Report: Koch brothers interested in buying Tribune papers

LA Weekly
A “member of the L.A. Times Editorial Board” tells Hillel Aron that Charles and David Koch may help buy the paper by financing “a bid by ‘Papa Doug’ Manchester, himself a right-wing multimillionaire who in 2009 bought the San Diego Union-Tribune and promptly turned it into a propaganda organ for San Diego development.”

“It’s hard to believe there’s a chance that the liberal and Hollywood-adjacent Los Angeles Times might one day be owned by the Koch Brothers,” Aron writes. But Tribune is said to want to keep all or most of its papers together in a sale, and the Kochs, Aron writes, have the interest and financial wherewithal to finance such a bid.

Also, Aron notes, they own Georgia Pacific, and “their grandfather, Harry Koch, once ran a weekly newspaper in Texas after emigrating there from the Netherlands.”

In February, Tribune Co. hired investment bankers to explore a sale of its newspapers. “There is a lot of interest in our newspapers, which we haven’t solicited,” Tribune Co. spokesperson Gary Weitman told Poynter at the time. In an email to Poynter Tuesday, Weitman said, “As a policy matter, we do not comment about speculation regarding the company or any of its assets.”

Warren Buffett, who said in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that he voted for President Obama, has expressed interest in buying Tribune’s (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call.

Buffett has not purchased a newspaper since Feb. 25.

Disclosure: KochFacts.com was an advertiser on Poynter.org in 2012.

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