Warren Buffett Buys WPLG-TV From Graham Holdings In Stock Swap

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Graham Holdings Co (NYSE:GHC) has continued to sell off its media parts, with the latest sale going to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B). Regulatory filings indicate that the two companies essentially trade shares of each other’s stock, although there was some cash involved.

Warren Buffett buys TV station

In a press release on Tuesday, Warren Buffett’s firm and Graham Holdings said they completed a deal for Berkshire Hathaway to buy Miami TV station WPLG. The two companies had announced plans to make the transaction on March 12. Berkshire has bought one of Graham Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiaries, which includes the TV station.

To make the sale, Berkshire Hathaway received 2,107 Class A shares and 1,278 Class B shares held by Graham Holdings and exchanged approximately 1.62 million shares of Class B Graham Holdings stock. Buffett’s firm received $718.11 per share for the 1.62 million shares of Graham Holdings it sold back to the company, according to a regulatory filing.

Warren Buffett likes media companies

Buffett has a history of buying media companies, so the purchase of WPLG isn’t much of a surprise. However, many of his media purchases have been newspapers. Last year, he bought The Washington Post, although his interest in newspapers has stretched back decades. One of his earliest newspaper acquisitions was Sun Newspapers in 1969. In 1973, he was already snapping up shares of The Washington Post Company.

More recently, many investors have questioned Buffett’s interest in newspapers.  Some say they are a dying media breed as more and more people turn to the Internet and TV to get their news. Indeed, declining earnings as newspapers struggle to stay afloat seem to back up this theory. However, Buffett has said in the past that he doesn’t think newspapers are done for. He thinks they have a place in small-town news markets where the Internet and TV may not provide adequate news coverage.

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