Sep 1, 2009

Bankruptcy behind the Orange Curtain

The parent company of the Orange County Register filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today, adding more uncertainty to the future of Southern California's newspapers.

By filing for bankruptcy, Freedom Communications hopes to cast off about $445 million in crushing debt. As a result, Freedom's founding family, the Hoiles, will turn over operations of the company's 33 dailies, 70 weeklies and eight television stations to a board chosen by its lenders.

From the LAT (which is owned by the bankrupt Tribune Co.):
Under the plan, Freedom's lenders would forgive $445 million of debt for the company. That would leave Freedom with $325 million in debt. ...

The Register, which in the 1980s and 1990s fended off a determined effort by The Times to invade Orange County, saw its circulation fall by a third in the new millennium, dropping from more than 363,500 in 2000 to about 231,000 this year.
The Register intends to continue publishing throughout the bankruptcy proceedings. Presumably this includes normal press operations - Dean Singleton's three San Gabriel Valley newspapers are now printed at the Register's printing plant.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the Register would file for bankruptcy this week.


Anonymous said...

when is MNG filing??

Anonymous said...

they have been morally bankrupt for years.