Freedom settles with carriers again

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Freedom Communications, the parent of the Gazette, has settled a class action lawsuit brought against its officers and directors by carriers who alleged they were unfairly labeled contractors and not paid for break time, mileage and overtime.

In a case filed in 2003, the carriers initially agreed to a $28.9 million settlement, but that was pared to $14 million during Freedom's bankruptcy a couple of years ago.

Subsequently, the carriers sued the officers and directors, leading to the recent settlement, which the Orange County Business Journal reports will be paid by insurance.

Meantime, back at the Gazette, the search is on for a publisher, according to this ad posted at Andrew Hudson's Jobs List.

Publisher
Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs, CO

Publisher Opportunity
Colorado Springs

Freedom Newspapers, Inc. is seeking an experienced, high impact player to serve as publisher for the Colorado Springs Gazette, a 75,000 circulation daily newspaper as well as its family of print and on-line portfolio (8.5 miliion page views). The Gazette, based in Colorado Springs, provides print and on line information services to El Paso and Teller counties of Colorado. Located just 70 miles from Denver, the population is diverse, among the most "wired" in the country and out door oriented. The area has a strong military presence and is home to both high tech and aerospace industries. We are looking for a strong, visionary leader with the ability to transform our organization and our product portfolio to meet the ever changing needs of our readers and advertisers.

Qualified applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a minimum of 5-7 years experience managing progressively larger media properties. Demonstrated ability to develop and drive overall business strategy and revenue initiatives is essential.

Qualified candidates will possess a track record of successful management experience and a desire to become actively involved with their team and within the community.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume via e-mail to freedomjobs@freedom.com attn: Marcy Bruskin, Vice President, Human Resources.

At the moment, the interim publisher is Mike Burns, Freedom's vice president of sales and market development, who presided over a Dec. 1 layoff of about a dozen employees — the latest of many layoffs there since 2007. Among those who departed in that wave was editor Jeff Thomas, who resigned. He was replaced by Carmen Boles, who has headed the paper's online operation and was given the new title of "content coordinator."

From Freedom's website:

Freedom Communications, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications, broadcast television stations and interactive businesses. The company's print portfolio includes more than 100 publications, including 26 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines and other specialty publications. The broadcast stations — five CBS, two ABC network affiliates and one CW affiliate — reach more than 3 million households across the country. Freedom's news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print and broadcast properties.

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