Tags: clinton | obama | podesta | wyss | tribune media

Clinton-Linked Swiss Billionaire and Liberal Donor Bids for Tribune Media Company

Clinton-Linked Swiss Billionaire and Liberal Donor Bids for Tribune Media Company
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By    |   Wednesday, 14 April 2021 04:43 PM

Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss surfaced Tuesday as the top bidder for the Tribune Media Company. 

In his bid, Wyss teamed up with Stewart W. Bainum Jr., a major donor to Democrats' political campaigns and chairman of Choice Hotels. Their combined effort has led to a "superior proposal" for the Tribune Media Company, according to the company's special committee on the future sale.

Wyss and Bainum outbid Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund in New York and currently the Tribune's largest shareholder. The board of directors of Tribune Media, a chain which includes The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and the New York Daily News, is recommending the sale go to Alden.

Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, a conservative nonprofit that tracks political spending, said when comparing the liberal-leaning Wyss bid to a bid in 2013 the the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch made for the company, both are equally concerning.

"I don't blame the folks who were concerned about what might happen if the Kochs bought the same newspaper chain; Wyss' bid should be equally concerning," said Walter, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Wyss's donor organization, The Wyss Foundation, started The Hub Project in 2015. The Hub Project shapes media coverage to help Democratic causes but doesn't list Wyss as a donor. According to the Sun, in 2015, emails between John Podesta, the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Wyss surfaced after reports that Russians hacked Podesta's email. According to U.S. officials, the New York Times reports, Russian intelligence operatives stole data from the emails of Podesta, who has been an adviser to Wyss and was also an aide to former President Barack Obama.

Knowledge about Wyss’ involvement in The Hub Project came from the Times' interviews with several people close to the liberal group, as well as an internal memo obtained by the paper, and The Hub Project’s business plan revealed in a portion of the Podesta data made public by WikiLeaks. 

According to the Times, Wyss and Bainum’s Tribune bid is being looked at favorably by Tribune journalists, union leaders and press advocates who have criticized Alden’s strategy of slashing costs at the 60 daily papers it owns. Still, the business moguls’ big-money activism brings concerns that they may use their wealth to try to influence news coverage to advocate for their political agendas.

Neither Wyss nor Bainum would comment for the New York Times article.

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Politics
Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss surfaced Tuesday as the top bidder for the Tribune Media Company...
clinton, obama, podesta, wyss, tribune media
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2021-43-14
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 04:43 PM
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