Times Mirror Unit Purchases Orange Paper

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A subsidiary of Times Mirror Co. said Wednesday that it has purchased the Orange Independent and will begin distributing the weekly newspaper as part of The Times Orange County to subscribers in Orange and Villa Park.

The Independent was the last of a group of three weeklies owned by Hometown Publishing Co. in Orange. The company in February sold its other newspapers, Cypress-La Palma News and Buena Park News, to Freedom Newspapers Inc., parent company of the Orange County Register.

Distributing community newspapers to their subscribers is a strategy both The Times and Register have been employing in Orange County. It gives advertisers the option of targeting specific communities and allows the larger newspapers to offer more community news coverage.

Freedom Newspapers earlier this year acquired the Orange City News and now delivers it to Register subscribers in Orange.

Robert T. Cashman, president of Hometown Publishing, said the sale of the Orange Independent "assures the stability of the paper as a needed community resource far into the future."

Terms of the purchase by California Community News Corp. were not disclosed. The company was formed by Times Mirror to acquire and publish community papers. It publishes the Daily Pilot in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa and the Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley Independent. The papers are distributed with The Times Orange County in those communities.

After Dec. 9 the Orange Independent, now distributed free to about 10,000 readers in Orange and Villa Park, will be delivered with The Times Orange County's Thursday editions to subscribers in those cities.

Judith L. Sweeney, president of the Times Orange County Edition, said that California Community News Corp. is committed to expanding the Independent's editorial coverage and advertising. "The Independent will be a very vital part of community life in this area," she said.

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