New Freedom CEO Mitch Stern: Don’t Expect ‘O.C. Register’ to Merge With ‘L.A. Times’

By: E&P Staff

One of the hottest newspaper rumors — so prevelant it’s treated almost like an open secret — is that Freedom Communications intends to merge its flagship Orange County Register with Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times. Don’t believe it, Freedom’s new CEO, Mitch Stern tells the newspaper’s Mary Ann Milbourn in an interview.

Here’s an excerpt:

Q. It has been suggested that because the same investors have stakes in the Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, and Freedom, that the Times and the Register will merge once Tribune exits bankruptcy. Is that in the cards?

A. It’s not as easy as just saying they have the same investors. The investors have different time frames. Some want out in a year; others three to five years. Some have a strategic interest. And how do you consolidate a bunch of companies that all have a lot of debt?

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