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Freedom Communications, Inc., was an American media conglomerate
that operated daily and weekly newspapers, websites and mobile applications, as well as ''Coast Magazine'' and other specialty publications. Headquartered at 625 N. Grand Avenue in Santa Ana, California
, it was owned by a private equity firm
, 2100 Trust, established in 2010 by investor Aaron Kushner Freedom's flagship
newspaper was the ''Orange County Register
'', based in Santa Ana.
Founder R.C. Hoiles
gained a one-third interest in his first newspaper (''The Alliance Review'' in Ohio) sometime in the 1910s. He and his brother Frank bought many more local newspapers over the next several decades. In 1935 he moved his base of operations to Santa Ana, California
, and in 1950 he incorporated his syndicate as Freedom Newspapers, Inc. It was renamed Freedom Communications in 1993. Freedom was operated as an entirely family-owned business until 2004, when private-equity firms Blackstone Group
and Providence Equity Partners
acquired a 40 percent share in Freedom for about $460 million. As part of this transaction, Freedom had acquired substantial debt.
On September 1, 2009, Freedom Communications went into a Chapter 11
The company left bankruptcy on April 30, 2010, under the ownership of investment firms Alden Global Capital
, Angelo, Gordon & Co.
and Luxor Capital Group. Lenders to the company also retained a stake in Freedom.
The company announced on November 2, 2011 that it would sell its entire television division to Sinclair Broadcast Group
in a move to eliminate the company's debt. The sale was completed on April 2, 2012.
Freedom began selling the majority of its newspaper portfolio in 2012. Four papers in the Midwest were sold to Ohio Community Media, an affiliate of the private equity firm Versa Capital Management, in May. The ''Clovis News Journal
'' and other newspapers in New Mexico were sold to Stevenson Newspapers. Freedom papers in Texas were sold to AIM Media Texas. Its Florida and North Carolina papers were sold to Halifax Media Group
On June 11, 2012, Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc., announced an agreement to be acquired by 2100 Trust, LLC. in a merger with a subsidiary of 2100 Trust. On July 25, 2012, the latter, led by entrepreneur Aaron Kushner
, acquired Freedom's dailies, associated non-daily publications and digital properties. The company continued to operate under the name Freedom Communications.
Kushner, who "preached the virtues of local journalism and a print product," bought Freedom in 2012 for $50 million plus assumption of pension liabilities. He increased staff and added new sections at the ''Orange County Register'' and began a new daily, the ''Long Beach Register.'' In January 2014, however, he announced heavy layoffs in Orange County and at the Riverside Press-Enterprise
, which he also owned.
[Ken Bensinger, "Dozens Laid Off at Freedom Newspapers," ''Los Angeles Times,'' January 17, 2014, pages B-1 and B-4]
/ref> The ''Register'' launched a Los Angeles edition, the ''Los Angeles Register'', on April 16, 2014, but the venture ended five months later. The ''Long Beach Register'' became a Sunday-only publication in June 2014, and ceased publication in December 2014.
Freedom closed the sale of ''The Gazette (Colorado Springs)'' to Clarity Media, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, on November 30, 2012. In 2013, Freedom Communications sold the ''Yuma Sun'' and the ''Porterville Recorder'' to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers and the ''Appeal-Democrat'' to Horizon Publications. In 2014, Freedom sold the ''Daily Press'' and the ''Desert Dispatch'' to New Media Investment Group.
On November 1, 2015, Freedom Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In January, Freedom closed several of its weekly papers in Orange County. On March 21, 2016 a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Freedom Communications and its two major newspapers, the ''Orange County Register'' and the ''Riverside Press-Enterprise'' to Digital First Media (DFM). DFM is the parent of the Los Angeles News Group (LANG), which was renamed the Southern California News Group on the same day, and which owns eleven daily newspapers in Southern California.
Founder and chief executive officer R.C. Hoiles led Freedom until his death in 1970. He was succeeded as chief executive officer by his son, C.H. Hoiles, who served until 1981, and then by:
* D.R. Segal (1981–1992)
* James N. Rosse (1992–1999)
* Samuel C. Wolgemuth (1999–2002)
* Alan Bell (2002–2006)
* Scott N. Flanders (2006–2009)
* Burl Osborne (2009–2010)
* Mitchell Stern (2010–2012)
* Rich Mirman (2015−2016)
Freedom's newspaper portfolio consists of:
Los Angeles County
* Weekly newspapers:
**''Easy Reader'' of Hermosa Beach (managed by Freedom pursuant to long-term agreement); includes 3 ''Easy Reader'' magazines:
* ''The Press-Enterprise'' of Riverside
* Weekly newspaper:
**''Desert Enterprise'' of Palm Springs
*''Unidos en el Sur de California'' (regional Spanish-language weekly)] [Mediha deMartino]
* ''The Orange County Register'' of Santa Ana
* Weekly newspapers:
** ''Anaheim Hills News'' of Anaheim Hills
"Freedom to Consolidate Spanish-Language Weeklies"
''Orange County Business Journal'', March 7, 2014
[Media General Puts 31 Papers, Including 13 in County, Up for Sale](_blank)
[Owner of Orange County Register Buys 30 Weeklies]
** ''Anaheim Bulletin'' of Anaheim
** ''Capistrano Valley News'' of San Juan Capistrano
** ''The Current'' of Newport Beach
** ''Dana Point News'' of Dana Point
** ''Fountain Valley View'' of Fountain Valley
** ''Fullerton News Tribune'' of Fullerton
** ''Huntington Beach Wave'' of Huntington Beach
** ''Irvine World News'' of Irvine
** ''La Habra/Brea Star Progress'' of La Habra
** ''Ladera Post'' of Ladera Ranch
** ''Laguna News-Post'' of Laguna Beach
** ''Laguna Niguel/Aliso Viejo News'' of Laguna Niguel
** ''Laguna Woods Globe'' of Laguna Woods
** ''Orange City News'' of Orange
** ''Placentia News-Times'' of Placentia
** ''Rancho Canyon News'' of Rancho Santa Margarita
** ''Saddleback Valley News'' of Lake Forest
** ''Saddleback Valley News'' of Mission Viejo
** ''Sun Post News'' of San Clemente Freedom Newspapers Buys San Clemente Daily
** ''Tustin News'' of Tustin
** ''Yorba Linda Star'' of Yorba Linda
Former television stations
Freedom folded its broadcast division in 2012;
[ as a result, none of these stations are currently owned by the company:
* 1 Freedom's flagship station
* 2 Freedom's first television property
Category:Defunct mass media companies of the United States
Category:Defunct newspaper companies of the United States
Category:Defunct broadcasting companies of the United States
Category:Defunct companies based in Greater Los Angeles
Category:Digital First Media
Category:Sinclair Broadcast Group
Category:Companies based in Santa Ana, California
Category:Mass media companies established in 1950
Category:Publishing companies established in 1950
Category:Mass media companies disestablished in 2016
Category:1950 establishments in California
Category:2016 disestablishments in California
Category:Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009
Category:Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015
Category:Libertarian organizations based in the United States