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80-90 cuts expected at the OC Register (story published April 28)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Claws for Concern, Apr 28, 2008.

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  1. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    http://ocbiz.freedomblogging.com/2008/04/28/oc-register-to-cut-80-90-jobs/


    The Orange County Register and its affiliated publications will lay off between 80 and 90 employees, 5 percent of its workforce, because of continued decline in advertising revenues, President and Publisher Terry Horne said today.
    Horne cited Orange County’s sluggish economy, especially in real estate, as affecting the company’s revenues from local retail, automotive and classified advertising for jobs. The company provided no financial details about the decline in advertising revenue.
    This is the third round of layoffs in a year for Orange County Register Communications, the umbrella brand for the Register newspaper, web sites, magazines and other community publications. The company also completed a voluntary severance program to cut staff in 2006.
    The Register has sought to minimize staff reductions by making other cuts. In February the OC Post, a countywide, six-day-a-week tabloid, became a three-day-a-week, Irvine-only publication after being merged with the Irvine World News. In January, the Register newspaper’s business coverage was merged inside the main news section six days a week and the Business Monday tabloid was eliminated.
     
  2. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    Latest circulation figures show Reg down 11.9%, more than any paper in Top 25 in circulation and more than double the drop of the LA Times.

    From http://www.ocregister.com/articles/register-percent-circulation-2028796-newspaper-horne :

    "Fundamental shifts have occurred in how people acquire and use information, and this affects how they conduct business on the Internet and with newspapers," Horne said. "If we don't make large-scale changes now, there's no promise of a continually profitable and sustainable enterprise in the future."

    The Register has sought to minimize staff reductions by making other cuts. In February, the OC Post, a countywide, six-day-a-week tabloid, became a three-day-a-week, Irvine-only publication after being merged with the Irvine World News. In January, the Register newspaper's business coverage was merged inside the main news section six days a week and the Business Monday tabloid was eliminated.

    Newspapers nationwide are making cuts in the wake of a 23-year decline in circulation and more recent losses of advertising to the Internet.

    The nation's largest daily newspapers lost 3.5 percent in daily circulation and 4.5 percent on Sundays for the six months ended March 31, the Audit Bureau of Circulation said today. The Register's circulation declined 11.9 percent, to 250,724, daily and 5.3 percent, to 311,982, on Sundays, dropping from California's third-largest daily newspaper to fifth behind the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union-Tribune and Sacramento Bee.

    The layoffs are "going on everywhere," said John Morton, a Silver Spring, Md., newspaper consultant. "There may or may not be a recession nationwide, but the newspaper industry undoubtedly has been in a recession for a year and a half."

    "Newspapers are trying to protect their profit margins. They have to stop cost cutting and start investing," Morton said. "They are not going to be as profitable as they were in the past. But keep in mind, last year, publicly traded news companies had an average profit margin of 16.8 percent. Some industries couldn’t hope to get half that in a boom."
     
  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Sent to me via PM:

    Sports lost 2 people to the layoffs: Sports Editor Greg Gibson and veterans outdoors writer Dave Strege.
    Gibson had been at OCR since 1994 and was SE or Co-SE since 1998. He grew up in Carson and got into the biz at the Long Beach Press Telegram. He moved to Tacoma and was the SE there when that paper made its move to become the dominant paper in the Pacific Northwest and used sports as its vehicle to that status.
    Strege was a 30-year staffer at OCR and an Orange County native. He had covered the Rams and UCLA before taking over the outdoors beat a dozen or so years ago and he thrived in that role.
    Most of the OCR layoffs came from the "high-rent district" as at least two Deputy Editors and several other 30-plus year veterans were let go.
     
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member


    Hmmmm, age discrimination?
     
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Wow. The SE among the layoffs?
     
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Nope. Salary discrimination.
     
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Raleigh on Monday, the OCR on Tuesday... Which paper will lay a fuckload of people off on Wednesday?
     
  8. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a little bit of both to me.

    Morton is absolutely right. The cutting has to stop someplace. The trouble is, where?
     
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The scariest thing is that a lot of the places making cuts already made a round of cuts within the last several months...

    When will it end? Probably when at least a third of us are pulling unemployment...
     
  10. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Wow. The Register just had a layoff/buyout (I can't keep them straight) a few months ago.

    Gibson was a damn good SE there, universally respected by his staff and even respected on this front, even though he passed me up for a job once upon a long time ago.

    And you're right, steveu, about Morton. That quote should be blown up and displayed on billboards outside of newspapers' HQs. It perfectly encapsulates what kind of hara-kiri these suits are committing.
     
  11. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    The real answer on Gibson is somewhere in between, but it is amazing that an SE was part of the layoff. And with Chuck Scott changing job titles in San Diego to a sports inovation editor, that's two major SoCal SEs moved aside in a few months.
     
  12. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    So who is running the sports department in San Diego? Not to mention the OC?
     
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