Zuckerman: Billionaires Are Buying Newspapers ‘Because They No Longer Wish To Be Billionaires’

August 11th, 2013 8:30 PM

Media mogul Mort Zuckerman wins this weekend’s funniest line on a political talk show.

Asked by the host of PBS's McLaughlin Group why successful billionaires would invest in a dying business such as newspapers, Zuckerman replied, “Because they no longer wish to be billionaires” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

McLaughlin mentioned that Jeff Bezos is just the latest mogul to buy a newspaper. Others include John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

“Question, if old media like newspapers are a dying business, why are successful billionaires like Bezos, Buffett, and Zuckerman drawn to them?” McLaughlin asked.

Without skipping a beat, Zuckerman marvelously replied, “Because they no longer wish to be billionaires.”

This evoked laughter from all on the panel.

Of course, Zuckerman knows of what he speaks given his years in the publishing industry.

That said, Zuckerman was very optimistic that Bezos “has a chance to understand and learn how to translate print products into something that will work on the internet as well as in print.”

We shall see.