From the Bloomberg Television release:
On tonight’s episode of “Bloomberg Game Changers: Warren Buffett,” airing at 9pm ET on Bloomberg Television, Warren Buffett talks about his early passion for newspapers and how an editorial tip to his first media purchase — a local Omaha weekly called The Sun – led to a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
The story Warren suggested to the newspaper’s editor was about Boys Town, a home for orphan boys located outside Omaha and made famous in a 1938 movie with Spencer Tracey and Mickey Rooney.
Warren Buffett tells Bloomberg TV, “It was sort of common knowledge around Omaha that the money was pouring in [Boys Town]…and the number of boys had gone down. They’d had a thousand boys at the peak and I knew the population had gone down. I thought there was a story there.”/CONTINUES
Stan Lipsey, publisher of the Sun newspapers, tells Bloomberg, “We were a weekly publishing against a daily, so we had to initiate stories…and hopefully investigative pieces. We’d sit there and brainstorm what we could do.”
Lipsey: “Warren said to us, go to Washington and get the Boys’ Town’s 9-90 [a federal form in which charities must disclose their net worth] and you’ll have a lot more information. That was about the most important piece of information we could lay our hands on. That led to the headlines, which was 700 boys with $209 million dollars and the kicker, the over line was “Boys’ Town, America’s richest city.”
The story won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973, and Buffett shortly thereafter decided his new newspaper investment would be in a much bigger market: Washington, D.C.