Navel Gazing broke this story yesterday, but Freedom Communications, which publishes the Orange County Register, among other papers is considering launching a new newspaper in Long Beach that would challenge the Press Telegram.
If it were to happen, the Register’s plan seems to be to bolster media properties to create regional ad buys for advertisers throughout Southern California. Freedom recently expanded in Newport Beach/Costa Mesa, added a new Santa Ana Register, and will increase the frequency on the Irvine World News. A move into enemy territory in Long Beach makes more sense that launching a new paper in Los Angeles. It’s not clear that Freedom has the financial resources to buy the Los Angeles Times on its own or the entire Tribune chain.
Eric Morgan, a communications consultant to the Register, answered our query about a Long Beach Register, with a one sentence response: “It’s under discussion, but not much more to say beyond that at this point.”
We contacted the Press Telegram, but the publisher, Ron Hasse, could not be reached.
The most interesting rumor associated with this development is that former OC Weekly editor Will Swaim is being considered for editor of this Long Beach Publication. Swaim, a former progressive, is now aligned with former Register columnist Steven Greenhut’s Think Tank and used to edit the Republic of Costa Mesa Blog, the failed Long Beach District alt-weekly and OC Weekly.