San Diego Columnist Chuckles at Koch-Manchester-Tribune Rumors

We’ve moved from a dollop of salt to a giant pepper grinder. At least that’s the view of Doug Porter, who offers a hilarious quick-take reaction in the San Diego Free Press to the wave of coverage sparked by Hillel Aron’s barn-busting LA Weekly item:

The rumor mills continue unabated, like a distracted waiter with an oversized pepper grinder ruining a Caesar salad at a faux fine dining restaurant. My favorite take of the day on the latest LA Times speculation was in Forbes:

LA Weekly pegs the price of the Tribune newspaper group at about $600 million. By my calculations, that’s a little more than Charles and David pull in dividends from Koch Industries each year — after reinvesting 90% of the profits back in the business. So no question they can swing it. But after a career of successfully investing in businesses that make money, I am not sure Charles Koch wants into this one.”

Porter also shares a very funny between-the-lines reading of what he thinks U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester really meant when he responded this morning to his end of the Koch rumors.

It’s worth remembering that Aron very clearly framed his Tuesday item as one to be viewed with a requisite amount of skepticism. Even just the whisper of possible interest from a tandem like the Koch brothers is, in the current LAT sweepstakes climate, a justifiable item hook.

By the way, speaking of Koch-Tribune follow-on coverage, Kevin Roderick had a nice catch regarding the Hollywood Reporter’s item. He noted in an update that the publication dialed down the story a tad after publication and changed the byline from Jordan Zakarin to THR Staff.