Koch Tribune Takeover Fails


Koch Industries confirmed it will not be buying the Tribune Company’s eight newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times.

Progressive activists have heavily opposed the business and political activities of Koch Industries’ leadership, organizing a number of protests against the takeover. Activists in May had demonstrated outside the LA Times building protesting the sale on the grounds that the Koch brothers are  “radical ideologues” who would use the paper as a mouthpiece to advance their political objectives. The Other 98% organized a crowd-sourcing campaign to "Free the Press" and raise the $600 million required to buy the Trib before Koch could. 

Even local city councils expressed opposition. Hartford City Council passed a resolution denouncing the takeover of Tribune, specifically the Hartford Courant:

 “The takeover of the Hartford Courant by Koch Industries threatens to replace independent and unbiased news coverage with an outside, extreme, partisan and sensational national corporate agenda as has been shown elsewhere,” Members of the council’s Working Families Party wrote.

According to sources, the decision to end the negotiations came from a recognition that the deal would be unfavorable to both parties. Two of the Tribune’s digital assets, CareerBulider.com and Classified Ventures LLC, were discovered to be half of the company’s revenue.In June, The Wall Street Journal also reported that due to the  founders’ agreement, “a sale of the newspapers could invalidate long-standing arrangements under which Tribune’s papers sell local ads on behalf of the websites, boosting the papers’ digital ad revenue,” The Daily Caller reported.

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