Desert Dispatch owner buys Riverside newspaper
Freedom Communications Inc. on Thursday announced an agreement to purchase The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, a daily newspaper owned by Dallas-based A.H. Belo Corp., for $27.25 million. The deal is expected to close by mid-month.
Freedom owns the Desert Dispatch, Daily Press and Orange County Register. Since 2100 Trust LLC bought Freedom in July 2012, the deal is the first acquisition outside Orange County for the company, which launched the Long Beach Register, a new five-day daily, in August.
“The Press-Enterprise is a Pulitzer Prize-winning institution with a rich history in serving and connecting the community,” said Aaron Kushner, co-owner and chief executive of Freedom. “We are most appreciative of the stewardship provided to this important institution by A. H. Belo and we look forward to continuing to build upon that foundation and expand the ways the Press-Enterprise helps its subscribers, advertisers and community grow and thrive.”
Jim Moroney, Belo’s chairman, president and CEO, said he was pleased to find a partner in Freedom to purchase the Inland Empire newspaper.
“We thank our colleagues in Riverside for their hard work and support as we have been privileged to own and operate The Press-Enterprise for the past 16 years,” he said.
Moroney said the proceeds from the sale will provide funds for Belo, a public company, to continue to diversify its revenues and increase shareholder returns. In addition to The Press-Enterprise, Belo owns three other daily newspapers including its flagship, The Dallas Morning News.