Freedom Communications, out of Chapter 11, entertains offers - East Valley Tribune: Business

Freedom Communications, out of Chapter 11, entertains offers

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Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:15 pm | Updated: 12:09 am, Fri Nov 19, 2010.

The company that owns the Orange County Register in California and once owned the East Valley Tribune here is considering offers to buy its newspapers and TV stations.

Freedom Communications Inc. said Thursday that the offers have come during a review of strategic options for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy protection in April.

The company would not name the potential buyers or give details about which properties have drawn interest.

Freedom owns eight TV stations around the country and 100 daily and weekly newspapers. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in September 2009, as the newspaper and broadcast industries struggled with declines in advertising sales. Lenders including distressed debt specialist Angelo, Gordon & Co. and several private equity firms took control of the company and agreed to cut its debts to $325 million from $770 million.

Angelo, Gordon also is in line to acquire a major stake in the Los Angeles Times, under a proposed reorganization of that California newspaper's owner, Tribune Co. But that plan faces opposition from other lenders and creditors, leaving Tribune Co.'s fate in limbo as it nears the end of its second year operating under bankruptcy protection.

Even before finishing its reorganization, Freedom had begun to pare itself down: It sold the East Valley Tribune, the Ahwatukee Foothills News, The Sun City Daily-News Sun and AZ Interactive Media Group to 1013 Communications earlier this year after announcing it would shut the properties down.

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