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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Ann Milbourn’

OC Register Reviews Prospective LA Times Buyers

Orange County Register reporter Mary Ann Milbourn didn’t have to go very far to talk to the potential LA Times suitor who has been most explicitly vocal about their interest in the property. That’s because it’s her bossAaron Kushner (pictured):

“We do think of the Los Angeles Times as an incredibly important institution,” Kushner said. “We would be honored to acquire the Los Angeles Times if they successfully are able to come out of bankruptcy.”

He said the other Tribune newspapers play a similarly important role in their communities and are the kinds of media properties that interest his investment group. Kushner has hired Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser to help with his acquisition plans. The publisher, however, declined to say where funding would come from for a Tribune purchase.

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Orange County Register Reclaims Its Daily Business Section

For the first time since 2008, the Orange County Register has a standalone business section in a Monday print edition. It’s the latest sign of the Aaron Kushner/Freedom Communications Inc.-led revival and a genuine cause for celebration.

From the official announcement:

In January 2008, the paper moved business news into the back of the main news section as part of an effort to cut costs. A year later, the paper restored a separate business section Thursday through Saturday, with real estate on Sunday, but business news remained in the main news section Monday through Wednesday…

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Incoming OC Register Publisher Envisions Paywall, Increased Print Circulation

We give freshly minted Orange County Register publisher Aaron Kushner full points for the way he has so far handled the communication aspects of the job. The day after his company 2100 Trust LLC took official ownership of the paper July 25, he held an employee town hall meeting. The following week, he sat down with reporter Mary Ann Milbourn for an extensive interview.

Two of the most interesting takeaways are: 1) He expects readers of the Register to “ultimately” have to pay to access the paper online, though Kushner is not yet sure exactly when and how; 2) He feels his Sunday subscribers are the ones who can best be leveraged for an increase in overall print circulation:

The idea, he said, is to get Sunday-only subscribers to buy a weekend subscription and those buying the paper’s weekend package to pay for additional days and for them ultimately to be converted to seven days a week…

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More Bad News for the Orange County Register

ocrlogofff50.gifStandard & Poors downgraded the credit rating for Orange County Register parent company Freedom Communications Inc., knocking it two notches from B+ to B-.

According to Mary Ann Milbourn‘s post on the topic:

It was the second time this year that S&P downgraded Freedom’s credit rating.

Douglas S. Bennett, Freedom’s chief financial officer, said the Freedom rating was part of an industrywide downgrade of newspapers and reflected a worst-case scenario for the company’s performance this year.

“It seems we’re being compared to a Tribune Co. or Journal Register or others in different financial positions because of their amount of leverage,” Bennett said. “Our position as a company is we will continue to monitor and manage our business such that each and every day we plan to stay covenant compliant.”