IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Freedom Communications Inc., parent company of
the Clovis News Journal, Portales News-Tribune and Quay County Sun,
named an interim CEO Wednesday, tapping the former publisher of The
Dallas Morning News.
Burl Osborne will take over in July for Scott Flanders, who is
leaving after 3 1/2 years in the job to lead a troubled Playboy
Enterprises Inc., whose television and magazine businesses have been
hit by shifting consumer habits in the digital era.
In a statement Wednesday, the chairman of Freedom’s board, Thomas
Bassett, called Osborne an “exceptional leader who combines outstanding
business acumen with depth of experience in the newspaper industry.”
Osborne, who has served on Freedom’s board as an independent
director since 2004, is taking the helm as traditional media companies
struggle with challenges brought on by the Internet and compounded by a
The company has announced cost-cutting measures this year including layoffs, unpaid furloughs and salary freezes.
The company publishes several dozen daily and weekly newspapers and operates a handful of television stations.
From 1980 to 2001, Osborne served as executive editor and later
publisher of the Morning News, which is owned by A.H. Belo Corp. He
served as chairman of The Associated Press board from 2002 to 2007.