Freedom Communications Inc.'s Orange County Register has tapped the paper's general manager to be interim publisher.

Michael Henry will fill a position left open after the retirement of Terry Horne, whose last day with the paper was Friday.

Irvine-based Freedom Communications owns the Register, the company’s flagship publication, along with about 100 other daily and weekly newspapers. The company also owns eight television stations.

Henry, who has been with the company for 15 years, served as general manager and chief financial officer since last June. He was responsible for managing the Register’s finances and for everyday management functions in those positions.

A national search is being conducted for a publisher, according to the Register.

Freedom has had on-again-off-again discussions on a sale of all or parts of the company to Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc., according to recent reports. MediaNews publishes the Los Angeles Daily News and several other dailies in Southern California.