News Column

Koch Brothers Lose Interest in Tribune Co.

August 23, 2013

Roy Wenzl

Koch Industries will not buy the Tribune Co. -- owners of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and several other large U.S. newspapers -- a Koch spokeswoman said Thursday.

The Daily Caller, an online media outlet quoting "sources" with knowledge of Koch's business, reported Thursday that the company had not been interested in Tribune Co. for "a couple of months." After the Daily Caller posted that story, Melissa Cohlmia, a Koch spokeswoman, forwarded a link to the story to The Eagle, along with a short statement.

"Koch continues to have an interest in the media business and we're exploring a broad range of opportunities where we think we can add value," she wrote. "In terms of the Tribune, the Daily Caller story is accurate."

She declined further comment.

Charles Koch himself had signaled this decision during an interview with The Eagle last month. He had given an interview to the Wall Street Journal a few weeks before, contemplating a Tribune deal, but in the July interview with The Eagle he appeared to back off a step or two.

"We are at square one on that," he said in July. "There are tremendous changes going on in media, in taking media as a whole, all forms of communication. We're back at square one analyzing where is the most change, where are the best opportunities for new entrants to come in and add value?"

Cohlmia said rumors appeared in several media outlets as early as March, saying Koch was looking at the Tribune Co.

Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or Follow him on Twitter: @roywenzl.


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