Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Zell Discusses Job Cuts and Nixing Burkle-Broad

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Zell Discusses Job Cuts and Nixing Burkle-Broad

Article excerpt

Amid all the questions about the finances and fallout from the pending sale of the Tribune Co. to Sam Zell, one issue has remained in the background: What are his political beliefs and will they influence the editorial pages of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and the company's other newspapers?

According to reports, Zell had been an equal opportunity funder in recent years, playing it safe by donating about equally to each major party and candidates for president.

But in a wide-ranging interview with the Chicago Tribune published today he did seem to reveal that his political views might tend to be fairly conservative. Asked to name his favorite columnists he said, Zell named Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks.

"I don't pay much attention to the L.A. Times editorial page," he said, referring to the moderately liberal Times. But he added, "Do I look naive enough to think I have any influence about what people write?"

He also disclosed, "I've never read online. I don't have a Blackberry. I read five newspapers a day, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, Financial Times. And I read everything. I read Forbes, Fortune, Business Week."

He also left the door open to a possible deal for the Times involving David Geffen but ruled out working with Eli Broad and Ron Burkle. Zell said of Geffen: "I had dinner with him once but that's not enough to have an opinion other than that he's a delightful character. …

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