The Orange County Register and various sister papers are being sold to a Boston company led by print-media executives, officials announced Monday.
The private limited liability company, 2100 Trust, will acquire the Register, the Desert Dispatch of Barstow, the Gazette in Colorado Springs, the Appeal-Democrat of Marysville, the Porterville Recorder in Porterville, the Daily Press in Victorville, and the Sun in Yuma, Ariz.
The company, which previously tried to buy the Boston Globe, will also acquire other non-daily and specialty publications owned by Register parent company, Irvine-based Freedom Communications, as well as digital properties.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in about a month. The terms were not announced.
"While providing the value that our shareholders have sought, this transaction also ensures Freedom's communities that our newspapers serve will continue to receive the outstanding service that has been our hallmark,'' said Mitchell Stern, Freedom's chief executive. "Our employees will be able to continue the community journalism at which they so excel.''
Freedom's executive vice president and chief operating officer, Mark McEachen, agreed.
"The new owners have a longstanding interest in community journalism and understand the critical role that newspapers, despite all the changes of recent years, continue to play in providing the information that people need and can't find anywhere else," said McEachen, who is also Freedom's chief financial officer.
Aaron Kushner, 2100 Trust's chief executive officer and a former greeting card tycoon, added, "We couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity to lead the hard-working and talented employees of Freedom Communications in serving these communities. We believe that newspapers are essential to the fabric of our lives and are excited to own and grow these unique institutions."
The move dashes the hopes of U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester, who signaled in May that he was close to buying the paper.
As one of the oldest papers in Orange County and the paper of record for decades, the Orange County Register in its heyday was best known for its commitment to local news. Like the newspaper industry in general, the Register had been subject to multiple rounds of layoffs over the last decade.
-- City News Service contributed to this story.
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