Right-wing libertarian Koch brothers planning to buy the Chicago Tribune and its sister newspapers?


The Koch brothers, who have infamously bankrolled many an extremist political campaign, seem now to have set their sights on a big media company, it says HERE:

 Three years ago, Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and supporters of libertarian causes, held a seminar of like-minded, wealthy political donors at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colo. They laid out a three-pronged, 10-year strategy to shift the country toward a smaller government with less regulation and taxes.

The first two pieces of the strategy — educating grass-roots activists and influencing politics — were not surprising, given the money they have given to policy institutes and political action groups. But the third one was: media.

Other than financing a few fringe libertarian publications, the Kochs have mostly avoided media investments. Now, Koch Industries, the sprawling private company of which Charles G. Koch serves as chairman and chief executive, is exploring a bid to buy the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.

By early May, the Tribune Company is expected to send financial data to serious suitors in what will be among the largest sales of newspapers by circulation in the country. Koch Industries is among those interested, said several people with direct knowledge of the sale who spoke on the condition they not be named. Tribune emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 31 and has hired JPMorgan Chase and Evercore Partners to sell its print properties.

The papers, valued at roughly $623 million, would be a financially diminutive deal for Koch Industries, the energy and manufacturing conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., with annual revenue of about $115 billion.

Politically, however, the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas. The Los Angeles Times is the fourth-largest paper in the country, and The Tribune is No. 9, and others are in several battleground states, including two of the largest newspapers in Florida, The Orlando Sentinel and The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. A deal could include Hoy, the second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper, which speaks to the pivotal Hispanic demographic.



  1. Pat, my post is off topic but I’d like to know why your blog, Applesauce, isn’t included in this listing from the Rockford Register Star?


  2. Robert: Beats me, but it doesn’t really matter. Applesauce has by far more readers than the others.

  3. Romney Defeats Obama?

  4. Too funny! Nice to know there’s a news source that thinks like I do.

  5. Pat Cunningham is still writing? Hatchet job articles in a small circulation midwest town is all he can muster. His views were never balanced, his wit never sharp, and his career is stagnant. I am surprised that he survives – even in the small pons in which he attempts to be a big fish.

    Predictable. Uninteresting. Seriously – isn’t there another opinion page writer that can actually write interesting copy?

  6. OT again, Patrick, you don’t think it’s odd your blog Applesauce isn’t included on that link I provided? I do? You’ve got to wonder, that seems only natural. You’ve got to know why? How do people find it? It used to be included in the line up. That’s how I found it in the past. You’re excited about the number of hits it get,s but don’t wonder why it isn’t in the line up of other blogs on the RRS? That’s really odd to me.

  7. Robert: I notified the people at RRStar about the omission of this blog from that roster. They’re going to correct the situation.

    But I still don’t think it’s any big deal. Readership of this blog last month was greater than that of the next three most heavily-read RRStar blogs combined.

  8. Robert: By the way, commenter Mike (above), who’s no admirer of mine, managed to find this blog.

  9. Craig Knauss

    And yet “Mike” could tear himself away from all those more enlightened publications to post his pathetic diatribe. The only part he had correct is that Pat’s career has stagnated. That usually happens when someone retires. Apparently Mike’s career, if he ever had one, has stagnated too since he has the time to troll for “Hatchet job articles in a small circulation midwest town….”

    Mike probably thinks the “Washington Times” is serious journalism.

  10. Thank you Pat.

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