Warren Buffett's newspaper company to buy Atlantic City paper

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:00 am

Warren Buffett's newspaper company said Thursday it plans to acquire the Press of Atlantic City, N.J., for an undisclosed price.

The Press is owned by ABARTA, a private holding company in Pittsburgh that is owned by the Bitzer and Taylor families. The Press has a daily circulation of 67,000 and a Sunday circulation of 77,000 in southern New Jersey.

BH Media, the newspaper division of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said Mark Blum will become publisher of the Press when the purchase takes effect in August.

Blum was controller of the Press from 1989 to 1993 and is publisher of the Morning News in Florence, S.C., one of what will be 30 daily newspapers owned by BH Media. Buffett is chairman and CEO of Berkshire.

The Press of New Jersey's front page for July 18, 2013.

Besides the newspaper, Blum said, the Press has a dominant digital presence in Atlantic City and nearby counties through its website, PressofAtlanticCity.com.

John Bitzer III, president and CEO of ABARTA, said BH Media's “reputation for journalistic integrity and astute business management should be welcome by the market, and by the people at the Press.”

James W. Hopson, interim publisher, said the buyer, the seller, the employees and customers of the Press would benefit. He said the newspaper's employees “have shown a willingness to adapt to the challenges of newspapering in a quickly changing environment.”

Terry Kroeger, CEO of BH Media Group, said, “We look forward to the opportunity to continue the tradition of community-minded journalism carried on by the Bitzer/Taylor family for over 50 years.”

The Press covers most of southeastern New Jersey and is the state's sixth-largest newspaper. Its historical account says it was first published in 1895 as the Daily Press by Walter Edge, who later became governor of New Jersey, a U.S. senator and ambassador to France.

Atlantic City has about 40,000 residents and is part of a metropolitan area of about 275,000. Its main businesses include casino gambling, conventions and leisure entertainment, an industry that has made a comeback in recent years.

The Omaha World-Herald Co. is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

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