Moxley and Arellano at the OC Weekly are covering the latest set of layoffs at the Orange County Register here, here and here. By the end of today, we should have an idea who from their newsroom is leaving. So far, Gustavo has good-bye tweets from Sandy Coronilla, Laura Olson, Bruce Chambers, Keith Sharon and Kevin Sablan. More, possibly many, can be expected as these survivors of the January layoffs weigh their “buyout” options (as did senior sports guy T. J. Simers) or just bail as they might walk out with more today than later on when the Register finally closes the doors of the building they just sold.
Aaron Kushner‘s grand plan to become the Rupert Murdoch of southern California jumped a bit closer to that shark today as Freedom Communications announced it’s scaling back the recently launched Long Beach Register from a six-day publication to one.
Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. in Santa Ana announced it will shift its Long Beach Register from a standalone newspaper published six days a week to a weekly that it plans to deliver to about 61,000 area households on Sundays. The change is planned to take effect June 15. The weekly publication also will be bundled with the Los Angeles Register—which Freedom launched in April—and delivered subscribers in Long Beach on Sundays.
It’s reasonable to have waited a year for the Register’s new ownership to rebuild their organization before offering an opinion on how they’re doing. And it’s important — really important — that this print dinosaur succeed in this mid-sized market as without them, the OC really would be void of a mainstream media outlet. The LA Times stopped taking Orange County seriously years ago, and for now they’re only concerned over who’s going to buy them (which won’t, unfortunately, be the Koch Brothers).
At least the Register seems more like a real newspaper now. They’ve got all the regular attributes — their display advertising is way up (they’ve been hiring plenty of sales types, and are still advertising heavily for them), and, anecdotally, the total number of pages is way up (70% they claimed here). The number of actual sections is up, and they’re proud of restoring the Business section to a normal size and regular distribution. Continue reading