Digital First Media buys the Orange County Register

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A lawyer says the owner of the Los Angeles Daily News has bought the Orange County Register and another Southern California newspaper.

Freedom Communications' attorney Alan Friedman said Denver-based Digital First Media closed the deal Thursday to buy the Register and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside for $49.8 million in cash.

Digital First was runner up to purchase Freedom's newspapers at a bankruptcy auction, but the Justice Department got a court order blocking lead bidder Tribune Publishing from buying the papers over antitrust issues.

With the purchase, Digital First owns 11 daily newspapers in Southern California.

Freedom filed for federal bankruptcy protection in November after an aggressive expansion in print journalism.