The rumors are at least partly true. Koch Industries is interested in buying newspapers -- but not to spread political ideology, says Charles Koch.
"There is a need for focus on real news, not news with an agenda or news that is really editorializing," Koch tells The Wall Street Journal.
Rumors have swirled in Los Angeles that Koch and his brother David want to buy the Los Angeles Times as part of a deal to take over the struggling Tribune Company which owns the Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets.
Koch would not confirm that the company is looking at the Tribune Company specifically.
Koch says the company has no intent to use any newspapers it might buy to promote the billionaire brothers' conservative/libertarian politics. He said such a buy would be a business decision, just like any of the other companies it owns.
"If we got in the media, it would need to stand on its own and have good economics, create real value and create value for the marketplace, or we wouldn't be interested," Koch told the Journal.
He did say, however, that the editorial pages of any paper it bought "would be a marketplace of ideas where all sorts of approaches to public-policy issues are vetted and contrasted, and there could be ongoing debate." He added that such a move "would ultimately improve newspapers as a business proposition."
Koch said his company would not pay large amounts of money just to get into the newspaper business on the bet that the industry would have a miraculous turnaround.
"We see it continuing to decline, the print media," he said.
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