The Tribune Company feels the heat

The Tribune Company feels the heat

Breaking news: The Tribune Company is halting the sale of its newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Baltimore Sun.

It looks like Tribune’s media moguls are getting the message sent by tens of thousands of progressive activists.

Common Cause has been fighting the sale of the Tribune Company papers to political ideologues for nearly a year. In 2012, when the Federal Communications Commission considered relaxing long-standing media cross-ownership rules that prevented Rupert Murdoch from snatching up the papers, we and our coalition partners at Free Press, The Newspaper Guild, and others rallied our troops. After more than 220,000 responded, the FCC put that disastrous rule change on hold.

Then, when word broke this spring that the Koch Brothers wanted to buy some or all of the Tribune Company’s papers, Common Cause members took to the streets. As a part of the National Day of Action with allies from the environmental, media reform, and labor communities, they rallied in Los Angeles, dropped off petitions with thousands of signatures in Denver, and demonstrated outside the Baltimore Sun‘s headquarters .

That wasn’t the end of it. In June, Common Cause members turned out at pension board meetings in Los Angeles and Springfield, IL. They told workers and retirees invested in the funds that own the Tribune Company not to sell to the Koch Brothers. They even took their case to the Chicago City Council, supporting a resolution protesting the sale of the community institutions to outside billionaires (It passed).

This is big. Grassroots activism helped spotlight a real threat to democracy. It was a big stand for a big issue, and activists’ concerns echoed all the way to the top.

Common Cause’s national network of grassroots activists never says quit. And neither does our Media and Democracy team. Whichever way the Tribune Company papers twist and turn, we’ll stay vigilant. So stay strong and stay tuned to @coppsm and @ttoboyle for campaign updates.