Orange County Business Journal

Register Parent Buys Churm Media

Heidi Kulicke Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc., owner of the Orange County Register, has acquired Newport Beach-based Churm Media.

Terms of the deal, which closed Tuesday, weren’t disclosed.

Churm Media is the publisher of OC Metro, OC Family, OC Menus and Southland Golf magazines and websites. It also owns marketing firm Ripe Orange, which counts Chapman University and Discovery Science Center among others as clients.

Churm Media founder Steve Churm will continue as publisher at the publications and will become a vice president at the Register. All employees will keep their same roles under Freedom ownership.

The magazines are distributed free throughout Orange County and parts of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with a combined monthly circulation of 400,000. OC Metro has the largest monthly circulation, at 60,000.

“We are looking forward to growing these terrific brands for the next generation, with an eye on how the Register can increase what we are providing to our subscribers, advertisers and Orange County as a whole,” said Aaron Kushner, owner of Freedom and publisher of the Register.

Freedom will continue to publish monthly regional lifestyle magazine Coast, he said.

The Churm family purchased the predecessor publication of OC Metro in 1990, with the other publications added later.

The purchase follows various content and staffing changes at the Register since Kushner took ownership in July, including the addition of some newsroom employees. Freedom has about 2,000 workers companywide, 900 based in OC.