Churm Media has turned a page in its nearly 23-year history with the announcement that Freedom Communications, publisher of the Orange County Register, has purchased the Newport Beach-based media company. The agreement moves ownership of the OC METRO, OC Menus, OC Family, Southland Golf magazines and websites, as well as Ripe Orange, a firm specializing in marketing, design and events, to Freedom Communications.
Steve Churm, CEO of Churm Media and publisher of OC METRO, said that the company is energized to join Freedom, which he described as Orange County’s most trusted information source.
“We share the same business philosophy and vision for success, which starts with a strong commitment to deliver valuable content to improve the lives of people who live and work in this great county,” Churm said. “This acquisition will significantly enhance the foundation we’ve built with readers and advertisers and help us reach our full growth potential. It’s a tremendous opportunity and we can’t wait to get started."
The acquisition does not affect Churm Media’s ongoing business operations, and the company’s employees will continue in their current roles at Freedom. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Steve Churm and the entire Churm Media team has done a fabulous job over multiple decades building a wealth of relationships and a portfolio of publications, websites, events and services that are robust, engaging and invaluable for Orange County,” said Aaron Kushner, owner and CEO at Freedom. “We’re excited to have the entire Churm Media team join with our own at the Orange County Register. We are looking forward to growing these terrific brands for the next generation, with an eye on how the Register can increase what we are providing to our subscribers, advertisers and Orange County as a whole.”
Kushner, who, along with business partner Eric Spitz purchased Freedom Communications in July, has implemented a number of aggressive measures at the Orange County Register in recent months, all with the aim of enhancing the newspaper’s value for subscribers and advertisers. The newspaper has added a new daily business section and is being printed on higher-quality paper, and has introduced new community building programs to bring the Orange County community together.
Churm Media and the Register have had a long working relationship; the Register’s commercial printing facility in Anaheim has printed the Churm Media portfolio for much of the magazine publisher’s two-decade history.