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Posts Tagged ‘David Koch’

Arianna Huffington Responds to Mayor’s LAT Suggestion

During a half-hour Wednesday sit-down with HuffPost Live Los Angeles co-host Jacob Soboroff, newly minted mayor elect Eric Garcetti at one point made a funny throwaway observation. Instead of Rupert, Charles/David or Eli, how about Arianna Huffington as the new owner of the LA Times, he mused.

FishbowlNY put in a request today to HP-HQ for Arianna’s reaction, but she {sniff} opted for the broader pulpit of Twitter:

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Will 500,000 Signatures Put a Dent in Koch Brothers Plans?

Probably not. But there’s no harm in letting prospective newspaper owners know how a vocal segment of the news-consuming public feels about a potential shift in media ownership.

Across the country today, at a dozen Tribune Co.-connected locations including the offices of the LA Times, a petition will be delivered. A total of 500,000+ signatures was gathered by a “Save Our News” coalition that includes Daily Kos, Common Cause, the AFL-CIO, Greenpeace, Free Press and other organizations.

In addition to newspapers like the Times, the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, protesters will also be visiting TV stations, JP Morgan Chase and the offices of Tribune Co. investor Angelo Gordon. The petition materials include about 100,000 signatures in written form and the rest on USB drives.

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Possible Sale of LA Times to Koch Brothers Sparks Protest

Approximately 300 union members, activists, and Los Angeles Times readers rallied downtown yesterday to protest the potential sale of the paper to right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

The protest was held at noon outside the downtown office of the investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, which holds the largest share of the Tribune Co. Musician Ry Cooder performed for the crowd, singing “I Don’t Want Your Millions, Mister” with special anti-Koch lyrics added.

From the LA Times coverage:

The protesters targeted Oaktree because the firm manages pension investments on behalf of unionized government employees, including those in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

“We don’t want that kind of thing going on with our money,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “That’s like us selling you a car so you can run us over.”

The rumor of a Tribune Co. sale to Koch Industries has already inspired multiple online petitions and vocal opposition from unions and politicians.

The LA Weekly also covered the protest, and took some great photos.

Matea Gold Now Believes in a Different Newspaper

The Twitter profile for LA Times DC bureau reporter Matea Gold resolutely states: “I still believe in newspapers.” But perhaps not those being coveted by Rupert Murdoch and a pair of Koch brothers.

In what could be interpreted as hedging her bets, maintaining control of her professional fortunes or a little bit of both, Gold is staying in DC but moving up in terms of the daily Beltway newspaper she writes for, as money and politics reporter for the Washington Post.

Warm wishes are flowing across Twitter to Gold, proof of how well-liked a journalist she is. That’s how we first caught up to the news. Kevin Roderick has the Post announcement memo. He also spoke to Gold, who seems to confirm ever so slightly that the transitional aspect of Tribune Co. had something to do with this.

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Former LA Times Staffer Would Welcome Koch Brothers Ownership

There’s the contrarian local view; and then, there’s the really contrarian local view. No other way really to frame former LA Times reporter Joe MathewsZócalo Public Square column arguing in favor of Koch brothers ownership. Mathews’ mother also worked for many years at the LA Times, at one point as an Asia correspondent.

The California editor’s jumping-off point is undeniable – his former employer has become “unthreatening and predictable.” And yes, the arrival of Charles and David Koch, for better or not-worse-than-closure, would change that:

If you doubt that that a polarizing owner can be good for California, let me urge you to visit a certain coastal castle in San Simeon. William Randolph Hearst, who I’m quite sure would endorse the idea of a Koch-owned LA Times, once wisely said, “Whatever begins to be tranquil is gobbled up by something not tranquil…”

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Jeff Bercovici Tries to Answer Billion-Dollar LAT Question

In the wake of this weekend’s highly shared New York Times piece about the Koch brothers’ interest in Tribune Co. newspapers, Forbes blogger Jeff Bercovici handicaps the overall billionaire odds. Because the Kochs have an alleged interest in the entire Tribune Co. print slate, he places them at the top of the list as an even-money bet.

Less convincing is Bercovici’s stubborn inclusion of David Geffen at 20:1. It seems pretty clear that the one-time suitor has lost all interest in the LA Times, but let the record show that if Geffen does indeed reveal he was putting forth a poker face, Bercovici wasn’t fooled.

At the bottom of Bercovici’s list is Warren Buffett:

Odds he’ll get it: 50:1. The Times just doesn’t fit the profile at all of the type of newspaper Buffett’s been buying. He’s looking to roll up papers in small, semi-isolated cities and towns that have a quasi-monopoly on local news. It would be shocking if he didn’t sit this one out.

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CJR Searches for Koch Brothers-LAT Clues

Sasha Chavkin’s piece for the Columbia Journalism Review is a really good example of how to go a little further with a developing media story. Rather than pile on with some sort of vague doomsday Koch brothers op ed, the correspondent for CJR’s United States Project took a look at the duo’s closest current equivalent of Tribune Co./LA Times ownership.

It’s called the Franklin Center for Public and Government Integrity. It was founded in 2009. And, from a prospective LAT standpoint, the key is the organization’s offshoot watchdog.org:

The Franklin Center, in turn, created a website of state-based reporting, called watchdog.org – fed by “a network of journalists reporting on state and local governments.” The watchdog.org site serves as a hub for stories from Watchdog outlets in 23 states…

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Report: Koch Brothers Circling Tribune Co. Assets

Ha ha. Hillel Aron, ably working the LA Times transition-phase beat for LA Weekly, warns that today’s reported rumblings should probably be taken not so much with a grain of salt but rather a dollop of it. Nonetheless, with Tribune Co. reps having recently hinted they would prefer to find a single buyer for the company’s entire daisy chain of newspaper assets, this makes a lot of on-newsprint sense:

Multiple sources tell LA Weekly that Charles and David Koch — the infamous right-wing billionaire brothers — are considering an offer on either the Tribune Co. newspaper group, which includes the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun or the entire Tribune Co., which includes more than 20 stations like WGN and KTLA Channel 5.

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Great: Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe Have Both Returned to Media Darling Status

Looks like James O’Keefe‘s latest prank has not only gotten NPR‘s president to resign, it’s gotten Andrew Breitbart back in the national spotlight. Breitbart was on Piers Morgan‘s show last night talking about his protege’s capers, and the left wing bias that prevents them from being properly acknowledged. We thought the Shirley Sherrod incident would finally send Breitbart to the media glue factory, but now he’s back galloping around like nothing happened–saying calculated, counterintuitive things like “the best coverage on this incident has been NPR. It’s been impeccable…I respect NPR more than you would actually think.” And he’s actually right about the bias against this latest O’Keefe prank.

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NPR President Vivian Schiller Resigns Over Project Veritas Sting

The NPR board of directors just announced this morning NPR CEO and president Vivian Schiller is stepping down from her positions, effective immediately, in the wake of the Project Veritas undercover sting operation which caught senior fundraiser Ron Schiller–no relation to the newly departed CEO–saying nasty things about the Tea Party.

Board chairman Dave Edwards said in a release: “The Board accepted Vivian’s resignation with understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.” Joyce Slocum, NPR’s senior vice president of legal affairs, will now take over as interim CEO.

Just to put in our two cents, Schiller’s resignation strikes us as completely cowardly and unnecessary. It’s admitting some kind of sweeping wrongdoing where there is none. The sting itself isn’t what may just cost NPR its Federal funds, it’s the organization’s handling of the fallout. NPR made the immediate mistake of admitting organizational wrongdoing–calling Ron Schiller’s statements “appalling” and apologizing like they’d systematically shot the dog of every Tea Party member in the country.

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