The Latest: Judge OKs sale of 2 Southern California papers

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the sale of the Orange County Register and Press-Enterprise newspapers (all times local):

10 a.m.

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, 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.

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12:30 a.m.

The owner of the Orange County Register and another Southern California newspaper is asking a bankruptcy judge to approve sale of the newspapers to the Digital First Media.

Freedom Communications, the bankrupt owner of the Register and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, decided over the weekend to sell to Digital First, which owns the Los Angeles Daily News and eight other daily papers in the greater Los Angeles area.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mark Wallace will consider the sale at a hearing Monday.

Freedom chose Digital First, which offered as much as $53 million at an auction, after a federal judge blocked a higher bid of $56 million by the owner of the Los Angeles Times. The judge halted Tribune Publishing Co.'s purchase of the newspapers because of concerns about a regional media monopoly.