Freedom Paid Out $3.7M in Bonuses to Top Executives

By Andrew Gauthier 

AZ Capitol Times

Most Freedom Communications employees probably have never heard of the company’s MBO bonus program, but the higher-ups know all about it.

The program paid out more than $3.7 million to Freedoms top executives during the past year, not to mention other expenses such as partner distributions, automobile reimbursements, club memberships and, for at least one executive, housing allowances, according to federal bankruptcy filings.

At least 49 Freedom executives, including publishers at various newspapers across the country, dipped into the MBO bonus program during the 12 months leading up to the companys bankruptcy filing in September.

Freedom CEO Scott Flanders received two MBO payments totaling more than $1.1 million during that time, including a $400,000 bonus only weeks before the company filed bankruptcy. Others, such as Orange County Register Publisher Terry Horne and Community Newspapers Division President Jonathan Segal, received bonuses totaling six-figures. More…