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Buffett’s Tulsa World Is Latest Berkshire Paper to Shrink

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), acquirer of more than 25 daily newspapers in the last two years, is eliminating about 50 jobs at the Tulsa World in Oklahoma after making cuts at other publications.

A dozen positions in the administrative, information technology and production departments were cut immediately, according to a report posted today on the newspaper’s website. The World announced other changes including the creation of distribution centers where carriers will pick up newspapers, eliminating transportation costs for the company.

“We felt like it was the right thing to do to let these people know now,” Bill Masterson, Tulsa World’s publisher, said today in a phone interview.

Buffett, 82, has been acquiring newspapers in a bet that they will withstand dwindling advertising dollars and circulation. Berkshire announced the closing of the Manassas News & Messenger last year after the Virginia paper failed to sustain profits. The Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina, acquired by Buffett in January, announced this month the elimination of 14 full-time positions.

About 10 of the 50 departing Tulsa employees will take jobs at Berkshire Hathaway Media Group, the subsidiary that oversees Buffett’s newspapers, Masterson said. He said that no editors or reporters will be fired.

“These changes are an important part of our long-term strategy and will help to strengthen our newspaper for decades to come,” Masterson said in a July 15 memo to employees, according to the newspaper.

To contact the reporter on this story: Megan Hickey in New York at mhickey18@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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