Gazette's parent company selling flagship paper?

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Which properties, exactly, California-based media conglomerate Freedom Communications — the owner of the Colorado Springs Gazette — would be willing to jettison, post-bankruptcy, hasn't been widely known. But a potential move makes it clear: all of them.

Today, the North County Times reported that Doug Manchester is holding negotiations to buy the Orange County Register, Freedom's flagship property. Manchester also recently purchased the U-T San Diego (formerly the San Diego Union-Tribune).

As of about 3 p.m. MDT, the evolving NCT story included this passage:

Joanne Faryon, a reporter for San Diego public radio station KPBS, said on Twitter on Wednesday, that U-T owner Doug Manchester told her such reports are "premature," but he confirmed the existence of negotiations. Manchester did not respond to a North County Times call for comment.

In a terse email to the North County Times, Lynch on Wednesday seemed to backpedal, saying, "not true."

Robert Emmers, a spokesman for Freedom Communication Inc., the Irvine-based company that owns the Register, said, "Freedom doesn't comment on rumors or speculation."

Emmers also wouldn't confirm whether Freedom is in negotiations with the U-T to sell the Register.

In April, Freedom sold eight TV stations. But if it sells its biggest newspaper ... could the Gazette be far behind?

Digital First Media — parent company of the Denver Post, and one of the likely suitors for the daily — seemed to show interest in the property last year, but is currently laying off staff company-wide, including at the Post, the Salt Lake Tribune and some of its West Coast newspapers.

Days ago, an ex-Freedom executive joined the Post as its chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance.

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