Warren Buffett has always had a sweet spot in his heart for newspapers. Until he didn’t. In recent years, Buffet — once a paper boy, now a newspaper owner — has been quite vocal about the prospects of the industry. For instance in 2009 during a Berkshire Hathaway gathering in Omaha he told investors that the newspaper industry had the possibility of “unending losses” and that Berkshire would not buy most newspapers in the U.S. at any price.
The Washington Post is offering new buyouts to help the money-losing paper cut costs as it pursues a plan to become profitable again. You can read our story about it, along with an interview with Publisher Katharine Weymouth. Meanwhile, here are some excerpts from her memo to Post employees:
Washington Post Co Chairman Don Graham wrote a more than 2,000-word letter to shareholders for his company’s latest annual report. I managed to cut it down to the 587 words that I thought were really worth reading. Graham is the kind of chairman and CEO that you want to cover as a journalist because he seems to rely exclusively on straight talk instead of obfuscation — particularly when the news is bad for the company and for shareholders. Here are the 587 words, with the parts that I found even more interesting than the rest marked in bold type.