June 5, 2013

The Wall Street Journal

Koch Industries is considering buying newspapers, Charles Koch tells The Wall Street Journal’s James R. Hagerty and William Launder:

“There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda or not news that is really editorializing,” Mr. Koch said in an interview.

Mr. Koch added in a follow-up statement to The Wall Street Journal that the editorial page of any newspaper his company acquired “would be a marketplace of ideas where all sorts of approaches to public-policy issues are vetted and contrasted, and there could be ongoing debate.” That, he predicted, “would ultimately improve newspapers as a business proposition.”

Koch would not comment on whether his company is interested in Tribune Co.’s papers, as has been widely reported.

People freaked out by the prospect of the libertarian Koch brothers buying Tribune’s papers — which include the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun — have protested in Los Angeles, Chicago and Orlando, Fla.

A crowdfunding effort to buy the papers is, as of Wednesday, June 5, closing in on $140,000. The papers are valued at about $660 million.

Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori has said “no decision to sell our publishing assets is imminent.”

Previously: Koch brothers acquiring Tribune newspapers? I’d bet against it | Why news will survive the Koch brothers

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
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