LA Times Sports Columnist T.J. Simers Moving to OC Register: A Marriage Doomed from the Start?

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NOW I know why Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers was spotted a couple of weeks ago at the Brea Mall buying a lanyard from a sports store: he had probably just talked with his new bosses at the Orange County Register.

Although nothing has been officially announced, LA Observed reports it's as good as done, even running excerpts of a letter Simers sent to USA Today explaining his decision: that he wants to go to a newspaper that's growing, that the "Register experiment to beef up the paper reminds me of the thrill I felt when I got into this business" blah blah blah--obviously, Simers not only drank Register owner Aaron Kushner's Kool-Aid, he's swimming in it.

If it happens, it's a stunning coup for the Register. We're fans of Simers (although Clockwork Coker says he was better when all he wrote about was football), especially loving his fusillades against the high-and-mighty of Southern California sports--it was he, after all, who coined the Angry Arte nickname to describe Angels owner Arte Moreno. We just might have to visit bugmenot.com more often to get more codes to break the Reg's paywall. And it's because we're fans that we're warning Simers right now: beware. BEWARE.

Simers has made a career out of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Problem is, that's the type of journalism Kushner loathes, even telling his newsroom as such. The Reg has never had a columnist as antagonistic against the comfortable since the legendary Randy Youngman (whose Page 2 slot Simers will take over) was calling Angels non-slugger Mo Vaughn "Moo" and trashing Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere at every chance. Simers writes with a Howitzer, not the lace napkin Kushner wants his reporters to use. It'll be especially interesting to see what's going to happen when Simers starts trashing Angry Arte, given the Angels are huge advertisers with the Reg to the point where subscribers can get cheap seats for free as part of their subscription. And just wait until Simers discovers who Don Bren is...

Over-under on how long until Aaron Smalley tells the Reg's sports editors to tone Simers down?

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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9 comments
Marc Knack
Marc Knack

A good fit. Terrible paper and terrible writer. Good thing only subscribers will be able to read his garbage.

Arturo Robles
Arturo Robles

T.J. don't let the door hit you where the dog should of bit you....OC..Dont say LA never gave you anything..Dirt Cheap!

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

You've really got to hate where you're currently employed when you embrace the periodical Titanic that is the Orange County Register.  Or maybe Simers knows that Rupert Murdoch will soon have the registration papers for the Times (and will be downgrading the air travel arrangements for its sports journalists to bartered tickets from Spirit Airlines)?  


Kushner and Spitz are truly following the Orange County playbook the hometown Angels did in the late '70s/early '80s (and early '10s)...i.e. bring in big names to (try and) create some buzz.  Except for maybe Brad A. Johnson, it's not going to bring a lot of Pulitzers, but a lot of [Josh] Hamiltons (and a lot less Benjamins and Andrew Jacksons to the Accounts Receiveables department). 

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@JBinOC Don't forget: Edwin beat Johnson in head-to-head competition at the OC Press Club!

Patric
Patric

@GustavoArellano @JBinOC And don't forget, Edwin had 52 weeks to compete. Johnson had merely 3 weeks worth of content to enter in the competition. Not exactly head-to-head. But whatever. 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@GustavoArellano @JBinOC  

Yes, having Edwin and Johnson on our local culinary court conjures another Johnson -- Magic -- and Larry Bird.  And regarding awards, don't forget: Nancy Luna has the words "Golden Foodie Award winner" before her name.  

 

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