Login

Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

SANTA ANA -- The publisher of the Orange County Register said Thursday that at an investor group he leads may want to buy Tribune Co.'s newspapers after the media conglomerate emerges from bankruptcy.

"We clearly have the means and the team by which to look seriously at the Tribune papers and, from the outside, they may very well have enough of the elements that we're looking for," said Aaron Kushner, chief executive of 2100 Trust LLC, which bought Freedom Communications Inc. and its flagship paper, the Register, in July.

Tribune, which is expected to leave bankruptcy protection soon, owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and five other daily newspapers. The Chicago-based conglomerate also operates 23 television stations.

Kushner cautioned that he hasn't examined Tribune's finances but signaled he would move quickly if he determined its newspapers are a good fit.

"I think it's a pretty small group that potentially could fit our model," he said in an interview.

Kushner, who is also Freedom Communications' CEO, has overseen the hiring of dozens of journalists and a major expansion of the print edition of the Register, the nation's 20th-largest newspaper by circulation and a direct competitor of the Los Angeles Times. Freedom Communications is the 39-year-old's first foray in newspapers after he flirted with buying The Boston Globe and newspapers in Maine.

Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2008, less than a year after a debt-laden buyout engineered by Sam Zell. Its new owners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., debt specialist Angelo, Gordon & Co., and hedge fund Oaktree Capital Management.

Kushner said he expects the Tribune's new owners would sell the newspapers in a single package.

"There's a tremendous amount of infrastructure that's shared among the newspapers, and they have been together, with the exception of the LA Times, for a long time," Kushner said. "Disassembling them in an auction sort of a way or a process may be achievable, but our sense is it would end up resulting in significantly less for the current owners of the Tribune Co."

Freedom recently sold The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kushner signaled he was open to selling Freedom's five smaller newspapers in California and Arizona.

"We wouldn't have bought them if we didn't love them. That said, if we find that there is an owner that can do an even better job than us with them, we'll talk with them," he said.

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: