Warren Buffett: 'Newspapers Have Got a Terrible Future'
In an interview on CNBC's Nov. 3 "Squawk Box," following the announcement of his purchase of Burlington Northern (NYSE:BNI), Buffett was asked to comment on the future of news media, in particular newspapers and business news by "Squawk Box" co-host Becky Quick. Buffett is optimistic on the future of business news.
"Our system has just gotten started," Buffett said. "I mean, we've had a couple of hundred years of progress, but we have not exhausted our potential in this country. America's about business and business in America, you know have gone to greatness hand and hand. So, you do not need to worry about CNBC 10 or 20 or 30 years from now. Business will always be important to the American public."
But the Oracle of Omaha isn't as optimistic about the future of newspapers. Buffett, the owner of the Buffalo N.Y.'s daily newspaper, the Buffalo News, hit hard times earlier this year. And he's not hopeful for a comeback.
"Newspapers have got a terrible future," Buffett said. "And we own the Buffalo News, as you say and we hope to be the last man standing and I would say we might very well be. But, if you look at the newspaper circulation figures that just got published a couple of days ago - it was just a dramatic decrease."
The cause: Buffett argues it has been digital media and explained to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who was co-hosting "Squawk Box," he is relying on digital media more and more.
"And the truth is, fewer people you know, are going to be reading newspapers a year from now and two years from now," Buffett said. "Now they're going to continue to get information. Everybody loves to get news, but the indispensability of the paper has been diminished. And you know, like the Governor [Ed Rendell], I would get my sports scores, you know he probably read the Philadelphia Inquirer or something in those days and I got them from the Omaha World Herald. But now, I click on at night and I can look at the box score and play-by-play and everything else. So, it's changed."