

BH Media owns 71 newspapers and other titles located in 10 states, and all of the newspapers are regional or community papers. With agNET.net, BH Media is showing that its focus on rural communities gives it new ways to reach often overlooked consumers, and the ability to create targeted online platforms to monetize that readership.

© 2015 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.

BH Media Group Picks Up Oklahoma Publications

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BH Media Group has added six Oklahoma weekly community newspapers, and one Tulsa-based business daily, to its growing print media empire.

The acquisitions come only three weeks after it acquired the Franklin News-Post, which covers Rocky Mount, Virginia, and the Martinsville Bulletin, which covers Martinsville, Virginia.

The Tulsa Business & Legal News, Broken Arrow Ledger, Sand Springs Leader, Coweta American, Wagoner Tribune, Owasso Reporter, and the Skiatook Journal were all acquired from Community Newspaper Holdings of Montgomery Alabama.

Each of the newspapers has a website in addition to its print version.

The seven newspapers purchased by BH Media give it a greater reach in the Oklahoma market, which already includes its ownership of the Tulsa World, the second highest circulation paper in the state after The Oklahoman.

The Tulsa Business & Legal News is a daily paper that focuses on business news, happenings and profiles in Green County. It publishes a print and digital version and runs the website TulsaBusiness.com. According to the paper, 79% of its readers have an income of over $100,000.

The six weekly’s circulations are all small, with the largest being the Broken Arrow Ledger at 22,500. The others are the Sand Springs Leader (circulation 4,500), Coweta American (circulation 3,000), Wagoner Tribune (circulation 4,000), Owasso Reporter (circulation 5,100), and the Skiatook Journal (circulation 2,800).

A Focus on Community News

BH Media Group focuses on community newspapers, which report on local government, police and fire calls, high school news and sports, community events, and operate in a different niche than major market newspapers.

BH Media Group currently has a portfolio of 73 newspapers and other titles located in 10 states, including Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. They also operate WPLG-TV, an ABC affiliate in Miami, FL.

BH Media Group does not have a national news gathering operation. It uses wire service for national news, but does cover regional news and state governments, sharing that information across its newspapers.

To read a Special Report on BH Media Group’s revenues and acquisition strategies see BH Media Finds Multiples Success.

© 2015 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.

Berkshire Continues to Snap Up Community Newspapers

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Newspaper acquisitions don’t make a lot of news these days, as the high-tech online content providers get most of the attention. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway, through its BH Media Group, continues to snap up newspapers in small and medium-sized markets.

BH Media’ Group’s latest acquisitions are the Franklin News-Post, which covers Rocky Mount, Virginia, and the Martinsville Bulletin, which covers Martinsville, Virginia. The papers have a combined circulation of just over 17,000.

Martinsville Bulletin’s publisher, George Harris, is retiring after a 43-years working at the newspaper.

A Focus on Community News

The acquisitions are in line with BH Media Group’s emphasis on community papers that are still the go to source for local news, sports and events.

BH Media Group currently has a portfolio of 71 newspapers and other titles located in 10 states, including Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. They also operate WPLG-TV, an ABC affiliate in Miami, FL.

BH Media Group does not have a national news gathering operation. It uses wire service for national news, but does cover regional news and state governments, sharing that information across its newspapers.

To read a Special Report on BH Media Group’s revenues and acquisition strategies see BH Media Finds Multiples Success.

© 2015 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.

2014 Berkshire Hathaway Acquisitions You Didn’t Hear About

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2014 was a busy year for Berkshire Hathaway, with over $5 billion in acquisitions both directly by Berkshire Hathaway and through its companies. I’m sure you heard about the purchase of Procter & Gamble’s Duracell battery division, but did you know that other acquisitions made Berkshire the leader in beverage dispensing, and got Berkshire into automobile retailing for the first time? Here is a list of some of the other lesser-known acquisitions. Did you miss any of them?

Marmon Retail & End User Technologies Acquires Cornelius, Inc.
Date: January 2014
What it is: Cornelius, Inc. is the world’s leading supplier of beverage dispensing and cooling equipment. They manufacture and market a broad line of beverage dispense solutions for soft drink, beer, ice, juice, tea, and frozen as well as a complete line of accessories.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Acquires MyAssist, Inc. from Noel Group
Date: January 2014
What it is: MyAssist is a technology-driven, cloud-based personal assistance solution that leverages advanced technologies to give customers a customized, personal experience. MyAssist provides Mercedes-Benz and Ford with live-agent personal-assistance and telematics service using “location-aware technology” from Verizon Communications Inc.

MiTek Acquires Ellis & Watts Global Industries
Date: April 2014
What it is: Ellis & Watts is the recognized leader in the engineering, design, and fabrication of highly customized HVAC and other products sold into the nuclear, military, and other industrial end markets.

EXSIF Worldwide, Inc. Buy’s OCS
Date: April 2014
What it is: OCS Limited is a tank rental and chemical supply company based in Aberdeen, United Kingdom. OCS operates in the offshore oil and gas sector, serving clients in the North Sea.

Berkshire Hathaway Acquires Van Tuyl Group
Date: April 2014
What it is: Van Tuyl Group is the nation’s largest privately-owned auto dealership group, which ranks fifth among all U.S. auto dealership groups.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy Acquires AltaLink
Date: May 2014
What it is: AltaLink owns 12,000 kilometers of transmission lines and 280 substations that bring electricity to 3 million customers in Alberta, Canada.

Berkadia Acquires Keystone Commercial Capital
Date: May 2014
What it is: Keystone Capital is a full-service commercial mortgage banking company headquartered in Phoenix that services more than $2 billion in commercial real estate loans.

BH Media Acquires Catamaran Group
Date: September 2014
What it is: Catamaran Group publishes 12 weekly papers, with circulations ranging from 7,000 up to 15,000, serving the southern New Jersey shore area. While the individual circulations are small, the combined circulations exceed 111,000.

Lubrizol Acquires Warwick Chemicals
Date: November 2014
What it is: Warwick Chemicals is a leading global developer, producer and supplier of stain removal technology with hygiene benefits. Headquartered in Mostyn, North Wales, Warwick Chemicals has strong positions with global and regional detergent producers. Their products are an essential element in laundry detergent powders and automatic dishwashing products used across five continents and in more than 50 countries.

Lubrizol Acquires Engineered Chemistry and Integrity Industries
Date: December 2014
What it is: Engineered Chemistry supplies additives and fluids for a range of oilfield activities, including cementing, drilling, flow assurance and fracturing. It offers chemistry expertise to solve problems throughout the oil and gas drilling process. The business consists of a core manufacturing and research organization which supports a global field distribution network. Engineered Chemistry was built through a series of acquisitions over the past 12 years and is headquartered in Houston, TX. It operates 10 sites located predominantly in North America. Integrity Industries manufactures drilling fluid systems, including diesel, mineral oil and synthetic oil based fluids. The company supplies these drilling fluid systems to retail drilling fluid companies along with technical support.

Berkshire Hathaway Acquires Charter Brokerage
Date: December 2014
What it is: Charter Brokerage is a leading global trade services company providing complete customs, import, export, drawback and related services.

There you have it!

© 2015 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.

BH Media targets Jersey Shore

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Move over Snooki! The Jersey Shore is the latest target for Berkshire Hathaway’s growing newspaper empire.

BH Media Group is continuing its expansion in small and medium-sized markets with the acquisition of the newspapers and publications of the Catamaran Media Group.

Catamaran publishes 12 weekly papers, with circulations ranging from 7,000 up to 15,000, serving the southern New Jersey shore area. While the individual circulations are small, the combined circulations exceed 111,000.

Also, acquired from Catamaran by BH Media Group are the SandPaper and Free-Time publications, which are weeklies covering Cape May, Ocean City and the greater area during the summer tourist seasons. The two publications have a combined circulation of 60,000.

In 2013, BH Media Group acquired a 50% interest in Catamaran when it purchased 100% of The Press of Atlantic City, a daily paper serving Atlantic City, New Jersey. The newspaper has a daily print and online readership of 273,000.

Mark Blum, The Press of Atlantic City’s publisher, will add the duties of publisher of the Catamaran publications to his duties.

Growth Strategy

BH Media Group continues to look aggressively for additional print media properties. It shuns the major markets, with Buffett having shown no interest in bidding for the Washington Post, which went to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for $250 million in the fall of 2013. Instead, BH Media prefers to pick off the smaller markets that collectively having millions of readers and millions in revenues.

In addition to the publications acquired from Catamaran, BH Media Group owns 69 newspapers and publications located in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and New Jersey.

To read a Special Report on BH Media Group’s revenues and acquisition strategies see BH Media Finds Multiples Success.

© 2014 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.