Who abandoned negotiations first: Koch brothers or Tribune?

The Daily Caller | The Wrap | The New York Times | Los Angeles Times | Free Press

Charles and David Koch walked away from negotiations to buy Tribune Co.’s newspapers because digital assets like CareerBuilder and Classified Ventures wouldn’t convey with the sale, Josh Peterson reported in The Daily Caller Thursday afternoon.

“They’re basically such an important part of the revenue,” a “source with knowledge of the proceedings” told Peterson, “in a way that if they sold them, it goes away.”

Peterson says “both parties walked away from the negotiations” and a source tells him the Koch brothers lost interest “a couple months” ago. But “An executive close to the situation” told The Wrap’s Sara Morrison “Tribune stepped away from the idea of selling to the Koch brothers two months ago.”

Chairman of the board Bruce Karsh balked at the sale after widespread outcry, which included loud protests in front of his Beverly Hills house, the executive said.

Koch spokesperson Melissa Cohlmia confirmed Peterson’s report to New York Times reporter Brian Stelter and to Stuart Pfeifer of the Tribune-owned Los Angeles Times. Tribune declined to comment to Peterson, Morrison or Stelter.

Free Press President Craig Aaron said “Letting these newsrooms fall into the hands of the Kochs would have been bad for journalism and bad for democracy.” Free Press was one of several groups that opposed the Kochs’ potential purchase of the papers.

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