Seven weeks after launching a new Los Angeles newspaper amid great fanfare, the Orange County Register's parent company, Freedom Communications Inc., is showing signs of financial distress.
The Santa Ana company said Tuesday that it is merging the Long Beach Register, a newspaper launched in August, into its Los Angeles counterpart and imposing immediate two-week furloughs companywide, to be taken by the end of July.
Other cost-cutting measures include shrinking the number of news pages 25% and offering buyouts, as a precursor to potential layoffs. Newsroom personnel were told the company planned to cut up to 100 jobs.
"The major red flag here is the immediate...