OC Register Death Watch Part Three

It's been just over a week since I wrote that the Orange County Register is in content-sharing talks with Dean Singleton's MediaNews Inc. and a week since Register publisher Terry Horne told one of his own reporters about his vision for saving the paper, including the formation of "a consortium with other companies, to be announced soon, that will share advertising and news content."

There's no evidence the reporter even asked Horne about my story about Singleton, which is pretty bizarre given that my sources at the paper say everyone is aware of it. I also received a nasty anonymous email from someone at the paper claiming I got my facts wrong. You can see that letter in our paper Thursday, as well as my response, which concerns evidence already emerging that the deal with Singleton--which my sources told me Horne had claimed was still being negotiated--is actually already in place.

Here's the evidence: Stories by Bill Plunkett, the Register's Anaheim Angels writer, are running in numerous Singleton newspapers, including the San Bernardino Sun, the Pasadena Star-News, and the Whittier Daily News. Meanwhile, Tony Jackson of Singleton's LA Daily News is appearing in the Register for Dodgers coverage. And more recently, there's this Feb. 22 story that ran in the San Mateo County Times--a Singleton paper--with a byline that says "By Kimberly Edds and Salvador Hernandez, MEDIANEWS STAFF."

What's so strange about that, you might ask?

Edds and Hernandez, if you haven't already figured it out, happen to be Register reporters.

As the former Register reporter who sent me that link remarked, the fact that Register bylines are already appearing in Singleton papers proves not only that the paper's management can't be trusted to tell the truth to its own staff, the paper can't even be trusted to report accurately on itself.

"Typical Register . . . to start something without telling readers or maybe even staff," he said. "Not sure how a newspaper expects to develop/maintain the trust of readers when the paper doesn’t even do a good job of reporting on itself."

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