Freedom Communications Up for Sale


Family feuding at Freedom Communications has prompted the company to put a for-sale sign on its newpaper and broadcasting operations.

Freedom, best-known as owner of the Orange County Register, also owns a string of 27 daily newpapers and eight TV stations. Early estimates put its value at as much as $2 billion.

Gannett has long been considered the most obvious buyer for the whole company, but it could easily be broken up, particularly in TV markets where there are potential duopoly mates. Tribune Co., which focuses on top-30 markets, is not considered a player.

The founding Hoiles family has squabbled over the company's direction for years.

Freedom owns CBS affiliates WRGB(TV) Albany, N.Y.; KFDM-TV Beaumont, Texas; KTVL(TV) Medford, Ore.; WWMT(TV) Grand Rapids, Mich.; WPEC(TV) West Palm Beach, Fla.; and ABC affiliates WTVC(TV) Chattanooga, Tenn.; WLNE(TV) Providence, R.I.; WLAJ(TV) Lansing, Mich.