Names of 30 of the 32 OC Register Employees Laid Off--And Departing Reg Editor Sings A Song!: UPDATE

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Go to the very bottom of page 3 for the latest updates. . .

ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 16, 10 A.M. Several sources--via planes, trains, automobiles, smoke signals and even via the Weekly's anonymous tipster line, which NO ONE ever uses--are telling us The Orange County Register will be laying off reporters AND editors today. In fact, it's happening as I type this.

If so, the grand dream of Freedom Communications publisher Aaron Kushner--that the way out of the death of newspapers is to hire dramatically up, expand the newspaper and set up an Internet paywall--is over. And reality has set in.

See also: With the Los Angeles Register, Will Owner Aaron Kushner Meet His Waterloo?

"Layoffs coming today," said our anonymous tipster. "Already several senior reporters talking about getting cut loose."

Sources are naming names of people scheduled for the chopping block, but we won't print those until we get confirmation. But what we're hearing is that those laid off will mostly be long-timers at the Reg and will total about 30.

We've sent requests for comment to editor Ken Brusic and Minister of Information Eric Morgan. Details to come . . . and Reg reporters: feel free to reach out to me at the email below. Anonymity guaranteed.

See Also: Claim: Aaron Kushner Losing "Millions and Millions" of Dollars on OC Register

FIRST UPDATE, 11:39 A.M.: Media watcher extraordinaire Jim Romensko reports that one of his sources is describing the layoffs as "a blood bath . . . nearly every top manager replaced."

And one of those managers? The person we asked for confirmation: Editor Ken Brusic, who has been with the paper in an editor's role since 1989 and the big enchilada since 1997. Sources tell us Brusic is falling on his own sword rather than implement the cuts Kushner demanded.

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Photo by John Gilhooley
Brusic, at his office, in 2012

Although we had many differences with Brusic over the years, he was always gracious to all--gracious enough that he sat down with me for my story on the Register's resurgence back in 2012. And one quote in particular now stands out, not just because it was prophetic, but also because it's downright ominous for the rest of us in newspapers.

"Whatever happens, it will not be the people of the newsroom who will be part of [any] failure of that enterprise," he responded when I asked Brusic if he thought Kushner's hiring-up policy could succeed. "I worry about everything. . . . If we can't succeed, it can't succeed anywhere else."

In Brusic's place will be Rob Curley, who joined the Register a couple of years ago as a digital whiz kid. I'll have more names and a bit on Curley soon--but first, Little Saigon beckons for lunch . . . After the jump, a list of reporters who are leaving.

See Also: Aaron Kushner, Weenie OC Register Owner, Gets Mad at Reporter for Exposing Him as Unethical Weenie


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72 comments
lagunarohwer
lagunarohwer

High school sports is the first thing to go, at least in my experience at the L.A. Times. When the O.C. and Valley offices were shuttered around 2001 and the entire sports operation was moved downtown, we had a huge prep sports staff. But that was then. As cuts began the happen, it always began in preps. As the one remaining high school editor, when I was layed off in 2001, all that remained of our staff was columnist Eric Sondheimer, who is still carrying the banner by himself. It was a tough time, to be sure, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. After 23 years of service, with the last dozen or so under the "sword of Damacles," it was finally nice to be able to move on. Don't miss it a bit.

ussaisapolicestate
ussaisapolicestate

We practice selective annihilation of journalists and newspaper reporters, for example, to create a vacuum. Then we fill that vacuum. As the Police State advances ..peace is closer!

DavidZenger
DavidZenger

And they kept David Whiting? I guess there's always a market for celebrating Heroes who Deserve.

Sue Peterson
Sue Peterson

It's hard to pass as a white guy full of u know and dumb.

JAnderson
JAnderson

Good call Bernie.  They also totally control the Disney Corporation.

Stated on the front page of today's Register: Bob Curley, the new editor, has Walt Disney as his hero.

The OC Register will never fail with Disney indirectly funding 2100 Trust.

Wake up Gastavo!  Did pro-Disneyland people get laid off?

Wendy De La Puente
Wendy De La Puente

Marla Jo Fisher, the 'Deals Diva' confirmed on her 'frumpy middle aged mom' fb page she was laid off. I had been warning her for years. Frumpy and the word 'Journalist' don't mix!!

Bernie_Bernstein
Bernie_Bernstein

I'm so happy. We Jews now totally control the OC Register...... 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Gary Warner is a head-scratcher, indeed...usually, Travel Editors (who, more than most other columnists and reporters, cultivate a folksy bond with their readers...due to their sweeping writing styles and the deep affinity their audience has with the subject they cover) retire or die in their positions.  

From what I can recall, he seemed to handle the news side of his responsibilities very well -- e.g., keeping up with the changes in service at John Wayne Airport. 



And since he practically wet himself when a Customs and Immigration facility opened at our local airstrip, enabling nonstop travel to Cabo without going to that place that gives the affluent class of OC nightmares -- LAX -- he certainly seemed to represent the platinum blonde female and Tommy Bahama-shirt wearing male baby boomers who subscribe to the Register



It really appears to come down to money...pay a veteran staffer a good salary and benefits, or, fill your travel section with cheaper syndicated material and freelancer bylines.  



But since Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz are in charge...maybe they plan to make Travel a sponsored section.  I can see it now...The Terranea Resort Travel section.  And for the 714 zip codes: The Morongo Travel section, or the San Manuel Travel section. 

GrimJimCrowley
GrimJimCrowley

Ron Gonzales is a friend of mine. This is really a shame, he's a great guy. I don't know the details about the people let go, but was it staff near or at retirement? 

BBAIN
BBAIN

This may sounds crazy, but I like the Register and the Weekly - the Register for it's local news and business news and the Weekly for it's restaurant reviews and top 10 type lists, as well as the juicy news stories.  However, in a day where everything I've read has declared print newspaper dead, why would Kushner decide to go "all in"?  Clearly the guy's not stupid, or is he?  Usually stupid people don't amass great sums of money - maybe he was a trust fund baby?  The fact that they started requiring a digital subscription really irked me.  BTW - I used to have a paper route for the afternoon Register circa 1992-1995 where I delivered papers on my bike and I made a whopping $80 per month.  Booya!  Great story Gustavo.

NoCuteNameinOC
NoCuteNameinOC

My opinion: the only way for a local publication to be relevant is to allow access to ALL.  Fill it up with advertising...fine...but the integrity of community journalism is challenged when access is only given to those who pay for it.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

"OC Register Lays Of Big names Today" Passed the spell check eh, klavito?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Don't worry, the OC Register is working for the Diocese of Orange now... they will save the day

concepcionimmaculada
concepcionimmaculada

Even the LA times gives people the ability to read a certain number of articles each month before they toss out the pop-up window telling you "Sorry, no more for you this month unless you pay! But please feel free to look at the headlines and banner ads!"...although the actual number of articles they let you read 'per month' seems to have been reduced as time goes on - and they might have some kind of problem with whatever they've got monitoring the length of time and how many articles an individual has read. Last I checked a month is NOT 44 days.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

The Deals Diva?!  I like Marla Jo.  I follower her Facebook page and she does have some good deals and suggestions!

FilipinaMermaid
FilipinaMermaid

So basically they're keeping the staff who can't write a decent article to save a life?? My biggest problem with the OCR is their mantra seems to be "No grammar skills? No problem! No writing skills? NO PROBLEM!!"

isahagun4
isahagun4

Nancy Luna gets to stay ?! @gustavoarrellano she should be the first one chopped! !

Kara Udziela
Kara Udziela

Of course that's the trend. It has been the same forever in any industry.

Billy Folsom
Billy Folsom

Hope it works better for them than it has for the City of Costa Mesa.

RachelKnott
RachelKnott

That's what happens when you stop including a weekly TV guide and I cancel my subscription.

ireneadler
ireneadler

Subscribed when I first moved down here 10 years ago but never read papers anymore.  Used the online version a lot, totally lost me when they paywalled it.  I would have been willing to pay $30 a year or $9.99 a quarter for it.  They totally overpriced it.   Don't recognize most of the names leaving, except for Marla Jo Fisher - her column was perfect for the web version - local deals and links to click on.  Would not work in print and with them losing probably 90% of their page viewers, it's not suprising.   OC Weekly, you should consider picking up her column - it was a useful local resource.  (I don't know her, I'm not her mother....)

RocketJ
RocketJ topcommenter

Please tell me that Dave Bootlicking, er Whiting was shown the door.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Did that old guy that does the amazing graphics survive the cut?

David Cahill
David Cahill

Day that paywall went up was the day I stopped reading the register, no way I was going to pay 5 times what I pay for Netflix on a monthly basis

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

I guess with no reporters and editors, the LA Register is going to be staffed with ghosts.  Maybe the same ones that are Aaron Kushner's investors....



20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

In the US, capital is allowed to move fairly easily -- it's what makes our economy resilient, but it gives me sadness to see people suddenly lose their paychecks with only 5 minutes notice.  So, if there's any message in these layoffs, it's that you don't owe your employer anything but a solid day's effort; no more, no less.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@JBinOCI ALWAYS read Gary. Sure, he wasn't hard news, but he knew his shit. His two-parter this year on the Lincoln Highway was poetry...

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

This. Ridiculous what they were charging. Subscription to the Economist is less.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@20ftjesus 

I do sympathize with the people who lost their jobs...but I believe the "Right Wing Rag" deserves to wither and die.

LBCityGirl
LBCityGirl

@MikeRuehle@LBCityGirl
Mr. Reuhle, if your internet stalking is intended to terrify me-- it is working. If you keep it up, I will contact the authorities.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@GustavoArellano@ireneadler 

The Weekly has its own Marla Jo Fisher...

the "Poorman," who, like Ms. Fisher, matches the paper's demographics just perfectly....


MikeRuehle
MikeRuehle

@MikeRuehle@LBCityGirl

@MikeRuehle@LBCityGirl The articles at the links Jeanine Birong (anonymous LBCityGirl) asks you to read in her above tirade no longer exist.  Likewise several other mean spirited articles and comments posted on multiple other blogs using LBCityGirl.  Ms. Birong can no longer hide behind her anonymity using moniker LBCityGirl.  But she can't stop talking BS and has now switched to using the name "X" when commenting about me. 


Ms. Birong is trying desperately to cover her tracks by deleting her past comments as LBCityGirl.  However, not before I copied those articles and the not so wonderful comments and lies Ms. Birong wrote about me. 


http://greaterlongbeach.com/?s=LBCityGirl&searchsubmit=Search


I'm still patiently waiting for those authorities to show up at my door.  

MikeRuehle
MikeRuehle

@LBCityGirl @MikeRuehle

Jeanine Birong (LBCityGirl) reminds me of Demi Moore’s portrayal of Meredith Johnson in the movie “Disclosure.”It’s about a male computer specialist who is sued for sexual harassment by Meredith, a former lover turned boss, who initiated the act forcefully and then threatened to ruin his career and personal life.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109635/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_29


Ms. Birong claims I am cyber stalking her.How about we discuss the facts.“I” posted a blog on Belmont Shore Patch on 1/6/14 titled “Long Beach Most Dangerous City.”It was meant as a parody of Long Beach’s recent announcement of the city’s lowest crime in 41 years.Ms. Birong became incensed with my blog and posted OVER 25 comments, many disrespectful, threatening and name-calling. As a joke, I suggested she utilize her own advice on a dog collar she recommended on-line.At that point, Ms. Birong accused me the first (of many) times of cyber stalking her for finding her linked dog collar recommendation and told me was afraid of me.YET, her concern didn’t prevent Ms. Birong from commenting 8 more times on that blog AFTER claiming I was stalking her. Also consider, Ms. Birong has so far commented on MY Patch blogs 133 times since 1/1/14 and 52 times over the past 24 hours.I look forward to Ms. Birong claiming this isn’t so.


I do love data.It turns out Patch’s blogging system sends me an email every time someone posts a comment to one of my blogs.The email identifies the person and provides their comment.It also indicates when someone attempts to tone down or delete one of their past inflammatory comments.While Ms. Boring claims I am cyber stalking her, my Patch emails of her inflammatory comments and her later attempt to delete her comments tell a different story of someone intent upon crushing my opinion in any manner possible, including repeated requests to editors to have my blogs and comments censored.So far, she’s been pretty successful.Many of my blogs and comments have been removed from Patch.


Here’s the kicker.  As if constant criticism of my blogs isn’t enough for her, Ms. Birong also emailed me anonymously at my personal home email address. It wasn’t until recently I found out the anonymous emails from LBCityGirl were actually from Ms. Birong. So I ask how did she find my personal email address?Did it just fall out of the sky?Or is Meredith Johnson (Jeanine Birong) the one doing the cyberstalking?

LBCityGirl
LBCityGirl

@MikeRuehle@LBCityGirlYou do realize that when a woman expresses the feeling that you are stalking her, and then you proceed to further threaten and stalk her, it is cause for concern?


Not only is it completely untrue that I posted 63 insulting and name calling comments (probably one or two were borderline, but c'est la vie....), but you are literally telling me to put a bark collar on--and have done so on more than one occasion. In addition, LBCityGirl has not been anonymous in several years. It is my known by-line for a column I occasionally write at GreaterLongBeach.com.  Frankly, I am sure my editor Mr. David Wielenga probably appreciates all of the free press we are now receiving.

As for my comment, "People still read newspapers???" It was intended humorously, because I believe newspaper readership is down because a large number of people no longer get newspaper subscriptions for numerous reasons. It doesn't bother me at all the you want to misinterpret it as an "insensitive comment."

I have not once posted a threatening comment toward you. That is a completely ludicrous accusation. You have, however, repeatedly commented that it's your opinion that you believe I should use bark control on myself. Who exactly is bullying who?


I am not really sure what it is that you think you are accomplishing by writing completely untrue things about me and then posting them on every single area Patch in Southern California, (https://www.google.com/search?q=jeanine+birong&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#filter=0&q=jeanine+birong&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbs=qdr:d) following me around to my comments at OC Weekly and posting my real name, and then posting about this on my story about holiday window painting ( Please everyone go read it!) http://greaterlongbeach.com/30/12/2013/last-look-through-the-windows-into-our-holiday-anxieties....

But if think that that isn't threatening behavior designed to silence my writing and self expression on the internet, you may want to consult a lawyer to let him help you decide whether or not you are guilty of cyberstalking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberstalking


Please note in the article I posted about cyberstalking from wikipedia that there are several aspects to cyberstalking that you have subjected me to in the last 48-72 hours: 

  • False accusations. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them. They post false information about them on websites.  They post allegations about the victim to newsgroups, chat rooms, or other sites that allow public contributions.
  • Monitoring their target's online activities in an effort to gather more information about their victims.
  • Encouraging others to harass the victim. Many cyberstalkers try to involve third parties in the harassment. They may claim the victim has harmed the stalker in some way, or may post the victim's name and telephone number in order to encourage others to join the pursuit.
  • False victimization. The cyberstalker will claim that the victim is harassing him/her. This phenomenon has been noted in a number of well-known cases.

I am repeating that you please leave me alone.

MikeRuehle
MikeRuehle

@LBCityGirl@MikeRuehle Put your bark collar on Jeanine Boring (LBCityGirl).  You like to post insensitive comments anonymously, like the 63 insulting and name calling comments you posted to my two Patch board postings last week.  Let's see if you keep it up now that people know WHO you are.  By the way, call the cops.  I'd love to show them your threatening and name calling comments.

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