Business & Economy

Digital First Media gets the greenlight to buy OC Register

In this file photo, Jerry Ascencio, a pressman at the Orange County Register, works in the basement of the presses. The Register's parent company, Freedom Communications, has asked a bankruptcy judge to approve its sale to Digital First Media, which owns the Los Angeles Daily News and eight other daily papers in the greater Los Angeles area.
In this file photo, Jerry Ascencio, a pressman at the Orange County Register, works in the basement of the presses. The Register's parent company, Freedom Communications, has asked a bankruptcy judge to approve its sale to Digital First Media, which owns the Los Angeles Daily News and eight other daily papers in the greater Los Angeles area.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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A federal bankruptcy judge has approved Digital First Media's purchase of the Orange County Register and another newspaper in Southern California.

Judge Mark S. Wallace approved the sale of the Register and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside on Monday.

Freedom Communications decided to sell the newspapers to Digital First after a judge blocked a higher bid by the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Tribune Publishing, citing antitrust concerns.

Digital First owns the Los Angeles Daily News and eight other daily newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area.

Freedom filed for bankruptcy protection in November after a series of layoffs and buyouts following an aggressive expansion of print journalism that included starting daily papers in Los Angeles County and buying the Press Enterprise.

This story has been updated.