Charles and David Koch Would Put Another Nail In Sun-Sentinel’s Coffin





Talking to a friend this week, I asked him if he saw a story in the Sun-Sentinel.

“I cancelled my subscription,” said the friend, who now gets the Miami Herald. “I’m not giving my money to a paper that endorsed Romney and could be owned by the Koch Brothers.”

Charles and David Koch are billionaires who funded everything from the Tea Party movement to union busting, climate change denial and the anti-gun control movement. There have been published reports they are considering buying the newspapers of the Tribune Company, which include the Sun-Sentinel.

My friend is not unique in Democratic-heavy Broward.

Here is a warning to the decision-makers at the Sun-Sentinel:

Talk to your bosses at the Tribune Company.  Tell them that if the Koch Brothers end up with the Sun-Sentinel,  it would be disastrous in terms of lost revenue as readers and some advertisers flee.

The Sun-Sentinel endorsed Mitt Romney last year. The endorsement was proof that those who run the paper are out of step with Broward’s residents.

The county voted against Romney by better than two-to-one.

And readers, angry at the endorsement, voted against the Sun-Sentinel by cancelling subscriptions in droves, I am told.

Real figures are hard to come by on the Sun-Sentinel grapevine, but several sources tell me the endorsement cost the paper a lot more readers than they anticipated.

So can you imagine what an embrace by the Koch Brothers — a lot more polarizing than Romney — would cost the paper?

When I was a kid in New York City, there were families I knew who wouldn’t allow The Journal American or The New York Daily Mirror in their homes because they were owned by Hearst.  Hearst and his columnists like the John Birch Society darling Westbrook Pegler were shrill ultra-conservatives, thus out of step with New York City politics.

Hearst’s politics didn’t kill his New York City papers. But it didn’t help, either.

The purchase of the Sun-Sentinel by the Koch Brothers wouldn’t help, either. The fading Fort Lauderdale daily would lose more readers and even advertisers.

Worst of all, the purchase by such rabid political players could cost the paper whatever creditability it has left.


23 Responses to “Charles and David Koch Would Put Another Nail In Sun-Sentinel’s Coffin”

  1. Take Your Blinders Off says:

    If you think that the SS is a conservative paper, you have lost touch with reality. Every story is written with a left slant. Most of the reporters and editors are, in their own way, rapid left wing activists. The only thing conservative about the paper is its occasional endorsement of a Republican.

    The SS is losing readers because of their partisan slant, and lack of relevant LOCAL content. By the time you read the paper, every story has been discussed on TV, radio and online so that the paper is OLD NEWS. If they don’t figure out how to become relevant and timely, they will cease to exist.

    The Koch brothers are the only credible buyers in sight. Chase them away and you got nothing. A generation ago, the SS was the largest employer in the county. Now it is a dinosaur has been.


    I never wrote it was a “conservative paper.” I wrote it endorsed Romney, which it did.

    In my opinion, the paper suffers more from “the lack of relevant LOCAL content,” as you pointed out. This has been caused, in part, by the continued cutbacks in the newsroom.

    I also believe that the paper bends over backward for the big business community and downtown power structure. Some folks there obviously forgot the journalism axiom that the media should “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

  2. Just Me says:

    What’s needed is a breath of fresh air! Come on in Koch Brothers.

  3. Dean Ledbetter says:

    Ya know Buddy, there are many conservatives in Broward County who have canceled their subscriptions to the Sun Sentinel for the liberal leanings of the wonderkins who inhabit the halls and minds of that editorial board. If the conservatives AND the liberals have both shed their subscriptions who the hell is buying that rag anyway? The clueless?

  4. nevins fan says:

    The Sun-Sentinel, now part of Rupert Murdoch’s Chicago Tribune empire, is already shaky in credibility. If the Kochs (the hidden force behind the Tea Party) take over, then we thinking people will not be able to trust anything they publish. At that point I’m switching to the Miami Herald along with your friend. In fact I may do it anyway. Buddy, please keep us informed on this.


    One good thing: The Herald is cheaper to buy, although it has less Broward news.

    Murdoch has not bought any of the Tribune Company papers at this point. He is rumored to be interested in them, along with the Koch Brothers.

  5. on line reader says:

    The real question is, “why do we need the Sun-Sentinel anyway?” Let them buy it. Let it fold. I know, Buddy, you have many friends that work there. But do we really need that paper? Maybe the Herald, which has moved to new headquarters, can cover Broward the way it should be covered.

  6. Former Reader Never Again says:

    I stopped subscribing. Boring. They write about the Orlando or Palm Beach school board forgetting we have one here they hardly cover

  7. Howard The Fool says:

    Re: Buddy’s comments on #1.
    Howard Greenberg has always been a kiss up. He brags about how he just spoke to Wayne or Michael. He says HE will change the city into a new New York as if the Scum Sentinel could change one vote. You are wrong because nobody is going to read the Scum Sentinel no matter who owns it.


    Greenberg is the Sun-Sentinel publisher.

  8. Garl says:

    Gosh, I thought “journalism” was supposed to be objective. I guess it is only a problem if the slant might be right, as opposed to left.

  9. Sun-Sentinel Sucks says:

    Buddy you are correct that what is killing the S-S is the lack of meaningful local news. As # 6 says, there are more articles about the news in Orlando and WPB than here. I get more news from you writing about an issue before it even appears in the S-S.

    Just this week I saw in another source that the SB Superintendent was recommending outsourcing the entire facilities dept, with a huge loss of personnel. One would think this was big news. I turned to the S-S (on line as I, too, cancelled my subscription a long time ago) only to find a few short paragraphs and no real story. But they are good at publishing stories about the Orlando and WPB board.

    Also their idea about what passes for news are stories about celebrity gossip, or the story they featured prominently for several days online about a woman with unnaturally huge boobs.

    We are the huge boobs if we keep buying this piece of trash.

  10. Kevin says:

    One thing I have never understood is why the SS in the past 10 years has tried to brand itself as a Broward-Palm Beach paper, and pretty much pretends that Miami-Dade does not exist (except for sports).

    This makes no sense for at least two reasons.

    First, Palm Beach is actually a totally separate broadcast market than Broward (which is in the same BC market as Miami-Dade and Monroe and the Western Bahamas, for that matter). Yes, I know the SS is a newspaper and not a broadcaster, but actually they have even blurred that line with broadcast partnerships.

    Second, most people who live in Broward and commute end up in Dade and not PB. Read the Census.

    Makes no sense, unless that was part of an attempt to market to a non-Hispanic audience by pretending Dade does not exist. And of course that is a Big Fail, since Broward has been minority white for over a decade now.



    They market to the north because the paper has had a presence in the Boca Raton area for years. It is an upscale area with a lot of potential advertising.

    The Sun-Sentinel’s coverage of Palm Beach County has been severely cut over the years, like that in Broward.

    When I was the Miami bureau chief of the paper in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the suits looked into the potential of moving into Miami-Dade in a bigger way. It was too expensive and estimated to produce hardly any additional advertising revenue.

    When I was there and following me for a number of years, the paper produced a few pages of Dade news every week. They had roughly a half dozen writers and editors, plus a Spanish-language magazine in the same office for awhile.

    In the various firings and buyouts over many years, the Dade bureau was closed. Now there is hardly any news in it from Miami-Dade (I’m not counting the sports).

  11. Former Public Sector Employee says:

    The SS has been a boring paper for years. No local news. Slanted left most of the time. Used to have some good reporters with local investigative news. I cancelled my subscription after 30 years. And I might renew my subscription if the Koch brothers buy it. I’m not afraid to hear a different point of view.

  12. sidelines says:

    are they buying the whole ‘portfolio’ pf print papers or just one newspaper – The sun sentinel? tribune owns LA Times, chicago Tribune, etc., or so I thought when Sam Zell owned them. Koch Brothers have homes in palm beach among other places. why they would want s-s makes no sense. numbers are just not there, and why would they want a dem leaning rag?


    According to the financial media, the Tribune Company would prefer to sell all the newspapers as a package.

  13. West Davie Resident says:

    There have been far too many times I wanted to cancel because of left leaning headlines and similar article content. Why subscribe when most of the news is published on their Android app the day/night before for free.

    But my better half likes the coupons and sale ads. So as long as those savings help pay for the subscriptions, I continue to renew.

    As for the Koch brothers buying the Tribune and all of its print businesses, even I as a Republican think it will be a misguided attempt to move the editorial and everyday articles to the right. They will lose more lefty readers than gain subscribers from the right who already turn to the WSJ as I do for their national news and to radio and TV for the local stuff.

    Perhaps Soros will make a play for the Trib so all of the journalism students going to journalism schools funded by him will have a place to work!

  14. Your Pal Al Lameberti says:

    The SS has been dead for years. Nothing credible or newsworthy is ever printed. Maybe the Koch brothers will restore that or maybe not. Anything would be better than the SS and their agenda.

  15. Duke says:

    The Sun-Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel are both a joke. What the Orlando Sentinel is doing concerning coverage of the Zimmerman trial is the crappiest journalism I have ever seen. Being bought by the Koch brothers would only make both publications more of a joke. Once Buddy left the Sun-sentinel, it was downhill from there. He probably saw long ago where this was all going.

  16. It won't be long says:

    Until everything is digital. The papers are dying. Anything in the paper is yesterdays news. The Koch brothers are welcomed to buy a worthless paper.

  17. Kevin says:

    Another thing. If you just go by the comments posted in response to most news articles on the SS, the Orlando Sentinel, and the LA Times, you would think that 80% of the people who read those papers is a semi-literate racist.

    Jeez, in the Sun-Sentinel, even the weather reports attract racist comments sometimes!


  18. Plain Language says:

    Last American who falls into the abyss please remember to bring the flag with you.

  19. This Just In says:

    only a rumor – Koch Brothers aren’t buying
    nothing to see here so lets move on……

  20. Middle of the road says:

    Buddy – can you remove my last post, I posted before reading? Thanks.

    It’s wonderful how many above are calling the SS left leaning, and would welcome a Koch takeover. To begin with, the editorials have been rather conservative for years. I guess if the editorials don’t agree with Rush or Beck then they are lefties.

    If the Koch brothers buy this paper you will find out the definition of arch-right. They own the Cato Institute, American’s for Prosperity, and have bought and paid for that allegedly grassroots organization the Tea Party. They advocate for the abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools. They also support, or are members of, the Mercatus Center, the Institute for Humane Studies, the Institute for Justice, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, the Institute for Energy Research, the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the Fraser Institute. Leona Lansing, the fictional character on the HBO TV series Newsroom said it right, when she said of the Koch brother’s political style “They drop Brinks trucks on people they disagree with.”

    If you feel that they embrace you views and value you’re lying to yourself. These people don’t give a damn about people, the Republican Party or religion they only care about their greed. They don’t want to lower your taxes, they want to reduce their own, and you get the crumbs. They want to kill any ideas of climate change because they own the dirtiest industries in America. They are not patriots; they are fear mongering robber barons. They want to buy the SS so they can change public opinion in the very democratic county of Broward. They want to own or Legislature. They already own Florida companies like Georgia-Pacific, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. They don’t care about Floridians they care about gelding Florida law to make their industries less regulated and more profitable.

    If you think they are concerned about your local GOP or Tea Partiers, your liberties or freedom, don’t kid yourself you’re not that important. Wake up.

  21. Writers are lost at SS says:

    The sentinels problem is their writers, plain and simple.. They suck… I gladly pay for the south florida business journal.. Wouldnt read the sentinel if it was delivered for free to my home.. The Koch Brothers or endorsing Romney have nothing to do with the reason the sentinel sucks

  22. excompassionateconservative says:

    I could not care less if the Koch borthers purchased the Sun Sentinel. The paper has been on a downward death spiral for many years . IN my view, that started when Buddy left and the paper became a wothless joke with hardly any reporters and rewritten press releases.

    Let the Koch brothers buy it and lose a small fortune. I have no intention of renewing and will wait till they offer me a money losing renewal offer.

    ON the upside, maybe they would do more investigative journalism into the crazy cops down here and the unions who can’t seem to find anythng wrong with it. They could also go hellfire on the crazy contracts for many elected officials.

    Why the F will Coconut Creek taxpayers be shelling out for the the resigned managers health insurance for ever and ever! Worthless SS can’t do things like make a spread sheet about how much this costs people or how so much tax payers money is wasted on trash like this.

  23. Hoos Bin Pharteen says:

    So, the news must be ‘in step’ as opposed to correct and accurate, perfect!