Digital First Media’s Executive Editor Frank Pine will be in charge of the Orange County Register in Santa Ana and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, according to sources close to the matter.
The industry veteran oversees day-to-day operations of the Denver-based company’s other Southern California print publications—the Los Angeles Daily News, the Daily Breeze in Torrance, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Pasadena Star-News, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Whittier Daily News, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the Sun in San Bernardino and the Redlands Facts—as well as related websites, digital products and social media channels.
The two dailies became part of the new Southern California News Group headed by Publisher and President Ron Hasse, after U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana approved the sale of Freedom Communications Inc. to Denver-based Digital First for $49.8 million on Wednesday.
Managing Editor Donna Wares appears to be the highest ranking supervisor in the Register newsroom, while Michael Coronado remains the editor of Press -Enterprise. They will both likely report to Pine, judging from the Digital First’s current editorial structure.
It remains unclear who will be the highest ranking executives for the sales and circulation departments for the Register in Santa Ana.
Freedom Chief Executive Rich Mirman was let go Thursday along with about 70 staffers, including Editor and Senior Vice President of Content Rob Curley; Vice President of Circulation Bruce Blair; and Lake Trout, senior vice president of sales.
Mirman, before leaving, sent out an email to staff asking them to fill out employment application on Digital First website by today’s deadline.
Another email from Digital First executives to employees hints that layoffs might be over for now.
“Other than those employees who have already been contacted, all active Freedom employees (those who have worked at Freedom at least one day since March 1, 2016 through today) will be offered employment at Digital First Media effective April 1, 2016.”