“We are blindsided, dismayed, and disappointed,” said Todd Cooper, the president of the Omaha World-Herald Guild, in a statement following Buffett’s $140 million sale of the OWH and 30 other daily newspapers owned by Berkshire Hathaway Media Group to publisher Lee Enterprises this week.
Buffett agreed to sell the OWH if the union was discreet in its search for buyers, Cooper said, and if it secured approval from him and one of his lieutenants, Ted Weschler, before approaching them. Buffett and Weschler had recently authorized an “impending approach” from the union when they struck the deal with Lee, Cooper said.
The famed investor “missed a chance to forge a vibrant, local ownership path for his hometown paper,” Cooper continued. Instead, he said, Buffett sold the OWH to an “out-of-state company that has all the nonsense national chains are known for” including “bloated bonuses for executives,” “massive cuts to product,” and “cutthroat investors.”