Glum news for overseas papers.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway group has decided to close a paper recently bought from struggling publisher Media General. The job cuts include 33 employees of the Manassas News & Messenger in Virginia
. A total of 105 jobs will be lost from the paper, and another 72 from corporate offices.
Berkshire agreed in May to pay $US142 million for 63 newspapers from Media General. It also lent $US400 million to Media General (at a rate Bloomberg
said was a juicy 10.5%, compared to official interest rates of close to zero). The paper, which circulates in the northern Virginian suburbs of Washington, faces competition from The Washington Post
where Berkshire Hathaway is the largest shareholder.
In Germany, a leading paper in the country's financial capital of Frankfurt has filed to bankruptcy. The Guardian reported
the Frankfurter Rundschau
had had an interim insolvency administrator appointed to it because of its worsening financial position and falling sales. Sales of the paper (which was described as being left-leaning) had fallen to 118,000 a day across Germany, while staff numbers had fallen to 487 from 1500 back in 2001.
And in Canada, Québecor Media, the owners of the Toronto Sun
, one of Canada's major daily papers, is cutting 500 jobs from the paper
and other dailies and community papers in its Sun Media division across the country. The Montreal-based conglomerate is to close two facilities that, along with the job cuts, will save $C45 million (around $A44 million) a year. Paywalls will be installed across Canadian publications. -- Glenn Dyer
Word from Stutch: Fin's reader pitch.
We enjoy our regular personalised updates
from Australian Financial Review
supremo Michael Stutchbury. Stutch offers his commentary on the Reserve Bank decision to keep rates on hold, business productivity, mining ... and a "refashioning" of the paper's Arts&Review
section. We're also looking forward to this: "The Financial Review
is about to launch a new project aimed at pushing genuine tax reform onto the political agenda." Always a player, our Stutch ...
Video of the day.
A Movember video from Ron Swanson (you watch Parks and Recreation
, right?), offering a piss-take on the "it gets better" videos for those fellas struggling with their mos.