CBJ to Buy Orange County Business Journal Tabloid

Times Staff Writer

CBJ Inc., which owns the Los Angeles Business Journal and San Diego Business Journal, said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy the Orange County Business Journal.

CBJ plans to double the newspaper's reporting staff and switch from biweekly to weekly publication.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"It's a logical fit," said Donald Keough, senior publisher for CBJ's California operations. "We have a paper in Los Angeles, and we have one in San Diego, and with one in Orange County, we can tie together an advertising and coverage network that covers Southern California."

CBJ said the Orange County Business Journal will begin weekly publication starting Sept. 11. Keough said that the reporting staff will double and that the company intends to move the tabloid's offices from Santa Ana to Irvine.

Losing Money

The Orange County Business Journal was established in 1978 by Scott Publications Inc., which is selling it. The tabloid has about 16 employees and a circulation of 20,000.

CBJ, which is owned by real estate developer Larry Bridges of Kansas City, Mo., bought both the San Diego and Los Angeles papers in April, 1988, from American City Business Journals, also in Kansas City. The papers, which have a combined circulation of 82,000 and about 90 employees, were then losing money and desperately in need of capital.

Under the terms of the agreement disclosed Wednesday, CBJ said it has promised not to lay off any employees at the Orange County paper, although several people interviewed Wednesday said they intended to resign.

Charles Heschmeyer will become the paper's new publisher, replacing Marsha Marengo, owner of Scott Publications. Heschmeyer was most recently the editor and general manager of the Denver Business Journal and has served in the last 10 years as editor at varied start-up publications owned by American City Business Journals, including one in Sacramento.

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