Charles and David Koch have emerged on the short list of potential buyers of the Tribune Co., which owns eight major newspapers and emerged from bankruptcy in December.
Although there is a public perception that the energy billionaires pull the strings among congressional Republicans and the Tea Party movement, sources said the Kochs don't see acquiring the newspapers as a political power play.
"They see the conservative voice as not being well represented," said a source who has attended seminars for well-heeled conservative donors sponsored by the Kochs.
"It was never 'How do we destroy the other side?'" the source added. "It was 'How do we make sure our voice is being heard?'"
The Koch brothers are adamant in their calls for lower corporate taxes and fewer regulations and restrictions on their business ventures.
The Kochs would acquire a sizable megaphone with the Tribune Co.'s eight newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, plus 23 television stations and Hoy, the second-largest Spanish newspaper in the United States.
The Kochs would have to pony up about $623 to buy Tribune; however The Times noted Sunday their Koch Industries generates about $115 billion annually.