When you live in or near a big city, it’s crucial to get out of the city and reconnect with the outside world. I’m pleased to report that we found several adventurous ways to do just this in 2017. Coast-to-Coast in 2017: Cannon Beach Roseburg Ashland Omaha Gleneden Beach Boise McCall Walla Walla Seattle Eugene […]

This Husker fans know: It’s Mike Riley’s third season in Lincoln and he continues to lose well, which he did again this past Saturday in Eugene. What we witnessed in person at Autzen was football ugly. From the opening kickoff, the game seemed like a painless scrimmage for the Ducks. Here’s one honest press report […]

I started tracking my movements about the country a decade ago (and logging them here) as an annual exercise meant to encourage memory, cataloguing and in the best cases a bit of travel writing. Looking back on it, 2015 wasn’t a big year in travel, although quality and quantity are two different things. Here’s a […]

“Not the victory but the action: Not the goal but the game: In the deed the glory”. We flew out to Omaha last weekend for a Labor Day family gathering. It was a sweet way to spend the last muggy days of summer. It was also an amazing opportunity to witness the dawn of a […]

Eminent domain seems unfair and un-American. Particularly, when called upon by a Canadian multi-national oil company to wrestle a rag tag group of ranchers for the last bit of right-of-way for its heinous oil snake pipeline. According to The Guardian, by law, TransCanada can use the courts to force Nebraska landowners to sell access to […]

The experience of watching college football is altered considerably when using a double-screen setup to watch the game on one hand, and talk about it on the other. It used to be one would simply jump up from the couch and yell affirmations or hurl curses. Today, we express our emotions as fans on Twitter, […]

I love American history and American culture. I love ‘merican people (especially our artists, writers and musicians) and ‘merican places. Therefore, it pains me to encounter geo-cultural ignorance. And sadly, I encounter it all too often in places populated by lots of “book smart” people. I just love when a native Portlander scoffs upon learning […]

Warren Buffett, the greatest investor the modern world has ever known, just ponied up $142 million to add Richmond, Virgina-based Media General to his list of prized companies.

Media General operates 18 network-affiliated television stations and their associated websites, plus several dozen community newspapers across the Southeastern part of the U.S. Titles like Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal are well known, but most of the others like The Goochland Gazette and The Bland County Messenger have small circulations in the range of 5,000 – 25,000, according to paidContent.

Is the old man getting sentimental, or is this truly a wise investment? Both, I reckon.

“I’ve loved newspapers all of my life — and always will,” Buffett, who delivered newspapers as a boy, wrote in a letter introducing himself and his newly formed BH Media Group to the Media General team.

Berkshire Hathaway purchased The Omaha World Herald, its hometown newspaper last year, and has owned the Buffalo News since 1977. Buffett has also been on the board of The Washington Post and owned a large share of that national paper for years. One might say he’s making Omaha something of a genuine media town now. As a native of the hilly river city, I’m happy about that.

Of course, there are others with other more important media matters on their minds. Professor, consultant and writer Clay Shirky, for one. He argues that “ordinary citizens don’t pay for news. What we paid for, when we used to buy the paper, was a bundle of news and sports and coupons and job listings, printed together and delivered to our doorstep.” Shirky believes that news has always been a loss leader subsidized by advertisers. And now those advertisers are off to greener pastures. “Ad dollars lost to competing content creators can be fought for; ad dollars that no longer subsidize content at all are never coming back,” he contends.

GigaOm writer, Mathew Ingram, adds that “the subscription price of a newspaper and circulation revenues in general have historically only accounted for a small proportion of a media company’s overall revenue. In most cases, the bulk of that revenue comes from advertising.”

I’m a fan of both Shirky and Ingram, but I don’t agree that all the value is in the platform. The Oracle of Omaha believes there’s value in content and he wants his new newspaper managers to find ways to maximize that value for readers (who will be asked to pay for the content, regardless of the platform). “It’s your job to make your paper indispensable to anyone who cares about what is going on in your city or town,” Buffett outlines.
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I love when an environmental issue, or any issue, helps to melt the artificial construct of political lines between people and communities come together to face off against corporate agressors. Thankfully, that’s exactly what’s going on in Nebraska, Texas and other communities that would be directly impacted by the proposed Keystone Pipeline. According to Roll […]

I’m from Nebraska and I live in Oregon. And I like college football. My loyalties to the Cornhuskers are well established. Whereas my new allegiances to the local teams are still forming. I like that Oregon has Scott Frost on its coaching staff, because I’m a Husker and he’s a Husker. But I’m not ready […]

I like to visit Omaha at least once a year to reacquaint myself with my place of origin. I need to walk the hills, breathe the air and feel the positive vibrations of the people of The Corn in order to remember who I am. I am from the middle. The Heartland. It’s a place […]

Frustrated with the lack of meaningful dialogue around the nation’s health care debate, columnist Paul Krugman let one rip in The New York Times yesterday. Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism — by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always […]

As a native Nebraskan, I make it a point to keep up with the progress being made by other Huskers. Interestingly, new media stars keep shooting from the corn. Evan Williams founded Blogger, sold it to Google, then founded Twitter. Ana Marie Cox rode Wonkette to a book deal, a job with Time and talking […]

We just completed a nine day journey cross country by car from coastal South Carolina to Portland, Oregon. On day one, we stopped for lunch in Asheville, NC to say “hi” to Gary and Katie. We then pushed on to Lexington, KY for the night. From the hotel we walked first to Mexican food and […]

Metropolis Magazine published a feature last September on the rapid acceleration of New Urbanism in Omaha. The magazine claims much of the groundwork for Omaha’s urban-design plan was put in place by the Omaha Community Foundation, which started working on a vision for the city in 1999. In 2002 the foundation asked Connie Spellman from […]

“I want every one of you, every one of us, 100 senators, to look in that camera, and you tell your people back home what you think. Don’t hide anymore; none of us. That is the essence of our responsibility. And if we’re not willing to do it, we’re not worthy to be seated right […]

Janet Maslin of The New York Times is not loving Dog Days, the new first novel by Nebraskan Ana Marie Cox, better known as Wonkette, thanks to her political blog of that name. Dog Days manages to be doubly conventional: it follows both an old-fashioned love-betrayal-redemption arc and the newer, bitchier nanny-Prada chick-lit motif. Melanie […]

Nebraskans are notorious for being straight shooters. Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator from the Cornhusker State is no exception. Earlier this week Hagel took President Bush to task for his comments criticizing Americans who would dare question his decision making in regards to the war in Iraq. Given that Hagel is a decorated Vietnam War vet, […]