Lee Enterprises to manage BH Media Group papers

BH Media Group has engaged Lee Enterprises Inc. to manage its newspaper and digital operations in 30 markets.

“I love our newspapers and am passionate about the vital role they serve in our communities,” said Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett in a news release. “Although the challenges in publishing are clear, I believe we can benefit by joining efforts. Lee Enterprises’ growth in digital market share and revenue has outpaced the industry. Lee also has led the industry in overall innovation and performance, all while faithfully fulfilling its public trust as an indispensable source for 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.”

Kevin D. Mowbray, Lee president and CEO, said the management agreement has an initial term of five years and that Lee will receive an annual fixed fee of $5 million plus a significant percentage of profits over benchmarks. BH Media will retain editorial control, consistent with Lee’s policy of local editorial decision-making.

None of the BH Media properties are in California. Lee has properties in Hanford, Santa Maria and Napa.

Elsewhere: BH Media CEO Kroeger to depart