| March 12
March 12 Charles and David Koch, two of the
world's richest men, are interested in Tribune's newspaper
assets, which include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago
Tribune, according to sources familiar with situation.
Earlier on Tuesday, L.A. Weekly reported that the Koch
brothers were rumored to be interested in either all of the
Tribune company, which includes 23 TV stations and national
cable network WGN American, or the Tribune newspapers. The
report also cited "another rumor" from a Los Angeles Times
editorial board member that the Koch brothers are helping U-T
San Diego newspaper owner Doug Manchester finance a bid.
According to one of the Reuters sources, the Koch brothers
are not interested in Tribune's other assets - which include the
broadcast TV stations. Tribune, based in Chicago, owns eight
major dailies, including The Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant.
Manchester said in statement: "We are looking forward to
opportunities to employ our cross-media strategy in other
markets. We have no partnership with Koch Industries or with the
Koch brothers, and we don't anticipate any such arrangement. If
we were to become involved in the sale of the Tribune Company or
any other media assets, we would be glad to comment at the
Melissa Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for Koch Companies Public
Sector, said in a statement: "As an entrepreneurial company with
60,000 employees around the world, we are constantly exploring
profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors.
"So, it is natural that our name would come up in connection
with this rumor. We respect the independence of the journalistic
institutions referenced in today's news stories, but it is our
long-standing policy not to comment on deals or rumors of deals
we may or may not be exploring."
Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said the company does not
comment on speculation.
The Koch Brothers - worth $34 billion, making them the
world's sixth-richest men, according to Forbes magazine - would
have more than enough room to make a bid for all of Tribune's
Tribune's newspapers are profitable and estimated to be
worth $623 million, according to a report by Lazard, its
The brothers are the owners of Koch Industries, a sprawling
conglomerate whose holdings include crude oil and natural gas
pipelines, paper products like Dixie Cups and Angel Soft toilet
tissue, and cattle ranches.
They are known for their conservative views and on the Koch
Industries website explain that economic freedom means that
"government is kept small and limited to those activities that
contribute to societal well-being, rather than undermine it."
Other notable names such as Warren Buffett and News Corp's
Rupert Murdoch have surfaced as possible buyers for
some of Tribune's dailies. Aaron Kushner, the owner of the
Orange County Register near Los Angeles, said he was "prepared
to take a serious look" at Tribune's newspapers in December.
The newspaper industry is once again becoming a hive of
activity as several big city papers hit the auction block while
other smaller newspapers have been snapped up by the likes of
Tribune is the latest example of a company exploring a sale
of its newspapers. The New York Times announced in
February it was putting The Boston Globe and other properties in
New England up for sale.