NY Times: Aaron Kushner to Lay Off Even More People

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Stuart Kushner: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it: layoffs like me!"

The New York Times checked in on Aaron Kushner today regarding the Los Angeles Times lawsuit against him. Kudos to the Grey Lady for citing our comparison of the Kush to Wimpy (though wonder why they didn't identify the Popeye pal by name...), and for getting Kushner to spout off even more platitudes ("We just had a nicely profitable month...we're going to have a nicely profitable quarter"--this after a mass round of layoffs and the shuttering of the Los Angeles Register) and pablum about persecution ("I do know that the L.A. Times has been spreading rumors about us to try and hurt our business" says the man accused of not paying millions of dollars in bills and stiffing delivery drivers).

But tossed off as an aside, with no followup whatsoever, was this line by reporter Christine Haughney: "And [Kushner] confirmed there would be additional layoffs at Freedom Communications, in a year in which job cuts have already been made."

This, in a year where there's been TWO rounds of job cuts at the Register and two shutterings of newspapers.


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OC Register Reduced to Begging Readers to Become their Delivery Drivers

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"Deliver me from evil!"

The fallout from Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner stiffing the Los Angeles Times on delivery bills and striking out on his own continues. Not only was there a lawsuit, not only were the new delivery drivers incompetent, not only did Kushner blame it all on the Times--but now the Reg is putting inserts into its paper essentially begging Orange County to deliver its paper because no one else wants to.

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OC Reg Customer Service Rep: I'm Sorry for the "Lies" I Must Tell Subscribers

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Photo by Kevin Liu
Kushner: Wake the flock up!

Crazy but true: I've received dozens of emails from Orange County Register subscribers who think we're the Reg and proceed to let me have an earful about their delivery problems. I direct them to our coverage of Reg owner Aaron Kushner, and they always thank me for being far more transparent about the Register's problems than the Reg is. Then they say something along the line of never expecting such professionalism from the Weekly--and that we now have a new reader.

WOW. Maybe I should take into consideration the advice from my superiors that I act more mature...HA!

Anyhoo, the Reg's customer service reps must know that readers are reaching out to me, because they keep sending me letters to publish in which they try to reach out directly to subscribers via me to apologize. Here's one such letter--anonymous, of course--in which the rep claims she's been ordered to lie to subscribers.


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Lawsuit: LA Times Says OC Register Owner Aaron Kushner Won't Pay Bills, Keeps Tips of Delivery Drivers

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Flickr user MBransons
"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a newspaper today"

The Weekly obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed yesterday by the Los Angeles Times against the Orange County Register for unpaid distribution bills, and it's a hoot. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims to know Reg owner Aaron Kushner's true modus operandi when it comes to the newspaper industry: He's a moocher in the vein of Wimpy, Popeye's rotund pal who'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

But even ol' J. Wellington had a regal air to him when explaining why he couldn't pay up. In emails attached to the court filing, Kushner's carefully crafted public persona as a cool-headed Stanford grad is exposed as a farce, and the the true Kush emerges: a man way over his head who's begging his debtors not to chop off his proverbial thumbs--in this case, the distribution routes for the Register that the Times had run since 2009. Too late!


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Aaron Kushner Steps Down as OC Register Publisher in Favor of a...CASINO GUY?!

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Onward and downward...

In a stunning admission of failure, Aaron Kushner has stepped down as publisher of the Orange County Register effective immediately. In a not-stunning admission of cluelessness, Kushner has stepped aside in favor of one of his investors, whose only experience as a newspaper guy is in working at a casino--which is to say, Richard Mirman has no newspaper experience whatsoever.

Okay, let out your mixed gambling metaphors here--Kushner doesn't know when to hold or fold them, rolled snake eyes; he's a flea, a chalk eater, a dumb double-downer--and let's get on with the post.


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Aaron Kushner, Re: OC Register's Delivery Disaster: It's the LA Times' Fault

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Stuart Kushner: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it: the LA Times are meanies!"

Now, as the rest of the media is covering the Orange County Register delivery debacle that has subscribers delivering their own papers and that has the Los Angeles Times wanting over $3.5 million in unpaid bills, Reg owner Aaron Kushner has owned up to the problem and found the culprit: it's the Times, silly!

Kushner said so as much in an email yesterday sent to all staff and obtained by the Weekly. It's quite remarkable in that Kushner never fully repudiates the Times' claims of missed payments and ballooning debt; instead he only admits to "regular weekly payments and payment term conversations"--doublespeak for "I'm on a payment plan, and the Times is about to call Crusher and Lowblow to collect."


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OC Register Subscribers Reduced to Delivering Their Own Papers After Kushner's Distribution Disaster

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As Kushner sings, "La la lalalala la lala la la"

How bad are Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner's delivery woes in the wake of the Los Angeles Times wanting to collect on $3.5 million in unpaid bills for delivering the Reg? It's not just 30,000+ complaint-calls bad: it's Reg readers--reduced-to-delivering-their-own-papers bad.

At least that's how Register subscriber Sarah Fenton tells it. She was kind enough to provide the following dispatch from the field.


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LA Times: OC Register Owner Aaron Kushner Owes Us $3.5 Million, And We Want it NOW

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BOOM!

The gloves are off between the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner over him owing them millions of dollars for distributing his paper--and it looks like it just might end up in court.

As we reported in September, the Times decided to stop distributing the now-defunctLos Angeles Register and the OC edition because of the unpaid bills. The subsequent new carriers caused chaos in OC this past weekend, with tens of thousands of phone calls, hundreds of angry Facebook posts, and untold emails. Today, in response to a Weekly query about the tussle, the Times spelled out in exacting detail their claims against Kushner: that he owes them at least $3.5 million in unpaid bills, that the Kush is violating the contract that he had with the Times by having the Register distributed by another carrier, and that they want their money--or else.

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OC Register Employee: 30,000+ Complaint Calls This Weekend Over Delivery Screwups

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Aaron Kushner, in happier times

How disastrous of a weekend was it for the Orange County Register? Not only did their new print times royally screw over the Sports section, not only were customers royally pissed off about missed deliveries due to the Register's new carriers--carriers hired in a hurry after the Los Angeles Times told Reg owner Aaron Kushner they would no longer deliver his paper just a couple of weeks ago because the Kush hadn't paid his bills--but customers were REALLY pissed off. How pissed off?

Yesterday, the Register announced via Facebook it was handing out its Saturday and Sunday editions for free as penance for their fuckup. Whoa, you're just giving it away now--just like us!


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OC Register Sports Page Stuck w/Embarrassing UCLA Headline 'Cause of Earlier Press Time: UPDATE

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And another swing!

SECOND UPDATE, OCT. 5, 8:30 A.M.: So yesterday was one giant clusterfuck for the Register, their new carriers, and their new press time to appease said carriers, so much so that the paper had to run an unsigned story on their website since last night explaining what was going on.

But the biggest victim was the Sports section, who suffered the ignominy of not being able to publish the Los Angeles Dodgers' score in today's paper even though the game ended around 10pm yesterday--already past their new press time. Even worse, though, was the below headline, prompted wholly by the nuevo press time:

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