Warren Buffett, the third-richest man in the world, is buying the Omaha World-Herald, his hometown newspaper. The purchase price has not been revealed. But even if it was, oh, $50 million, it would be a purchase for Warren Buffett approximately proportional to you buying a cheap pair of shoes.

Buffett was an enthusiastic Washington Post board member for years, but he's no fool; he got out in 2009, and told Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that "for most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price." Except his hometown paper, hey! He likes that one.

So here, at last, is a salvation plan for the sad, sad newspaper industry: be bought by some guy who has $50 billion and consequently does not care how much money you lose. It used to be that you only had to be in the top 0.1% to afford to own a newspaper; now, it's the top 0.0001%. Sentimentality is costly.

Ray of sunshine!

[Photo: AP]