announcements from both newspapers.The Riverside Press-Enterprise is expected to be sold for $27.25 million later this month to Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register, according to
After purchasing Freedom a year ago, Aaron Kushner invested $10 million to $15 million in the newspaper by his own estimate. With those investments the Register doubled the number of its news reporters and editors, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Freedom also expanded into Long Beach with the five-days-a-week Long Beach Register, which began publication in August.
While expanding their print product, the Register's daily print circulation declined by 2 percent, the Alliance for Audited Media reported. Kushner told the Times the newspaper's circulation revenue is up and that it remains profitable, as it has been in the past.
At the same time, Kushner drew criticism for erecting an online paywall across the Register's web content.
"It is unfair to our paying (print) subscribers that someone else is getting our content for free," Freedom President Eric Spitz said in March.
Currently the Press Enterprise has online subscriptions available for $5/week or $99/year, with combo rates available for print subscribers. The Register charges as much for online subscriptions as it does for print subscriptions.
Neither Spitz nor Kushner have previous newspaper experience. Kushner purchased the Register after his bid to acquire the Boston Globe was rejected by the New York Times in 2011.
The Press Enterprise purchase will include the Riverside newspaper's printing press and land.