Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. It wholly owns GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds and NetJets. It also owns half of Heinz and has a significant minority holdings in American Express, the Coca Cola Company, Wells Fargo and IBM.
Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to purchase WPLG Channel 10, the most watched English language television and digital viewership station in South Florida, for $1.1 billion and other considerations.
The purchase adds to Warren Buffett’s apparent interest in traditional media. In recent years, Berkshire Hathaway has purchased newspapers in small and medium-sized markets. He has said, “The local news and community information they deliver will allow them to complete favorably with national internet news sources.”
WPLG Channel 10 is not Berkshire Hathaway’s first purchase in the South Florida market. In 2013, the national real estate franchisor Berkshire Hathaway Home Service (BHHS) entered into a franchise agreement with the former Prudential Florida Realty, a real estate brokerage firm serving 17 counties in Florida including those in South Florida. Home Services of America, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, has owned the real estate brokerage firm Esslinger Wooten Maxwell (EWM) since 2003.
Some of South Florida’s most watched news anchors who currently, or previously, have worked for WPLG Channel 10, include but are not limited to; Ann Bishop, Michael Schneider, Bryan Norcross, Michael Putney, Dwight Lauderdale, Kristi Krueger, Max Mayfield, Laurie Jennings, and Calvin Hughes.
Connie Hicks, a reporter with WPLG from 1990 to 2005, who currently teaches broadcast journalism at Barry University in Miami, said, “Miami has always been a great news market and the gateway to Latin America. It could be a very shrewd and strategic move by a very shrewd and strategic guy.”
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