(As the resident libertarian at RMG I feel it is appropriate to front page this. For more on the history of the OCR you should read Radicals For Capitalism. – promoted by Garrett)
It’s one thing to gloat about the Boston Globe; it’s another to find out that the business is bad for everyone. The company that owns the fabled Orange County Register is filing for bankruptcy.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, The Orange County Register had an average weekday circulation of 230,877 and Sunday circulation of about 300,000 for the six months ended on March 31. The company also owns several broadcast stations nationwide.
Freedom’s bankruptcy will most likely wipe out the 45 percent equity stake held by two big private equity firms, the Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners.
That outcome could mirror what is expected at Tribune, whose reorganization plan will likely erase the equity stake of the investor Samuel Zell, who took the company private in 2007.
The majority of Freedom is still owned by the Hoiles family, whose patriarch, R. C. Hoiles, founded the company seven decades ago as an outlet for his libertarian philosophy. Freedom accepted the investments from Blackstone and Providence nearly six years ago to allow some Hoiles family members to sell their stakes in the company, ending strife within the clan.
The price paid by Blackstone and Providence was actually lower than the amount two media companies, Gannett and MediaNews, had offered at the time.
But since then, Freedom was hit by the same downturn in advertising revenue that has struck publishers across the industry.
We could use a newspaper like the OCR in Massachusetts. It would certainly be refreshing.
According to the Wikipedia entry on the newspaper:
The Register is notable for its generally conservative/libertarian-leaning editorial page. It often supports Republican politicians and positions, but it is also the largest newspaper in the country to have opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and opposes laws regulating issues such as prostitution and drug use. It was one of a handful of newspapers that opposed the internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans during World War II.It also opposed Proposition 8 in 2008, which proposed a ban on same-sex marriage.