Koch Bros. Look to Buy 8 Newspapers

Could use LA Times and others to spread conservative message

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 21, 2013 2:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Brothers Charles and David Koch, the billionaire businessmen behind Koch Industries and noted supporters of libertarian causes, are looking to buy into the newspaper business. They're exploring a deal to acquire the Tribune Company's eight regional newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, the New York Times reports. Some sources say it's an investment opportunity only, but others believe the papers could serve as a valuable platform for spreading their conservative ideas.

An attendee of multiple Koch Industries seminars said the brothers often say that "they see the conservative voice as not being well represented" in the media. A former Koch Industries adviser says their interest in the Tribune papers is purely financial, and separate from their libertarian agenda. But as the Times notes, the papers have a collective value of around $623 million, which is pocket change for these oil tycoons. "A running joke among conservatives as we watched the GOP establishment spend $500 million on ineffectual TV ads is 'Why don’t you just buy NBC?'" said a libertarian campaigner. "It’s good the Kochs are talking about fighting fire with a little fire."

The Los Angeles Times building is seen in downtown Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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