SANTA ANA (CNS) - Aaron Kushner, co-owner of Freedom Communications Inc., has resigned from all executive duties at Freedom and the Orange County Register, and co-owner Eric Spitz has stepped down as president and assumed a new role as Freedom’s chairman of the board, the Register reported today.
Spitz will work with the company’s directors and investors, according to the newspaper.
Rich Mirman, a former casino marketing executive who has run day-to-day operations since October, becomes president and chief executive of Freedom and remains publisher of the Register and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, the Register reported. “It has been a privilege and honor to serve as a leader of this institution,” Kushner said Tuesday, when he addressed the newsroom.
“Thank you for hard work, your patience and commitment to the Register.”
Freedom has gone through dramatic changes since Kushner, Spitz and their 2100 Trust bought the privately held firm in 2012, after the company emerged from bankruptcy, the Register reported. The new owners more than doubled the newsroom staff to add new sections and publications, purchased The Press-Enterprise in Riverside in 2013, and launched the Los Angeles Register in 2014.
Their tenure, however, included three rounds of Register buyouts or layoffs, and saw the newly created Los Angeles Register close its doors in September after just five months of publication, the Register reported.
The Register also struggled with newspaper delivery interruptions after a business dispute with a former delivery provider, the Los Angeles Times, landing both newspapers in court in an ongoing legal battle.
Kushner, a greeting-card company executive from Boston, gained national attention in 2012 for his ideas on how to revive the Register and the entire newspaper industry. He espoused an unrelenting focus on a better print product while others saw the future online.