Virginia newspapers… An Appalachian-Hathaway?

Virginia BH Media papers

Click to visit any of these Virginia BH Media papers

Yesterday’s announcement that Berkshire-Hathaway Media is buying my almost-local daily, the Roanoke Times, sent me off building link lists for the benefit of recent graduates still researching media careers… (See below.)

Warren Buffett’s BH Media has been acquiring papers in this region for several years, including former Media General (Richmond, Va., Lynchburg, Va., Bristol, Va., Winston-Salem, N.C.) and Landmark (Roanoke, Va., Greensboro, N.C.) publications.  BH also has owned a good chunk of the Washington Post for 40 years. I’m beginning to think Berkshire-Hathaway Media Group should replace the “Berkshire” in its name with “Appalachian,” at least when doing business in this part of the world. (It also owns papers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska and Oklahoma.)

The main Roanoke Times story, with several sidebars

Editor & Publisher, the industry trade paper, on the Roanoke Times sale.

I did notice that stories in out-of-town publications had an inflated idea of the Roanoke Times’ daily circulation  (76,000 instead of 67,000 reported in the RT itself)– perhaps based on a press release that used old data. See the discussion thread on the Times own story. I would expect an industry bible like E&P to check the numbers, but apparently not. Note the byline “by: Press Release | Dirks, Van Essen & Murray” (a newspaper acquisition firm, which you also might expect to have up-to-date stats).

Triad Business Journal on the sale

Buffett’s hometown newspaper’s version of the story (You may want to bookmark its “Warren Watch Page“)

WorldMediaEnterprise.com is the homepage of BH Media Group

Career Opportunities

News job openings with BH Media papers (About 16 vacancies in Virginia and nearby North Carolina, from internships to managing-editorships and a weekly editor-in-chief. Venues include  a regional copydesk in Hickory, N.C.: “The ConsolidatedEditingCenter is located in Hickory, N.C. and is the design hub for most of the World Media Enterprise newspapers in the southeast.” It does worry me that the ConsolidatedEditingCenter doesn’t have spaces in its name. IhopeTheCopyEditorsAren’tUnderOrdersToSaveSpaceThatWay.)

Internet/socialmedia-related job openings with BH Media papers (When I looked, they needed a director of Digital Media in Bristol, Va., “the chief web designer, coordinator and developer of new products for Bristol Market group which includes the Bristol Herald Courier and http://www.tricities.com.” Also, a Digital Media Specialist in Richmond)

Information-technology openings (including a Web Analytics person in Richmond)

Meanwhile, for my former journalism students reading this, the largest Virginia daily that paper that Buffett hasn’t bought, has a few openings too — The Virginian Pilot, still a landmark of Landmark.

(Note: If you’re intrigued, as I was, that both the Pilot and BH Media jobs are posted at a site called “silkroad.com,” it’s a human resources software company independent of both Landmark and BH Media.)

Background:

Newsonomics feature on last year’s BH Media/Media-General purchase

SeekingAlpha analysis of BH Media performance

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.

Posted in 2013, community, Future of news, hyperlocal, Journalism, Newspapers, Roanoke Times
2 comments on “Virginia newspapers… An Appalachian-Hathaway?
  1. Fan of Professor says:

    Will you marry me Dr. Stepno?! Don’t go!

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