AM 8/23/13

1. Kochs are out

After carefully considering the newspaper business, the Koch brothers have concluded that it sucks. Yesterday their spokesperson confirmed a Daily Caller report that they’re not interested in buying Tribune Company’s newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune. The Kansas billionaires kicked the tires, but decided the struggling newspapers are “not economically viable.”

2. Sears’ woes

Sears Holdings continues to circle the drain. The retailer’s sales dropped 6.3% last quarter, while its net loss grew 49%, to $194 million. The worst part: sales of home appliances – a market Sears has dominated for half a century – are plummeting. The Wall Street Journal takes a look.

3. South-Side IRS raid

What’s worse for a business than a visit from the IRS? A visit from the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division! That’s what Acme Refining, a politically connected scrap-metal outfit got at its Bridgeport headquarters yesterday. The Sun-Times has the story.

4. Uber-valued

Uber, the private-car and taxi service, is piling up capital. Uber recently sold $365 million in stock to investors including Google Ventures and private equity powerhouse TPG. The deal values the company at $3.5 billion. All Things D broke the news.

5. Team on Fire

What’s going on at the Chicago Fire? The city’s pro-soccer franchise has undergone several management shake-ups and is suffering through a moribund season. Now the team’s communications director is ripping fans for booing the owner. The Sun-Times’ Seth Gruen takes a look.

6. Futures crackdown

In the wake of yesterday’s Nasdaq glitch, The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates (in the loosest sense) futures trading at CME Group and elsewhere, is rolling out new rules aimed at cracking down on high-speed trading. WSJ

7. Divvy-isive

You kids get those bikes off my lawn. A Lakeview couple is suing to prevent a Divvy bike-sharing station from going in outside their building. As the Sun-Times reports, what started as a feel-good North-Side movement is proving surprisingly controversial.

8. Tales of SNL

How do comedians get hired at Saturday Night Live? Nobody has a clue, but the Times got a bunch of former cast members to recall their auditions for SNL overlord Lorne Michaels. NYT

The Latest
The teens were charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling said Wednesday morning.
Mario DePasquale pleaded guilty late last summer to the extortion conspiracy involving former McCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski. On Wednesday, he insisted his crimes were completely out of character.
The battle over police discipline stems from an arbitrator’s finding that state labor law affords the union’s rank-and-file members the right to seek “final and binding arbitration,” like other public sector employees.
Bedard has tried to play a more complete game since returning from injury, hustling back on defense and being feistier on the ice.
Pippen, Horace Grant and Luc Longley will share tales of the Bulls’ 1990s dynasty to Australian audiences. But don’t expect glowing references to Michael Jordan.