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BY MARY ANN MILBOURN / STAFF WRITER
Published: June 3, 2014 Updated: 5:27 p.m.

The owner of the Orange County Register on Tuesday announced a major restructuring that includes staff furloughs, voluntary newsroom buyouts, layoffs and the consolidation of the company’s Long Beach newspaper with the Los Angeles Register six days a week.

Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz and their 2100 Trust bought parent company Freedom Communications in July 2012 and embarked on a dramatic expansion of staff and news sections. On Tuesday, Kushner said the vision remained, but that it was time to reassess operating expenses.

“We’ve proven you can grow a newspaper,” Kushner said. “Our costs need to be aligned with the level of revenue growth we’re experiencing.”

Under the furloughs, nearly all Freedom staff, including Kushner and Spitz, will be required to take two weeks of unpaid leave in June and July. The furloughs will be companywide, including The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, which Freedom purchased in November.

The company is offering buyouts only to the Register newsroom, which currently has a staff of 345. Kushner said that, depending on the number of people who request buyouts, further layoffs may be needed.

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