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.
The LA Times reported on the layoffs this morning. Their lead:
Layoffs are expected at the Orange County Register six days after its parent company announced cost cuts, including buyouts, immediate furloughs and the merging of newly launched newspapers in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Several staffers already have announced their departures through social media, though it’s unclear if they were leaving voluntarily or not.
This is sad. A County of over three million people for years supported a newspaper that managed to survive without having to have a liberal Democrat editorial outlook. News Boy thought he knew what he was doing, and his subscriber base gave him a chance (until he gouged them with rate increases, twice). Instead of concentrating on rebuilding the Register for its core subscriber base and area focus, as we’ve previously said, Kushner decided he was the next Rupert Murdoch and took on not one, but two more competitive southern California papers with deeper pockets and far more experience — the Long Beach Press-Telegraph and the Los Angeles Times. To make matters even worse, Kushner also bought the Press Enterprise operation in Riverside, one of the most depressed economic regions in the State.
Well done, News Boy. As the old cliché goes, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You should have taken our advice.
Update: The LA Times updated their lead on the above linked story later today:
Dozens of veteran journalists have applied for voluntary buyouts at the Orange County Register, and those who haven’t are bracing for layoffs in the latest sign that the daily paper’s expansion is faltering.
Via Facebook from yesterday, political writer Martin Wisckol intends to stay on:
Thanks to you who’ve expressed interest and concern. I have a great job at the Orange County Register and am optimistic that I will continue to make it great job. As of Friday, by one tally, 35 people from the newsroom had signed up for the buyout. The deadline is Monday evening and it’s not at all clear that will be enough voluntary departures to avoid layoffs. Fingers crossed, and warm, hearty best wishes to all who’ve chosen to explore other avenues.