of the Daily Kos/Courage Campaign's efforts
with other progressive groups to fight
the now-abandoned Koch purchase.
Melissa Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for the Wichita, Kan.-based company, confirmed a report Thursday from the Daily Caller saying that Koch Industries wouldn't be buying any of Chicago-based Tribune Co.'s eight daily newspapers after conducting a review. Tribune Co. owns the Chicago Tribune.Other papers in the Tribune stable include the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun, two of seven daily newspapers it acquired when it bought Times-Mirror in 2000. It later sold some of them.
“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 said. “In terms of the Tribune, the Daily Caller story is accurate.”
Part of the reason the buy did not come about, according to the Caller, is because of Tribune's decision to put its newspapers under a separate corporate umbrella and keep the company's television and radio properties. The broadcast operations are still money-makers but the newspapers continue to lose advertising and circulation revenue. In 2000, when Tribune bought Times-Mirror, the Los Angeles Times had a daily circulation just over one million. It is now 654,000.
More on the Koch Industries below the fold.
But the Kochs were also taking a lot of political heat over the proposal, including from the Working Families Party, whose executive director, Dan Cantor, made the following statement:
"This is welcome news. The Koch Brothers have a loud enough megaphone for their terrifying and destructive views with their big political spending. The last thing America needs is another Rupert Murdoch. If the Tribune papers are sold, they should be solid to local interests who are committed to journalism that serves their communities."Working Families, Daily Kos, SEIU, CREDO and the Courage Campaign were among a large number of organizations actively opposing the purchase. Working Families launched petitions in several cities, including Hartford, Connecticut, where the Tribune-owned Hartford Courant is published. Working Families members spurred the Hartford City Council to pass a resolution in opposition to the purchase. Daily Kos and the Courage Campaign ran an anti-Koch ad in the Los Angeles Times and gathered 100,000 signatures on petitions opposing the sale.
Working Families is also leading a campaign calling to get the documentary Citizen Koch broadcast. The film was shelved by public television for fear of angering the Koch brothers. Last week, Working Families delivered 350,000 petition signatures to WNET, the flagship public television station in New York, urging it to air the documentary.
Imagine the kind of censorship that would occur if Koch Industries actually owned a couple of dozen newspapers and television stations instead of merely intimidating them.