Freedom Communications, Inc., headquartered in Irvine, California, is a media company which owns more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers in the United States, with a combined daily circulation of nearly one million subscribers, and also operates over seventy local news websites. The broadcast division includes eight television stations, including five CBS network affiliates, one CW Television Network affiliate, and two ABC network affiliates.
Freedom's flagship newspaper is the Orange County Register, based in Santa Ana, California with a circulation of approximately 300,000. The Register has won three Pulitzer Prizes. The Register's website is the largest, most in-depth of Freedom's websites, drawing the most daily traffic and unique visitors of all of the local news sites. It received both high interest and criticism for the website's open forums, allowing visitors to openly comment on stories and features. Freedom had acquired substantial debt in 2004 when private-equity firms Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners acquired a 40 percent share for about $460 million.
Founder and chief executive officer R.C. Hoiles gained a one-third interest in his first newspaper (The Alliance Review in Ohio) sometime in the 1910s. He and his brother Frank bought many more local newspapers over the next several decades. In 1935 he moved his base of operations to Santa Ana, California, and in 1950 he incorporated his syndicate as Freedom Newspapers, Inc. After Hoiles' death in 1970, he was succeeded as CEO by his son C.H. Hoiles (until 1981), and then by
Freedom Communications' self-proclaimed mission is "to advance human liberty." They publish articles on a "wide variety of topics and viewpoints," so long as they support what they consider "the two most important principles for a free country: individual liberty and the individual responsibility that entails."
Freedom Interactive was formed in June 2006. This division, also headquartered in Irvine, California, is solely responsible for the online presence of Freedom's media properties. All interactive advertising, marketing, content, business development, finance, and technology management is centralized within this arm of the organization. Early partnerships with search giant Google, user submitted calendar program Zvents, and employment site Monster.com gained recognition for the newly formed interactive division in early 2007. Financially, Freedom Communications is an investor in USIS, the nation's largest investigative company for government-level security clearances.
|Current DMA #||Market||Station||Channel (DT)||Affiliation||Acquired||Notes|
|38.||West Palm Beach, Florida||WPEC||12 (13)||CBS||1996||Freedom's flagship station|
|39.||Kalamazoo, Michigan||WWMT||3 (8)||CBS||1998||The CW on DT2|
|56.||Albany/Schenectady, New York||WRGB||6 (6)||CBS||1986||This TV on DT2|
|WCWN||45 (43)||The CW||2006||Operated by WRGB
This TV on DT2
|86.||Chattanooga, Tennessee||WTVC||9 (9)||ABC This TV||1983||Freedom's first broadcast property (with KFDM)|
|112.||Lansing, Michigan||WLAJ||53 (51)||ABC||1998||Operated by WWMT
The CW on DT2
|140.||Medford, Oregon||KTVL||10 (10)||CBS||1981||The CW on DT2|
|141.||Beaumont, Texas||KFDM||6 (21)||CBS||1983||The CW on DT2|