About half of the Los Angeles Times staff say they’ll quit if the Koch brothers buy the paper.
It’s a different story at the Chicago Tribune, according to veteran columnist Rick Kogan. “Frankly, I can’t see anybody in these perilous times walking out of here no matter who buys the place,” he tells Michael Miner.
I don’t know if anybody has the ideological balls to quit. Murdoch was a different scene back in ’84 [when he bought the Sun-Times and some staffers resigned in protest].
There were other newspapers, other jobs, many of us were quite young and didn’t have families. It was a different environment. Some guy here who’s 37 years old and has a wife and three kids — you can always excuse it [the sale] with a ‘let’s wait and see’ attitude.
There’s nobody I know who’d go, “Oh, it’s the Koch brothers. I quit.” Nobody I know. Everybody would be in a wait-and-see attitude.
He adds that “there are very few people around who remember what a strange owner and imperial owner Robert R. McCormick was. And what his politics were, which would probably fly in the face of 95 or 99 percent of everybody who works at the Tribune.”
Kogan says the Koch brothers “may not realize if they want to make a sea change is that there’s a shitload of work involved. There are editors at all these papers, editorial pages at all these papers. Basically, you’d have to go out and hire a bunch of like minds to run them.”