Magazine article Editor & Publisher

In Politics, New Tribune Boss May Be 'Right' Man for the Job

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

In Politics, New Tribune Boss May Be 'Right' Man for the Job

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 new reports, Zell has been a major political funder in recent years, favoring Republicans -- while his wife gives money mainly to Democrats. And , 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 Zell named Charles Krauthammer, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks.

At the same time, he said he did not plan to influence his papers' editorial views.

The Center for Public Integrity has just released a study of Zell's political giving, based on official Federal Election Commission records. It said he has handed out more than $100,000 in political contributions since the 1998 election cycle, most of it supporting Republican causes.

But the Center added that his wife Helen, "stands on the other side of the political divide, giving almost entirely to Democrats and abortion rights groups. …

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