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Sale of Orange County Register's owner is completed

A Boston investment group headed by Aaron Kushner buys Freedom Communications, an Irvine company that owns the O.C. Register and six other papers.

July 26, 2012|By William D'Urso and Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times

The Orange County Register officially has a new owner.

The Boston investment group 2100 Trust, headed by former greeting card company executive Aaron Kushner, has purchased Freedom Communications Inc., an Irvine company that owns the Register and six smaller daily newspapers.

The sale was announced last month and completed Wednesday, according to a statement from Freedom.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. According to the statement, the Freedom name will be retained for the newspaper group.

"For many years Freedom Communications has stood for journalistic excellence and dedication to the communities that it serves," Kushner said in the statement. "We are honored to take the reins of such storied franchises."

Kushner has no media experience and is relatively unknown in the newspaper industry. Last year, his group was unsuccessful in its bid to buy the Boston Globe.

Freedom had been selling off its newspapers and television stations since emerging from bankruptcy in April 2010. The Register, with average circulation of about 184,000 on weekdays and 297,000 on Sundays, is the largest newspaper in the chain.

Last month, an editor at the paper who was not authorized to speak publicly said the new owner hopes to spin off the smaller papers in the chain. They are the Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the Appeal-Democrat in Marysville, Calif.; the Desert Dispatch in Barstow; the Porterville (Calif.) Record; the Daily Press in Victorville; and the Sun in Yuma, Ariz.

william.d'urso@latimes.com

walter.hamilton@latimes.com

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