Charles Koch confirmed that he and his brother David are exploring the possibility of buying newspapers in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
There have been rumors swirling for weeks that the conservative billionaires, who run Koch Industries, are interested in acquiring the Tribune's big regional titles, which include the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. The prospect of such a sale has raised alarm among some readers and Tribune employees, who are concerned that the new owners would use the papers to advance their political causes.
Charles Koch would not comment specifically on the possibility of acquiring Tribune newspapers, but he denied allegations of trying to advance a conservative agenda. "There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda or news that is really editorializing," he said.
"If we got in the media, it would need to stand on its own and have good economics, create real value and create value for the marketplace, or we wouldn't be interested," Koch also told WSJ. Click over for the full story.
Tribune emerged from bankruptcy in 2012, and began preparations to sell off its newspapers earlier this year. New York Times' Amy Chozick reported that the Koch brothers were the frontrunners to buy the papers, ahead of other potential buyers including Rupert Murdoch. The reports have prompted some Los Angeles Times staffers to say that they would quit if the sale went through, and a grassroots fundraising campaign to buy the Tribune papers.