Freedom Communications to launch LA Register in 2014

Aaron Kushner, the CEO of Freedom Communications, told the Orange County Register last week that he will launch a new daily, called the Los Angeles Register in early 2014. The California-based company also owns the Beach Register and three other print daily newspapers as well as several non-dailies.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | December 19, 2013

The paper will offer full coverage of LA County, the second biggest media market in the United States behind New York City. In some cases the Los Angeles Register and Orange County Register will share the same resources. The new paper will be staffed entirely by existing Orange County Register employees. The two papers could also be printed at the same facilities.

The paper’s biggest competition is the well established Los Angeles Times, whose recent struggles adapting to shrinking advertising revenues have led to parent company Tribune Co. to investigate offloading the newspaper.

Kushner said the Register will differ from the LA Times in its scope of its coverage. The new paper will focus on local news and events, unlike the LA Times, whose coverage is much broader. The papers will also differ by their political viewpoints.

News industry analyst Ken Doctorwho recently interviewed Kushner, writes: Kushner says one other differentiator is the paper’s once-thought-to-be-vestigial, libertarian-like editorial stance. The Hoiles family, which bought the paper in 1935, sold a 40% interest in 2004 and lost it all in the 2009-2010 bankruptcy, took pride in that libertarian editorial page, one that stood out among dailies. That political position — which Kushner explains as “We believe in free markets and we believe in the personal freedoms to live our lives.” — is one he cites as a “completely different political perspective” as compared with the more traditional Times. In addition, he cites the truism long-held by critics of the Times: It’s a great, or once-great newspaper, more focused on the globe, the nation, sports and Hollywood than it is on local news.

With the launch of the Los Angeles Register, the LA County will have multiple daily newspapers for the first time since 1989, when the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner went out of business.

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