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Report: Freedom Communications -- 'O.C. Register' Owners -- to File for Chapter 11

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Report: Freedom Communications -- 'O.C. Register' Owners -- to File for Chapter 11

Article excerpt

Freedom Communications Inc., the owner of the Orange County Register, is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Sunday that the privately held company has reached agreements with its lenders to restructure its debts. The report cited unnamed people familiar with the situation.

Robert Emmers, a spokesman for Freedom, declined to comment Sunday night on the possibility of a bankruptcy filing, but he told The Associated Press that the company is "continuing to work with its lenders to resolve (its) balance sheet issues."

The Journal reported that Freedom's lenders were expected to take control of the company while it operates under bankruptcy protection. The lenders -- including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., SunTrust Banks and Union Bank of California -- hold about $770 million in debt.

Freedom was founded in the 1930s by R.C. Hoiles and is still majority owned by the Hoiles family. Besides its flagship Orange County Register, the company owns 32 daily and 77 weekly newspapers, plus several television stations. …

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