Burl Osborne
Burl Osborne

Called It! [Again] on Register/Freedom CEO Musical Chairs

A Register Orange County Business News blog post that went up last night crows that it learned from "four inside sources" Monday that Burl Osborne will be named chief executive officer of the paper's parent company Freedom Communications Inc. of Irvine when the board meets later this week.

But close readers "OC Register Death Watch" posts on the Weekly's staff news Navel Gazing blog already knew that--15 days earlier. Here's what Death Watcher "davey threshire" wrote in the comments section at 4:59 p.m. June 1, under the post headlined "Will Freedom Take Playboy  Down With the Register?":

"Burl Osborne, a board member, will become CEO. Alan Bell, former CEO and Jon Segal nemesis, will rejoin the board and strike terror in the hearts of anyone who cares about the future of the company. Not that it has one as Freedom Communications."

Osborne will succeed

Scott Flanders

, who leaves Freedom at the end of the month to become CEO of Playboy Enterprises Inc.--something you also read first in the comments to another Navel Gazing

OC Death Watch post


Eleven days after "davey threshire" broke the news that Osborne would become CEO, "Chuck E Cheese" whipped up a bio dripping with sarcasm in a Death Watch comments.

Freedom didn't have to search long and hard for this dinosaurer. Seems he was hiding out on its Board of Directors when he wasn't submerged in the La Brea Tar Pits. Here's his bio:

Burl Osborne, age 97, Independent Director. Mr. Osborne formerly held several positions in the Belo Corporation: President, Publishing Division from 1995 to 2001; Director from 1987 to 2002; and Publisher from 1986 to 2001 of The Dallas Morning News Co., with which he became associated in 1980. Mr. Osborne continues as Chairman of the Belo Foundation. In connection with The Associated Press, Mr. Osborne has served as Chairman of the Board since 2002, Director since 1993 and as a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Osborne also has served as Director and Past Chairman of Southern Newspaper Publishers Association; Director of Newspaper Association of America; Past president of the sons of the Alamo, Chapter President of the Doughboy's (WWI) Reunion Foundation, Currently, he serves as Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; Co-chair of This Internet Thing Is A Fad Foundation; Director of Give Our Kids & Grandkids A Place On Your Board Committee; Director of the National Kidney Foundation; and Director of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. since April 1, 2003. He is also Pressident of his neighborhood POA and occassionally walks aimlessly through the streets of Dallas muttering something about a damn headline proclaiming "Dewey defeats Trumans"

Mr. Osborne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and a Master of Business Administration degree from Long Island University. He obtained a correspondence degree from the Columbia School of Broadcasting. (not affiliated with CBS) He also participated in the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He's brushed against Touchdown Jesus on the campus of Notre Dame In South Bend and has played lawn darts on the campus of Dartmouth. Mr. Osborne has done shooters with Barry Switzer and once Bob Knight threw a chair at him during an Indiana / Marshall basketball game.

That produced these reactions:

"Hef": wow, what a resume!!!! Anyone older they can get? How about John Wooden? The end is apparently nearer than we think.

"Gordon Gekko": After reading Mr. Osborne's bio its apparent he doesn't have the credentials of Freedom's current CEO. He hasn't demonstrated how to leave every company he works with in worse shape than when he started.

Incidentally, davey threshire can now throw his Osborne disclosure in the face of "you are a mole," who posted this in the Death Watch comments a day after the original Osborne disclosure:

"Ya know Davey, you must be pretty high up in the co. to have this kind of knowledge. Sad that you are spilling this info to a web blog. I hope they find out who you are and fire you. Oh wait...everyone will be fired once they file for bankruptcy after the waiver expires. Freedom will be owned by the banks, actually already are....


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >