Why Would Anyone Invest in Print Media?

For many business people, the cache of a newspaper trumps profits.

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[ALSO: Warren Buffet Says No Thanks to Buying Tribune Newspapers ]

For some, the desire to acquire a news brand also includes a streak of local pride.

"I'm someone who buys Louisiana legacy businesses." says Georges. He purchased the Advocate and is helping the daily paper to expand into New Orleans, where the Times-Picayune cut printing to three days per week last year.

Georges, who bought the Advocate from the family that had owned the paper since the early 1900s, believes that his status as an entrepreneur sets him aside from the scions of old newspaper families.

"It's all a different perspective. They're trying to hold onto a family empire, and I'm trying to grow a business," he says.

From media companies' perspective, the need to give up old business models and even family legacies has helped to lead to the new rush of entrepreneurs, says one expert.

"I think there's now a real search by the legacy owners to find people with different skill sets that may be required to save these publications and the industry in general," says Mark Jurkowitz, former Boston Globe reporter and associate director at the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

[OPINION: New Owners, New Media, New Opportunities]

He points to the Washington Post, where the Graham family acknowledged the need for new leadership.

"We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed," wrote CEO Don Graham in a letter to Post employees this week.

That success is anything but assured for outsider investors. Philanthropist and electronics company founder Sidney Harman bought Newsweek in 2010 and quickly merged it with The Daily Beast, leaving him and Barry Diller's IAC, Daily Beast owner, each with a 50 percent stake. After Harman's 2011 death, his family took over his stake but shortly thereafter said it would no longer invest in the publication. IAC recently sold Newsweek to IBT media, which publishes the International Business Times.Though Buffett, Henry and Bezos may not have a roadmap to that success, one other key trait they share is the belief that they can at least do something to boost flagging papers to better health, says Sabatier.

"These are all brilliant business people in their own respects," she says. "Somebody could give you something, but if you can't do anything with it, you didn't get a bargain."

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