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The sale of the Tulsa World means Oklahoma's two largest newspapers will be owned by out-of-state interests.

Clifton Adcock February 25th, 2013

The Tulsa World announced today that it has been sold to BH Media Group, a subsidy of the Warren Buffett-controlled Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

warren+buffettWarren Buffett

The terms of the deal, expected to close next month, were not disclosed.

The World is the state’s second-largest newspaper, with a daily circulation of 95,000 and a Sunday circulation of 133,000. Eugene Lorton purchased the paper in 1911, later becoming its editor, as well. The World has remained in the Lorton family since that time.

“During these more than 100 years, I believe there has been a symbiotic relationship between the World and Tulsa,” Robert E. Lorton Jr., chairman of World Publishing Company, said.

“Today the Lorton family passes along that community relationship to Berkshire Hathaway’s BH Media Group, a company with strong commitment to local news and community engagement.”

The sale means that the state’s two largest dailies — The Oklahoman and the World — will be owned by out-of-state interests.

In September 2011, The Oklahoman’s parent company, OPUBCO, sold the newspaper to Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz. For many decades, the daily had been owned by the family of the late E.K. Gaylord.

In a Tulsa World story on that earlier sale, World Publisher Robert E. Lorton III said, “I think it's a loss for Oklahoma City to lose a family-owned newspaper,” and expressed disappointment that the World Publishing Company hadn’t been given an opportunity to make a purchase offer.

The World is the latest in billionaire Buffett’s recent move to purchase media holdings. In May, Berkshire Hathaway purchased 63 newspapers in the Southeastern U.S., including Virginia’s Richmond Times-Dispatch. More recently, BH Media has been scooping up papers such as North Carolina’s Greensboro News & Record.

The company also owns New York’s The Buffalo News, as well as a 23-percent stake in The Washington Post Company.

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