Register Newsroom Even Roomier?

LA Observed's Kevin Roderick hints at something in his Media Notes that we here at the Weekly have been unable to confirm: there have been more staff reductions in a certain Santa Ana newsroom.

"Nudged early retirements, and possibly layoffs, have returned at the Orange County Register, a newsroom source says after meetings today," Roderick posted Thursday.

The Weekly has rumors citing specific numbers and positions cuts, but has not yet received confirmation from brass at the Register or Irvine-based corporate overlords, Freedom Communications. There are also no stories posted on indicating the newsroom staff has been reduced.

Hopefully someone is left there to report that if it's true. Because the news would be slightly surprising because . . . there are folks left to cut at the Register? Small pox left more people standing.

Besides, after so many left--some voluntarily even--Freedom and the Register emerged from bankruptcy claiming to be a leaner and meaner operation. They may be more so now.

Meanwhile, over at the Los Angeles Times, the Calendar staff is down at least one reporter with the departure of Maria Elena Fernandez, who wrote the following email to her bosses (Russ Stanton is the editor and Davan Maharaj is the ME) that describes "hostile work conditions":

Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:08 PM
To: Stanton, Russ; Maharaj, Davan
Cc: Firouzi, Yasmin
Subject: Resignation: effective immediately


I am sorry to inform you that I have decided to resign from the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper that has been my home and my job for nearly 12 years. For 10 of those years, this was the best job I ever had and I will take those memories, knowledge and experiences wherever I go.

This is not a decision I've come to lightly or impulsively. But I cannot work under these hostile work conditions anymore. Calendar has become a complete nightmare to work in, and it is just time to go.

Thank you for all the opportunities that you gave me. I really will remember this newsroom fondly. I am in the process of getting my personal stuff together but plan to leave the building as soon as I can. You can reach me at [home email address] if you need to.

I know that very soon I will have only positive memories of the LA Times to focus on. There are many wonderful people here, and I will miss you very much.

Maria Elena

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