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Berkshire Adds Waco Newspaper, Expanding Media Wager

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy the Waco Tribune-Herald to expand in Texas as Chairman Warren Buffett extends his bet on community newspapers.

The purchase from the Robinson family of the 34,000-circulation-daily newspaper is expected to be completed by July 31, according to an e-mailed statement today from Berkshire’s Omaha World-Herald Co. that didn’t disclose terms.

“This is a very strong, growing market with terrific assets including Baylor University” and a new research park, Terry Kroeger, chief executive officer of the Omaha World-Herald, said in the statement. “We will work with local managers in Waco to determine what changes may be appropriate.”

Buffett has said newspapers must rethink whether to offer free content on the Internet, and that publications with a community focus can thrive in markets where there is little competition. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire announced a deal last month to buy 63 newspapers from Media General Inc., including the Richmond Times-Dispatch of Virginia, in a $142 million deal.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray represented Robinson Media in the transaction.

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