The Manassas, Va., News & Messenger, one of 63 newspapers purchased by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) earlier this year, is being shut down. Its last print edition will be Dec. 30.
World Media Enterprises Inc. -- created by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway to operate the newspapers Buffett's company bought in a $142 million deal with Media General (NYSE: MEG) -- announced today that it has decided to shutter the News & Messenger and lay off all 33 of the paper's employees. It will also discontinue operations at the Inside NOVA website and its companion weekly newspaper, Inside NOVA Weekly.
The Messenger publishes five days a week in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and boasts a circulation of some 10,000 people.
"Our 33 dedicated News & Messenger employees worked very hard as we took several approaches to make this newspaper successful," said Doug Hiemstra, president of World Media Enterprises, in a statement. "Despite those efforts, business conditions drove us to this decision. We do not see a long-term viable way to maintain a daily news operation here."
He also said: "Let me be clear: World Media remains bullish on community newspapers and our ability to publish news and advertising content on a variety of platforms that is useful to our readers and the communities in which they live. "
World Media also announced it will be laying off a further 72 Media General employees, mostly in the firm's corporate offices.