By Linda Nguyen
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a conglomerate-holding company based in Omaha, Neb., announced its purchase of the Waco Tribune-Herald on June 22.
Warren Buffett, the legendary business magnate, is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The purchase, which was completed July 31 for an undisclosed price, was the second newspaper Berkshire Hathaway has purchased in Texas — the first being the Bryan-College Station Eagle.
Berkshire Hathaway bought the paper from Robinson Media Co., LLC, a local company owned by Baylor alumnus Clifton Robinson, class of ’63, and his son Gordon, also an alumnus.
Bill Whitaker, assistant managing editor at the Tribune-Herald, said that despite the transition, he believes very little will change about the paper.
“Berkshire Hathaway is committed to newspaper editorials that take into account the unique values of the individual communities in which they’re published,” Whitaker wrote in an email to the Lariat.
“Throughout all this, the newsroom will continue to emphasize local content and the paper’s longtime role as community watchdog,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker said he believes the paper will continue to reflect the community in its editorial stance and regarding its coverage of local issues and opinions.
“I recall one of the newspaper executives from the Omaha World-Herald, also owned by Warren Buffett, saying that Mr. Buffett has never once phoned the paper insisting it take some particular stance on the opinion page, and that’s where he makes his home,” Whitaker said.
Jim Wilson, the current publisher of the Bryan-College Station Eagle, will take over as publisher of the Waco Tribune-Herald beginning Sept. 10.
“It all happened very fast,” Wilson said. “It’s very interesting, and I’m really excited.”
Though it has changed names and owners several times, the Waco Tribune-Herald has been a staple of the community since its roots began in 1892.
“We’re pleased that Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway thought enough about both these papers to buy them,” Wilson said. “We’ve found papers with good people, a good market and a good community.”
“We have Central Texas’ best newspapers,” Wilson added. “Both have good audiences, good markets and a growing community with both A&M and Baylor.”
Wilson said he is still looking at the staff and content of different departments and sections of the paper.
“There may be changes, but they’ll be small changes,” Wilson said. “Nothing big. We have a lot of great corporate assets who know what works and what doesn’t work.”