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Koch brothers eye Tribune Company

April 22, 2013

If harried Sun reporters and editors thought things could only get better after half a decade of bankruptcy following the diabolical mismanagement of the evil gnome Sam Zell, they were in for a rude awakening Sunday when the New York Times did a piece about how Charles and David Koch, cackling heirs to an oil fortune who are better known as right-wing activists, stand a good chance of buying the whole of the Tribune Company, including The Sun, and folding it into their burgeoning evil empire.

CJR took a look at the Koch’s propaganda efforts here.

Zell was a profane clown whose enormous ego was matched only by his stunning incompetence; the Kochs are much more sinister: effective planners whose vision of a US peopled by serfs and ruled by oligarchs is already close to reality.

So close, in fact, that buying Tribune Co., as the Times notes, “would be a financially diminutive deal for Koch Industries.”

It’s all too much for one 20-year Sun veteran, who wrote media blogger Jim Romenesko to vent on the litany of disasters visited on the paper. “It would be nice for the House of Horrors ride to stop,” the journo said,  adding:

We went from Otis Chandler to cereal killer Mark Willis to Dennis Fitzsimons (who stuffed his pockets with cash on the way out) to lunatic Sam Zell and his Joy Boys of Radio to an entertainment guru who knows nothing of our business and says he doesn’t really care who he sells us to as long as he gets a good price.

The staff has been told that the Sun is turning a profit, but you wouldn’t know it to look at us.

Half of the Sun newsroom is boarded up to hide the empty desks. The space has been rented out to “House of Cards” [the Netflix series] to use as a newsroom “set.”

Every time we’re sold we tell ourselves it can’t get worse, but it does.

I can understand the Chicago folks loving Mother Tribune. It’s been no picnic to be owned by an entity that knows nothing of our communities yet dictates how we look and jams pre-packaged “modules” into our news pages.

The fear is that Koch Brothers will buy the Sun and either sell us to a local real estate developer and casino owner to give him a platform or use the Sun as a megaphone to try to reach (sorry, educate) Washington policy-making types.

Murdoch, at least, is a newsman.

Well, we wouldn’t give the Fox News founder that much credit, but we feel the Sun vet’s pain and hope for the best for the hardworking, long-suffering staff.

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