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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom Communications’

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.

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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.

Read more

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.