Orange County Business Journal

Freedom Sale Closes; Kushner New CEO

Heidi Kulicke Thursday, July 26, 2012

The sale of Irvine-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc., owner of the Orange County Register, is final.

Boston-based 2100 Trust LLC assumed ownership today, according to a joint announcement by both companies.

The sale was announced last month; terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company will continue to operate as Freedom Communications under 2100 Trust LLC.

Its publications include the Register, its flagship daily newspaper, six others spread over California, Arizona and Colorado, along with various non-daily publications, specialty publications and digital properties.

Aaron Kushner, who heads 2100 Trust, has taken the chief executive officer’s duties over from Mitch Stern.

Freedom emerged from a brief stint in bankruptcy in 2010 and has spent the past year or so selling off its other properties. It sold eight TV stations for $385 million to Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. last year. That was followed up with sales of newspapers in Texas, New Mexico and one in the Midwest earlier this year.

R.C. Hoiles founded Freedom Communications in 1935 after acquiring the Santa Ana Register. Freedom grew to include more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers at its peak, along with eight broadcast stations, magazines and specialty publications. The company’s newspapers have won six Pulitzer Prizes.