Explaining Southern California's economy

Six days past the deadline, Riverside Press-Enterprise is sold

Orange County Register

Grant Slater/KPCC

The Orange County Register's parent company, Freedom Communications Holdings has finally closed a deal to purchase The Press-Enterprise in Riverside. Pictured here: OC Register Publisher, Aaron Kushner (left) and company President, Eric Spitz.

A deal that appeared in jeopardy of falling through has finally been completed.

Freedom Communications Holdings, the parent company of The Orange County Register, has completed its $27.25 million purchase of The Press-Enterprise in Riverside from the A.H. Belo Corporation, six days after the deadline for the transaction passed.

The deadline for Freedom to buy the paper was originally mid-October, but that was pushed back to Nov. 15. There were also changes to the original agreement, which included Freedom paying a non-refundable $1 million deposit, which would go toward the final purchase price.

It's not clear what caused the multiple delays, but executives of both companies expressed happiness that the sale is done.

“We are pleased the transaction has closed, and wish our colleagues in Riverside all the best as they go forward as part of Freedom Communications,” said Jim Moroney, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of A. H. Belo, in a prepared statement.

“We appreciate the stewardship provided by A. H. Belo to The Press-Enterprise, an institution that plays an incredibly important role in building community and adding richness to people’s lives," said Aaron Kushner, co-owner and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Communications. "Our focus moving forward will be to enhance the ways we can provide value to subscribers of The Press-Enterprise and the greater community.”

Freedom Communications, headquartered in Santa Ana, adds the Press-Enterprise to its existing roster of four daily newspapers - the Daily Press in Victorville, Desert Dispatch in Barstow, the Long Beach Register, and the Orange County Register.

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