OC Register owner to launch LA paper Wednesday, along with a series of regional editions
It is not every day that a new print newspaper is launched into a metro area. Come to think of it, when was the last time one was launched?
But tomorrow the Los Angeles Register, an offshoot of the Orange County Register, will debut. There paper will begin by distributing through retail outlets such as grocery stores, and via news racks. The in May home delivery will begin.
The new venture of publisher Aaron Kushner will have a small news staff of 40 or so. “Local coverage is the heart of what we do at the Register. We don’t look at Los Angeles as a sprawling metropolis, but as a collection of small communities. We want to tell their untold stories,” Ron Sylvester, editor of the the new paper said in the OC Register story.
Over the past 30 years papers have tried to expand into Los Angeles from their base in order to tap into the wealthy retail market. The Los Angeles Daily News has, at various times, tried to escape its San Fernando Valley base (the paper was launched in 1911 as the Van Nuys Call). Likewise, L.A. papers have tried to penetrate the wealthy Orange County area to expand their readership. Both strategies have not resulted in much success.
The problem, of course, is that LA is a city made up of valleys and the basin. Communities like Torrance, Santa Monica, Pasadena and Long Beach have had their own daily newspapers (The Santa Monica Outlook, formerly the Evening Outlook, was shuttered by the faltering Copley chain in 1998). Hearst once had the highest circulation newspapers in Los Angeles before making a series of blunders including choosing to merge Examiner and Herald-Express as an evening paper, leaving the Times and Mirror to merge as the Los Angeles Times as the morning paper.
In addition to the new Los Angeles Register, the chain will also roll out a series of community newspapers. They will include the San Gabriel Valley Register; Gateway Register, covering Whittier and La Mirada; Foothill Register, covering San Dimas, La Verne and Claremont; San Gabriel Valley Register, covering Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar and Walnut; LA Register West, covering West L.A. and West Hollywood; Arcadia Register, covering Arcadia, Duarte and Altadena; Crescenta Valley Register, covering Sunland, La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge North; Pasadena Register, covering Pasadena, South Pasadena and San Marino; Glendale-Burbank Register; and two San Fernando Valley editions.
The regional editions will launch between April 19 and May 11.
The move into L.A. comes not only at a time of dwindling newspaper readership, but at the same time the Tribune Company, owner of the Times, is looking to spin-off or sell its newspaper properties.