Orange County Register owner eyes Tribune papers

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm •  Published: December 27, 2012
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — 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.

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