It has happened in newsrooms
across the country. News breaks that somebody is buying a newspaper,
undoubtedly at a deeply discounted price. Buyout-weary reporters and
editors look around their own newsrooms filled with empty desks and
wonder: "Who are these guys buying newspapers? Are they crazy?"
"Only a little bit," says Aaron Kushner, the new publisher of the Orange County Register
, who in July led a private equity group in its acquisition of Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc., which owns the Register and five smaller dailies. "I do happen to relish a challenge."