O.C. Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise lay off 100 employees

Freedom Communications, parent of O.C. Register and Riverside P-E, lays off 100 non-newsroom employees

Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise, is laying off about 100 non-newsroom employees Wednesday.

Former casino executive Richard Mirman, who became the Register’s publisher in October, sent a memo to employees Wednesday morning explaining that the cuts are part of an attempt "to 'right size' the business back to appropriate levels."

The business remains unprofitable, he said. Co-owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz, whose 2100 Trust bought Freedom out of bankruptcy in 2012, also plan to kill off money-losing publications such as OC Register Magazine.

Kushner and Spitz went on a hiring spree after the reported $50-million to $60-million purchase and also launched two new daily papers. The pair also picked up the Press-Enterprise for nearly $27.3 million.

Then came several rounds of layoffs and buyouts affecting dozens of employees. The new Long Beach Register is now published only Sundays. In September, the Los Angeles Register closed five months after its launch.

Orange County Register subscribers continue to complain about spotty delivery after the newspaper switched delivery vendors in October. The Register’s previous delivery partner, the Los Angeles Times, has sued, alleging breach of contract and failure to pay about $2.5 million in fees.

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