Zell wants to buy Register?

The Financial Times is reporting that Sam Zell's Tribune has been kicking the tires on the Orange County Register with an eye to "consolidate the Los Angeles newspaper market, as owner Samuel Zell scrambles to find ways to save the debt-swamped newspaper company." Or the two papers might do some joint operations, the FT suggests (and as the OCBJ reported last month.)

Tribune has held talks over a deal to either buy the Orange County Register from its owner, Freedom Communications, or to strike up an agreement through which the Orange County Register and LA Times could combine production and distribution operations to save money, according to media industry sources.

Both Tribune and Freedom are gasping for air, as the industry’s advertising sales and circulation numbers continue to shrink.

Tribune has also held talks with the owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Would Zell use employees' pension money to buy these other papers too?

More by Kevin Roderick:
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Recent Sam Zell stories on LA Observed:
Finally, some good Sam Zell news
Zell throws a hundred grand Karl Rove's way
Times employees' suit over Zell deal officially wrapped
Tribune has paid $231 million in bankruptcy fees so far
O'Shea, Zell and the 'dismantling' of the Times

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