Freedom Communication's boots on the ground in Los Angeles County are working their way up the coast from Long Beach. The Orange County Register reports tonight that the paper "will expand its Los Angeles County presence under an agreement announced Tuesday to manage the South Bay-based Easy Reader weekly newspaper and its three magazines." The Easy Reader is the closest thing to a venerable presence in the South Bay mediasphere, besides the Daily Breeze of course. This move expands Aaron Kushner's competitive front against the LA News Group, which owns the Breeze. They already go head to head in Long Beach.
From Mary Ann Milbourn in the Register:
Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. said it signed a comprehensive, long-term management agreement for the Easy Reader, as well as the Beach, Peninsula People and Drop Zone magazines. The publications will maintain their main offices in Hermosa Beach..
Kevin Cody, longtime Easy Reader publisher, will stay with the company and no changes are expected in existing staff.
Aaron Kushner, Freedom's co-owner and chief executive, praised the Easy Reader for what he called "a fabulous franchise of local journalism and publications supporting local advertisers."
Kushner has said he plans to launch a Los Angeles Register sometime this year, and he has sought to frame it as a battle between his newspaper and the LA Times. I think his real competition for readers and advertising dollars is really with the LANG papers, at least at first. And now he has control of the Easy Reader.