Orange County Business Journal

Register Parent Sells Colorado Springs Gazette

Heidi Kulicke Monday, December 3, 2012

Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc. has sold the Colorado Springs Gazette to Denver-based Clarity Media Group, owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed for the Gazette, which has an average daily circulation of about 65,000.

Freedom now has six daily newspapers, including its flagship Orange County Register, where new owner 2100 Trust LLC is adding staff as part of a plan to revamp the Register.

The Gazette was Freedom’s second-largest newspaper after the Register. It is the second-largest daily newspaper in Colorado after the Denver Post.

Freedom’s remaining newspapers include the Register and five other dailies in California and Arizona.

The Gazette deal comes at a time Freedom is considering a buy of the Los Angeles Times, currently owned by bankrupt Chicago-based Tribune Co.

Freedom recently put its headquarters building in Irvine on the sales block and has consolidated headquarters into its main building that houses the Register staff in Santa Ana.

Freedom has about 2,000 employees companywide with about 900 of them in Orange County. The Business Journal estimates Freedom’s 2011 revenue at $500 million.