Four days ago, The New York Times reported the billionaire Koch brothers are interested in buying the Tribune Company’s stable of newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, igniting fears from some in the media that the duo would use the paper’s to thump for their libertarian causes.
On Friday morning, NPR’s David Folkenflik talked to some former Tribune newspapermen who said, basically, so what?
“I think with the Koch brothers, people will probably look at it and say, ‘well, O.K., here are people with a lot of money, and maybe they’ll actually invest in the place and maybe they’ll have some ideas about how we diversify our revenue base and get away from this heavy, heavy, heavy reliance on advertising,” said James O’Shea, the former Chicago Tribune managing editor and Los Angeles Times editor. “I don’t think anybody’s going to object too much if the Koch Brothers buy the Chicago Tribune and [the paper] has a libertarian, kind of right-wing editorial page.”
Matt Welch, the editor of the libertarian Reason magazine and a former assistant editorial page editor at the Times added that the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper’s editorial board once helped propel the Republicans like Richard Nixon to office.
“I mean the L.A. Times were the Republican kingmakers of California, and therefore at least of the country, for nearly a century,” he said. “It’s incredible, that history.”[h/t Jim Romenesko]