Buffett to Tribune owners – Call me!

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(Reuters) – Warren Buffett is mulling the prospect of owning at least one of Tribune Co’s newspapers.

Buffett told The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania that “Allentown is our kind of place,” in response to a question of whether his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway was interested in the 84,000 daily circulation paper.

Tribune is expected to sell its stable of newspapers – which also includes the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune – when it exits from bankruptcy, in order to concentrate on its broadcasting properties.

Potential other bidders that could line up for the newspapers include U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester, Freedom Communications owner Aaron Kushner, and News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch.

“We haven’t heard anything from the Tribune Co but if the phone rings, I’ll answer,” Buffett told the Morning Call.

Buffett’s relationship to the newspaper industry has been fickle: in 2009 he told Berkshire shareholders that he would not buy most newspapers in the U.S. “at any price.”

But lately his affections have turned as he chooses newspapers in small to medium-sized markets. He has been on a buying spree, acquiring stakes in newspapers companies like Lee Enterprises and snapping up properties like the majority of Media General’s newspapers.

(Reporting By Jennifer Saba in New York- Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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