New president named for Freedom Communications

Freedom News Service

IRVINE, Calif. — Scott Flanders, who has professional experience in direct marketing and Internet distribution, has been named chief executive and president of Freedom Communications Inc., the Irvine-based media company that owns the Portales News-Tribune.

Flanders, 48, who will assume the position effective the first of the year, has held positions of board member for Freedom; chairman and chief executive of Columbia House Co., direct marketer of music and videos; president of McMillan Publishing; and president of, an Internet distributor of cellular products.

He replaces Alan Bell, 73, who will leave Jan. 1, after 17 years with Freedom and 50 years in the media industry.
Flanders has been a member of Freedom’s board for the past five years and, until July 1 of this year, was chairman and CEO of Columbia House Co., the oldest and largest direct marketer of music and video, which has since been sold to the Bertelsmann Co. Earlier, Flanders served 14 years as president of McMillan Publishing, the world’s largest computer and reference publisher.

Flanders is on the boards of several companies with an interest in media and technology; he is a graduate of the University of Colorado (B.A.) and Indiana University School of Law (J.D.) on whose Board of Visitors he currently serves. He also is a C.P.A. He is married to Linda Flanders and has three daughters. He has been based in New York City and will relocate to the company’s headquarters offices in Irvine, Calif.

As president and CEO-designate, Flanders will work closely in a transition period with Bell, Freedom’s current president and CEO. Bell, who is a graduate of Harvard and attended Harvard Business School, will remain on the company’s board of directors for a transition period in 2006 and then become a consultant to the company. He also plans to be active on other company boards.

Freedom Communications is a privately owned, diverse media company of newspapers, broadcast television stations and interactive media businesses. The company publishes more than 70 news publications with a combined circulation of more than one million subscribers. The broadcast division includes eight television stations, including five CBS and three ABC network affiliates.