Tribune Media Co.
, owner the LA "By God" Times, announced plans Thursday to redevelop its property north of the 405 freeway and near Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, where the Orange County edition of the LA "By God" Times was printed for years.*
The Chicago-based media company that owns the largest daily newspaper in California also announced plans to redevelop Times Mirror Square in downtown Los Angeles.
The battering the daily print industry has taken financially and the migration of readers to online sources have caused newspaper companies to search for ways to cut costs, squeeze out revenues and dispose of unneeded space and facilities. It's why Tribune is making these moves and why Freedom Communications recently sold its flagship Orange County Register building and is now leasing the Santa Ana facility next to the 5 freeway from the new owner.
Development partners are being sought for the 21-acre Costa Mesa site, which features a functional rail spur and a helicopter pad, and Times Mirror Square, where a mixed-use project is envisioned that includes building restorations and new construction around a new metro rail station, according to Tribune Real Estate president Murray McQueen.
The Orange County site "has been a well-known part of the Costa Mesa landscape for over 40 years,'' McQueen tells City News Service. "Costa Mesa is developing a strong identity as a cultural hub of Orange County, and we are excited to be developing the site during this next chapter of civic vibrancy."
Hopefully they'll be more successful nurturing civic vibrancy than they were at trying to win the circulation war against the Register back in the day.
*Per Gary Weitman, senior vice president of Corporate Relations at Tribune Media, the company spun off its publishing division in August and the LA Times is now owned by Tribune Publishing. Tribune Media owns the Orange County real estate and the plant, which is vacant and hasn't been used to print the Times in many years.