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Threshie to Step Down as Publisher of O.C. Register


R. David Threshie, publisher of the Orange County Register for nearly 20 years, said Tuesday that he will leave that post Jan. 1 and be succeeded by former Register Editor N. Christian Anderson III, who now is publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Threshie, 67, will become chairman of Irvine-based Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Register. In his new role, Threshie will replace Robert C. Hardie, 77, who has held the position since 1982.

Threshie became publisher of the Santa Ana-based newspaper in 1979. Faced with tough competition from the Los Angeles Times, he named Anderson editor and reshaped the Register into a respected suburban daily that has since won three Pulitzer Prizes.

In a statement, Threshie said he is leaving the paper "with obviously mixed emotions, but with no qualms about its future under Chris Anderson, who was responsible for much of our early success."

Focusing intensive coverage on Orange County, the Register has built its daily circulation to 365,000. The Times, which is second in circulation in Orange County, has a total circulation of 1.06 million.

Analysts expect the Register to continue to emphasize local coverage. Peter Appert, an analyst with Bankers Trust, said the paper has been highly profitable doing so. "Given Orange County's position as one of the more attractive sections in the region, why get yourself into a bleeding situation elsewhere?" Appert said.

Anderson, 48, joined the Register in 1980 from the Seattle Times, where he was an associate managing editor. In his 12-year tenure as editor, the Register won Pulitzers for beat reporting and photography. Anderson was named the paper's associate publisher in 1992 and publisher of the Freedom-owned Colorado Springs paper in 1994.

"Hopefully, I can build on all the things that happened here in Dave Threshie's tenure," Anderson said.

He declined to elaborate on his plans for the Register. In Colorado, Anderson oversaw the launch of five specialty magazines and four Web sites.

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