IRVINE, Calif., Jul 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Freedom Communications, which grew from R. C. Hoiles' 1935 acquisition of what was then the Santa Ana Register to become, at one time, one of the largest media companies in the country, today came under new ownership with the completion of the transaction by which it agreed to be acquired by media company 2100 Trust, LLC, Freedom and 2100 Trust, LLC jointly announced.
It was also announced that the company, under its new ownership, would continue to operate as Freedom Communications.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed. In conjunction with the completion of the merger, Freedom Communications has elected to make an additional one-time contribution to the Retirement Plan of Freedom Communications, Inc.
The businesses coming under the new ownership include the flagship Orange County Register, the Barstow, CA Desert Dispatch, The Gazette in Colorado Springs, CO, the Marysville, CA Appeal-Democrat, The Porterville Record in Porterville, CA, the Victorville, CA Daily Press and The Sun in Yuma, AZ along with their associated non-daily publications, and specialty publications and digital properties.
Over the past several months Freedom completed the sale of its other newspaper assets and broadcast properties.
"Over many decades Freedom Communications has been a name recognized for the excellence of its journalism as well as the depth of its commitment to engagement with its communities," said Mitch Stern, the outgoing Freedom Chief Executive Officer. "We're very pleased that the name is being passed to new ownership that firmly believes newspapers continue to play an essential role in providing the news and information that is so vital in the lives of the communities they serve."
"These last few years have been difficult ones for the media industry," Stern continued. "The severe recession accompanied by swift changes in the methods by which people consume the news posed hard challenges to the industry. Freedom was no exception.
"But across the board our associates rose to those challenges. They are consummate professionals and it is due to their hard work that we have been able, by means of this year's transactions, to provide our shareholders with the value they sought while continuing to provide excellent service to our communities. It has been my privilege to lead these associates for the past two years."
Freedom's incoming CEO, Aaron Kushner, added, "For many years Freedom Communications has stood for journalistic excellence and dedication to the communities that it serves. We are honored to take the reins of such storied franchises and look forward to working with the many dedicated employees of our newspapers."
Hoiles, the Freedom founder, was known for his libertarian views and his passion for connecting with the communities his newspapers served. His company grew steadily and by 1970, the year he died, included 16 daily newspapers across seven states.
Freedom eventually came to include more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers, along with eight broadcast stations, magazines and specialty publications. The company's papers have won six Pulitzer Prizes.
About Freedom Communications
Freedom Communications, headquartered in Irvine, CA, is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications and interactive businesses. The Company's print portfolio includes more than 40 publications, including seven daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, plus ancillary magazines and other specialty publications. The Company's news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print properties. For more information, visit www.freedom.com .
About 2100 Trust, LLC
2100 Trust, LLC is a privately held company that believes strongly in the future of journalism and the newspaper industry. The company is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the integral relationship that its newspapers have with their local communities through a dedication to rich content and quality reporting.
SOURCE: Freedom Communications