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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

New Owner Cuts Execs at Register

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Digital First Media, the new owner of the Orange County Register, has parted ways with several members of prior owner Freedom Communications Inc.’s senior management team, according to sources close to the matter.

The moves apparently came hours after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana approved the sale of Freedom to Digital First for $49.8 million, about $2 million less than an originally agreed-upon price. The difference was attributed to “certain newly discovered facts,” according to court documents, which didn’t offer details.

Among the executives parting ways with the daily newspaper are Editor and Senior Vice President of Content Rob Curley; Vice President of Circulation Bruce Blair; and Lake Trout, senior vice president of sales who oversaw “majors/nationals, local retail, automotive, recruitment, real estate and digital advertising” for the Register and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, owned by Freedom since 2013.

It’s unknown whether any of the executives have been replaced.

Also unclear is the fate of other members of Freedom’s upper management team, including Chief Executive Richard Mirman, and Chief Financial Officer Chris Dahl and Richard Sant, the vice president of operations since 1975.

The two dailies are now part of Digital First’s new Southern California News Group headed by Publisher and President Ron Hasse. He is expected to visit the Register’s headquarters in Santa Ana tomorrow to address employees.

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