The Corner

Koch Brothers Will Not Purchase L.A. Times: Not a ‘Profitable Venture’

The Koch brothers will not purchase the newspapers owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Company. “As Koch said all along, it would only get involved if we think it will be a profitable venture,” says a source familiar with the negotiations. “This wouldn’t be in their estimation.” 

Reports that the libertarian brothers were exploring the purchase of company’s papers, which include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, surfaced in the spring. The billionare duo, Charles and David, are CEO and executive vice president, respectively, of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. They are also generous donors to a large network of conservative and libertarian causes. 

During an in-house awards ceremony in April, roughly half of the staff of the L.A. Times signaled their intent to quit the paper if the Koch brothers purchased it; three Los Angeles City Council members introduced a motion calling for the council to pull investments by the city’s pension funds from the paper if it is sold to buy­ers who did not sup­port “pro­fes­sion­al and ob­ject­ive journ­al­ism.” The source adds that, “While they respect the right of the protesters and politicians to rail against the Kochs’ owning newspapers, they had no impact on the decision.”

Other suitors for Tribune Co., which emerged from backruptcy late last year, reportedly included Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the wealthy Democratic donors Eli Broad and Austin Beutner

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