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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom Communications’

Orange County Register Has a Weekend on Par with Angels

oc registerOn the one hand, it’s a victory for print journalism. Dozens of Saturday and Sunday newspaper subscribers outraged that their papers were not delivered. On the other hand, the Orange County Register‘s solution only added fuel to the ire.

“Free copies of the Sunday and Saturday papers are available in the OC Register lobby at 625 N. Grand Avenue, Santa Ana until 5 p.m. today,” the paper posted Sunday on Facebook, prompting a string of angry reader comments and a different tack from the paper. One that sounded a lot like the remarks being made by members of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after being swept out of the MLB playoffs Sunday by the Kansas City Royals:

No excuses. We are sorry for the lack of delivery in your neighborhood, and the inconvenience this has caused you and family members this weekend. The only acceptable solution is receiving your newspaper and timely delivery to all subscribers… and we’re working toward that goal. We are correcting the breakdowns in routes, and are actively responding to each person who has contacted us at customerservice@ocregister.com.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Freedom Shutters LA Register | ISIS Releases Journalist Video

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Layoffs Hit Freedom Communications as It Ceases Publication of LA Register (LA Times)
Layoffs hit the Orange County Register on Tuesday after owner Freedom Communications ceased publication of its Los Angeles daily five months after it debuted. TheWrap A spokesperson for the LA Register said that 29 newsroom positions have been eliminated as a result of the paper’s shutdown. An unspecified number of employees will be transferred to the Orange County Register. WSJ / CMO Today The owner of Freedom Communications Inc., Aaron Kushner, who turned heads last year when he announced he was launching the daily newspaper, admitted Tuesday that the move was a failure. “As strong a newspaper as our team produced, our business model is a virtuous circle,” Kushner said in a statement. “If the support is not at a level that matches our investment, we have to adapt and make adjustments as we’ve done today.” HuffPost / AP Freedom said it will focus on markets in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It owns the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which it bought in November for more than $27 million. NYT The LA Register ceased publication with its Monday issue. Monday evening, Kushner sent a memo to his employees announcing the news. An article about the shutdown ran on the newspaper’s front page.

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Freedom Communications Files Ch. 11|Infobase Buys World Almanac|Billionaire Buys Citizen Journalism Site NowPublic|Cuts Make Papers Less Relevant, Older|Online Journalism Award Nominees Announced

FishbowlDC: Freedom Communications, the publisher of a number of newspapers including The O.C. Register filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today.

GalleyCat: Today, Infobase Publishing acquired the World Almanac imprint, purchasing the imprint from Weekly Reader Publishing Group for an undisclosed sum.

Paid Content: Examiner.com, which is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz has purchased citizen journalism Web site NowPublic.

Associated Press: A recent survey conducted by the Associated Press Managing Editors show that massive staff cuts at newspapers across the U.S. have mostly targeted staffers between the ages of 18 to 35. These cuts may make it even more difficult for the industry to adapt and remain relevant in the age of digital media.

Online News Association: The finalists for the 2009 Online Journalism Awards were announced yesterday.

Playboy Eyes New CEO

flanders.pngHas Playboy Enterprises finally found someone to permanently take the reins of the faltering company?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the adult entertainment company is most likely going to offer its top spot to Scott Flanders, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif-based media company Freedom Communications.

Since Hef‘s daughter Christine Hefner stepped down as CEO of Playboy in December the company has been under the guidance of board member Jerome Kern. But even radical changes to the print model announced by Kern last month couldn’t stem rumors that Playboy was looking for a buyer. (Last week, Virgin Group denied rumors that Richard Branson was in talks to buy Playboy.) The company, which cut 80 jobs in October, has been struggling this year, reporting print and digital revenue declines in the first quarter and predicting additional drops for Q2.

Perhaps bringing in an outsider like Flanders could be exactly the kind of infusion the company needs to survive, although even WSJ was quick to point out the possible deal may fall through. Flanders formerly served as chairman and CEO of mail order music retailer Columbia House, where he helped terminate a merger of the company and CDNow that had been in the works when he came on board in 1999. In 2005, BMG bought Columbia House and Stuart Goldfarb, then president and CEO of BMG Direct, took over leadership of the acquired company. Flanders was appointed to the top spot at Freedom in January 2006.

Sam Zell Considers Buying the Orange County Register

dfrrrrrfgdfg55656.jpgThe Financial Times reports:

Tribune Company is considering whether it can buy the Orange County Register and fuse it with its flagship Los Angeles Times to consolidate the Los Angeles newspaper market, as owner [Sam Zell] scrambles to find ways to save the debt-swamped newspaper company.

Tribune has held talks over a deal to either buy the Orange County Register from its owner, Freedom Communications, or to strike up an agreement through which the Orange County Register and LA Times could combine production and distribution operations to save money, according to media industry sources.

– Per LA Observed

Judge Bans OC Register From Reporting On Its Own Lawsuit

In a case that’s sure to be studied by media law students for years to come, Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez has “ordered The Orange County Register not to publish any articles about witness testimony in a $100 million class-action lawsuit brought by newspaper delivery workers.”

The judge also fined the paper’s parent company, Freedom Communications, Inc., $23,792.50 for “intentionally and willfully destroy(ing) evidence.”

Of course, we learned about this case in, um, the Orange County Register, so it’s not clear how effective Velasquez’s gag order is going to be — in fact, Register EIC Ken Brusic seems not to have made a decision about whether to defy the judges order and publish witness testimony in reporting about the case.

Erin Zilis Named VP, Publisher of Freedom Speciality Media

Erin Zilis bio photo (1).jpgFreedom Communications sent us the following press release about a new hire for their regional specialty magazines:

IRVINE, Calif. — Sept. 23, 2008 — Freedom Specialty Media, a division of Freedom Communications, Inc., today announced Erin Zilis has been appointed vice president, publisher. Zilis joins Freedom on September 25, reporting to Doug Bennett, senior vice president, Technology and Administration, Freedom Interactive.

Zilis will be responsible for overseeing operations for Freedom’s Specialty Media publications including Coast, Coast Kids and Preferred Destinations.

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FBLA Exclusive: Orange County Register to Outsource Copy-Editing to India

ocregpapers.jpgA reliable tipster tells us that Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register, will begin a pilot program this summer to outsource copy-editing responsibilities for some of its weekly publications to India.

We don’t have more info than that, but as soon as “Brad” in customer service directs our call to the right office “here in Santa Ana,” we’ll give you the rest of the dirt.

OC Register Publisher “Pushed Out”?

AndersonC1hris_L.jpgOrange County Register publisher N. Christian Anderson III, who was recently named E&P’s Editor of the Year, is an editor no more.

Anderson tells E&P that he has decided to “step aside” to allow Freedom Communications, OCR’s parent company, to become one big, happy newspaper division. But newsroom sources say the 27-year vet was pushed out. More as the story develops.