MediaNews Group and the Tribune Co. are the lead bidders for the Orange County Register, reports “Newsosaur” Alan D. Mutter. Both publishing companies would stand to benefit from the bump in SoCal circulation and consolidation of operating expenses. But do they want the Register‘s brothers and sisters?
A major issue in any potential transaction would be whether the Register is purchased as a free-stranding entity or the buyer also takes ownership of Freedom’s eight television stations and its more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers. In the interests of minimizing taxes on the transaction, Freedom’s management is known to favor a sale of the entire company, as opposed to the piecemeal disposition of individual assets.
Even so, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Freedom will be sold off in bits and pieces and not as a giant entity. Consolidation may be good for operating expenses, but it is lousy for newsrooms.