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Freedom Communications acquires Churm Media

SANTA ANA and NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Dec. 12, 2012 – Freedom Communications announced today that it has reached agreement to acquire Newport Beach, Calif.-based Churm Media, publisher of OC METRO, OC Family, OC Menus and Southland Golf magazines and websites and as well as Ripe Orange, a marketing, design and events firm. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Steve Churm and the entire Churm Media team has done a fabulous job over multiple decades building a wealth of relationships and a portfolio of publications, websites, events and services that are robust, engaging and invaluable for Orange County," said Aaron Kushner, owner and CEO at Freedom. "We're excited to have the entire Churm Media team join with our own at the Orange County Register. We are looking forward to growing these terrific brands for the next generation, with an eye on how the Register can increase what we are providing to our subscribers, advertisers and Orange County as a whole."

"We could not be more energized to join forces with Orange County’s most trusted information source,” said Steve Churm, CEO of Churm Media and Publisher of OC METRO. "We share the same business philosophy and vision for success, which starts with a strong commitment to deliver valuable content to improve the lives of people who live and work in this great county. This acquisition will significantly enhance the foundation we’ve built with readers and advertisers and help us reach our full growth potential. It’s a tremendous opportunity and we can’t wait to get started."

The transaction does not affect Churm Media’s existing business operations, and all employees will continue in their respective roles under Freedom ownership.

The agreement provides another opportunity for Freedom and the Register to increase its depth of content and expand its services for advertisers in Orange County. The Register has taken several aggressive measures in recent months to enhance the value offered to its subscribers and advertisers, while also rolling out community building programs to bring various parts of the Orange County community together.

Significant among the Register improvements is the launch of a robust Business section in October with daily themes and in-depth reporting about local entrepreneurs, success stories, buying and selling tips, economic trends and growth industries that define Orange County’s business community.

The Register is also introducing newly designed editions of its 24 community newspapers, which will include more in-depth news, photos, community-generated content and a larger broadsheet size that matches and enhances the quality of the Register. The community newspapers are expanding coverage of relevant city-by-city topics, including business openings, schools, faith and values, youth sports, and events and activities.

The Register’s commercial printing unit has printed the Churm Media portfolio for the majority of Churm Media’s 23-year history out of the Register’s Anaheim printing facility.

About Freedom Communications / Orange County Register
Freedom Communications, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications and interactive businesses. The Company’s print portfolio includes more than 40 publications, including six daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, plus ancillary magazines and other specialty publications. The company's news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print properties. For more information, visit www.freedom.com.

The Orange County Register builds and maintains marketplaces that bind communities together. By employing a subscriber-first strategy the Orange County Register, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, delivers engaged readers who bring a built-in affinity for the brands they encounter. The portfolio also includes 24 community newspapers, Spanish-language Excélsior, Coast Magazine and several publications supporting the performing arts. Its market-leading digital offerings include OCRegister.com, OCVarsity.com, OCExcelsior.com, OrangeCounty.com, among many others. Orange County Register Communications also offers a full spectrum of custom printing services, insert and direct mail advertising vehicles. For more information, visit www.ocregister.com/aboutus.

About Churm Media / OC METRO
Churm Media is a leading regional, full-service media company based in Newport Beach, Calif. The privately held company publishes four niche consumer magazines – OC METRO, OC Family, OC Menus and Southland Golf – and five interactive websites serving readers in five Southern California counties. The print version of OC METRO is distributed to more than 1,300 locations throughout Orange County, and its print and online offerings reach more than 300,000 business professionals and executives monthly. Churm Media prints and distributes more than 200,000 magazines per month through all of its brands with a total audience – print, online, social media and events – of more than one million per month. Ripe Orange, a full-service marketing, design and event firm is also owned by Churm Media. Its clients include Chapman University, Discovery Science Center, Orange County United Way, Pretend City, Brandman University and the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

Related article:
OCRegister.com - Register owner buys O.C. magazine group Churm Media