It’s a small world.
About a month ago in this space, I spent some time talking about Warren Buffett, who has more money than some countries but eats at Mickey D’s and gets around in his 5-year-old Caddy.
Without a chauffeur.
Yesterday, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway media group purchased my employer, the Tulsa World, assuming the reins of a family that had run the newspaper more than a century.
These are tenuous times for journalists. A tech-savvy generation has driven down newspaper circulations and profits, forcing the industry to re-invent itself.
Buffett, however, isn’t ready to write the newspaper’s obit.
A former paper carrier, he had a father he owned a small newspaper in native Nebraska and a mother who worked there as a teen. As I did, he and his siblings devoured the contents of the paper his father brought home every night.
“I’ve loved newspapers all my life — and always will,” Buffett said in a May memo to publishers and editors of Berkshire Hathaway daily newspapers.
He believes newspapers build a strong sense of community and “are every bit as important to me — and, for that matter, to society — as other businesses we have purchased for many billions of dollars.”
I like the way Buffett thinks. He’s a small-town man with common values, unafraid to invest in what he holds dear.
Given his track record, that’s the kind of support you can take to the bank.