- Hardcover: 422 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (April 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591021804
- ISBN-13: 978-1591021803
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,097,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Butler to Buffett: The Story Behind the Buffalo News Hardcover – April 30, 2004
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"...countless interesting stories behind The News...will upset some and delight others." -- The Buffalo News, May 9, 2004
"...easily readable conversational style...critics and fans alike will enjoy reading background on Warren Buffett." -- Artvoice, May 6, 2004
From the Inside Flap
In 1873 twenty-three-year-old Edward H. Butler arrived in Buffalo, New York, to found a newspaper eventually called the BUFFALO EVENING NEWS. Under the enterprising Butler's aegis the NEWS became one of the most successful newspapers in America, growing along with the thriving city at the end of the Erie Canal, which was expanding rapidly as immigrants poured in and America urbanized. About a century later, in 1977, financial investor Warren E. Buffet, recognizing the value of the paper, bought the BUFFALO EVENING NEWS, and, to this day, despite competition from large media conglomerates, the BUFFALO NEWS (as it is now called) remains a successful independent publication.
There is no better person to tell the story of the NEWS than Murray B. Light, who held senior editorial positions at the paper for over thirty years. Beginning with the founding of the newspaper by Butler, Light provides a wealth of historical information and many in-depth, behind-the-scenes profiles of key persons who influenced the course of the paper. Chief among these is founder Edward H. Butler, a dynamic powerhouse whose enthusiasm, innovation, and high standards are still felt today. His son, Edward Butler Jr., played an important role, extending the reach of the News corporation into radio and television, as did his extraordinary wife, Kate Robinson Butler, who also served as publisher. Almost as influential as the senior Butler was Alfred H. Kirchhofer, whose strong personality and work ethic, staunch Republican Party connections, and active involvement in the Buffalo community became legendary. Readers are offered a rare inside look at the strength of leadership, attention to detail, and accuracy in reporting that are consistently needed to maintain a dedicated subscriber base through such momentous events as the Three-Mile Island nuclear disaster, the Attica prison riots, and the environmental dangers of Love Canal.
Regarding the current owner, Warren E. Buffet, Light has many interesting insights into his famous low-key, hands-off style of management. He assumed ownership of the NEWS at a critical time, bolstering its financial strength while encouraging complete editorial independence. Light also devotes a chapter to current publisher Stanford Lipsey, a longtime associate of Buffet, highlighting his leadership in the wake of the bitter court dispute with Buffalo's other daily paper, the COURIER EXPRESS.
Along the way Light offers interesting comments on newspaper trends as well as many longtime and widely read reporters and columnists, such as Ray Hill, Bob Curran, Lee Coppola, Jeff Simon, Alan Pergament, Donn Esmonde, Janice Okun, Larry Felser, and many others, and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonists Bruce Shanks, and Tom Toles.
This detailed memoir of the people and events that had a formative influence on a major regional newspaper will capture the attention of anyone interested in the history of one of America's great independent presses.
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Long-time Buffalo News Editor Murray B. Light tells the story of how he guided this hugely successful regional newspaper into the modern era from the age of copy boys, manual typewriters and telegraph editors with green visors.
With the help of Buffett and his close friend publisher Stanford Lipsey, Light engineered the transformation of Buffalo's Gray Old Lady into a modern metropolitan daily in a city noted for its hard-hitting journalism, hard-drinking journalists and demanding newspaper junkies.
Light's research into the founding Butler family reveals insights into the outgoing founder and his reserved son that were not known outside of a select circle.
But "From Butler to Buffett" comes to life when Warren Buffett purchased the financially struggling enterprise, placed managing editor Light firmly in charge and took on the city's morning paper which had the huge financial backing of a national newspaper corporation.
Light and his newsroom colleagues never seemed to notice that "the guys down the street" with the big Sunday paper (The News was a six-day evening paper), and the guys who delivered in the morning should have won one of the last great Northeast newspaper battles of the 20th Century.
This book is full of the little tales and quick anecdotes that bring 20th century daily journalism to life. Light's newsroom is a newsroom of living characters, described in broad strokes by an editor who spoke the way he writes.
Even though it becomes obvious Light relished the Buffett years, it is just as obvious that he never lost sight of his mentor, the legendary editor Alfred H. Kirchhofer.
This is a journey well worth the effort for anyone who lived through -- or wished they lived through -- the second half of the 20th Century in an American newsroom.