September 23, 2014 Last Updated 7:51 pm

Freedom Communications shutters print edition of the Los Angeles Register, makes staff cuts

Owner of the Orange County Register will end home delivery of its LA start-up newspaper on September 24 and transition brand to the web

The publisher of the Orange County Register, Freedom Communications, said today that it would end home delivery of its start-up daily, the Los Angeles Register, effective September 24. The company said it would maintain its web presence for the paper to keep the brand alive.

Later this afternoon, the Los Angeles Times reported that layoffs then occurred that included “a mix of both Los Angeles and Orange County reporters and editors.”

LARegister-smAaron Kushner, co-owner and CEO of Freedom Communications, seemed to put the blame on the readers.

“As strong a newspaper as our team produced, our business model is a virtuous circle. The more support we have from the community, the more we can invest back into the communities we serve. And if the support is not at a level that matches our investment, we have to adapt and make adjustments as we’ve done today with the Los Angeles Register,” Kushner said.

The launch of a daily newspaper into the Los Angeles market was as ambitious as it was foolhardy. Launched only in April of this year, the effort was obviously poorly funded and conceived.

Los Angeles has proved a difficult market for many newspaper companies. Originally the home of both Hearst Newspapers and the Times Mirror Company, four daily newspapers served the basin of LA, which newspapers ringed its valleys and suburbs. Hearst and Times Mirror consolidated its four papers into two, forming the Herald Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, with the stronger company, Hearst, foolishly choosing to make the Herald Examiner an afternoon paper. With a long strike at the Hearst newspaper through the sixties, the LA Times emerged as the dominate newspaper.

The Herald Examiner was closed in the late eighties when Hearst fumbled with various strategies including creating an all color newspaper (that it deemed too expensive) and a NY Post styled tabloid (which the company abandoned when the company’s NYC executives finally realized there was no subway in LA).

At one point, the Tribune Company owned Daily News, which served the San Fernando Valley, attempted to enter the LA basin, but found few new readers. Ironically, it was the Tribune Company that bought out Times Mirror and owns the Times today.

Silly moves continue. Kushner said that those who are currently subscribing to the Los Angeles Register in Long Beach will begin receiving the Orange County Register, despite Long Beach being part of LA County, and very much its own community.

Comments are closed.