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Pantagraph Owner To Manage Berkshire Hathaway Media Markets

Brennan Linsley
Mary Junck, executive chairman of Lee Enterprises, at an event in 2014.

Lee Enterprises, the parent company of The Pantagraph, has agreed to manage Berkshire Hathaway's BH Media Group's daily online and print operations in 30 markets starting July 2.

Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffet said Lee is the logical choice based on the organization’s recognized digital growth while remaining focused on providing trusted local news, information and advertising.

“Our missions and goals match exactly, our markets are similar, and we both have excellent managers. Operating together will strengthen both of us, and Lee is logical to lead the process,” Buffet said.

The agreement has a five-year initial term, throughout which Lee will receive an annual $5 million fee plus a percentage of profits over benchmarks. Editorial control will remain with BH Media.

“This is an attractive strategic alliance for Lee, as it enables us to generate more cash flow, speed our debt reduction, enhance our industry leadership and further advance our abilities as we introduce our digital and print strategies at BH Media properties,” said Mary Junck, executive chairman of Lee Enterprises. “The publishing business is in transition, to be sure, but we remain positive about our future, as many print opportunities remain and digital audiences and revenue continue to grow and flourish.”

Lee Enterprises is based in Davenport, Iowa. It owns nearly 300 publications in 49 markets, including Bloomington-Normal. In addition to the 30 markets to be managed by Lee, BH Media includes nearly 80 other print and online products.

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