100 Layoffs Happening at OC Register, Riverside P-E TODAY: UPDATE

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Here we go again!

1ST UPDATE, 11:40 A.M.: Here's a note from new Orange County Register publisher Rich Mirman explaining the layoffs to his crew. He confirmed what we broke--100 layoffs across the Register and the P-E.

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OC Register Sales Reps Ain't Getting Their Commissions this Thanksgiving

Current vs. Former OC Register Reporters in Facebook Free-for-All!

The Precious Kushner is driving people MAD

Morale has gotten so bad among former and current employees of the Orange County Register that they're now fighting among themselves on Facebook groups--the ultimate sign of desperation and cattiness.

I've known about a private Facebook group called OC Unregistered now for a while. Usually, it's a place for Reggers (Regites? Regenes? Registerians?) to share memories, job leads, and generally keep in touch. But as the reign of Freedom Communications owner Aaron Kushner has increasingly become like something out of Game of Thrones, the sniping because Kushner haters and the keeper of the page has lead to a schism.

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Rich Mirman Thinks He Can Save the OC Register

He delivers! (to your doorstep)
Courtesy Rich Mirman

The last thing Rich Mirman expected to do when he became the new publisher of the Orange County Register on Oct. 13 was to deliver newspapers--but he had no other choice. The daily was in a state of chaos, the grand journalism dreams of Register owner Aaron Kushner in shambles. Tens of thousands of subscribers hadn't received their paper for more than a week, the result of Kushner switching delivery companies after the Los Angeles Times claimed he owed them at least $2.5 million in unpaid delivery bills. That fiasco came just weeks after Kushner sold off the paper's longtime Grand Avenue offices, shut down the Los Angeles Register, and laid off about 30 reporters and editors--the second mass cutting in the newsroom this year alone. Irate phone calls and emails kept flooding the Register, with cancellations numbering in the thousands.

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More OC Register Problems: OC Metro Shuttered, Saddleback Issues, and...a Lobster Bake?

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From the OC Weekly Museum
BOOM! goes the dynamite!

The bad news just keeps coming for the Orange County Register, so much so that we gotta combine items now instead of pacing them out day by day. So on this day's edition of As the Kush Turns, we have the death of OC Metro, embarrassing proof that the Reg no longer has any institutional knowledge left, and...a lobster bake?! Read on...

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New OC Register Publisher Asks Reporters to Give Him One Hour a Week for Customer Service Calls

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Stuart Kushner: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it: It's now Mirman's mess!"

I'm still researching new-ish Orange County Register publisher Rich Mirman--the former casino executive who came in to clean up Reg owner's Aaron Kushner's mess--before writing anything extensive about him, but Mirman has already offended his newsroom in one big way: He's asking them to step up and become customer service reps for an hour a week.

It's strictly voluntary, mind you, and probably necessary after the fiasco that was Kushner switching delivery drivers and leaving Register subscribers without their daily drivel for weeks at a time (the switch came, of course, because Kushner wasn't paying his bills to his former delivery drivers, the Los Angeles Times). Nevertheless, Mirman's move isn't sitting well with reporters and editors, one whom put it thusly: "Mirman's a moron."

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R.C. Hoiles Gets Revenge on Aaron Kushner: Complaint Alleges OC Reg Owes Rent to Hoiles' Descendants


To show how much of a dingus Orange County Register owner is, consider a unlawful detainer filed October 28 in Orange County Superior Court against his company, Freedom Communications. The complaint charges that Kushner has not yet paid the September bill on the Anaheim facilities that serve as the offices for the Anaheim Bulletin and a printing plant for the paper. Total owed: $109,358.84 (penny-counting landlords, I swear...).

That Kushner has a funny habit of not paying bills is nothing new, of course. But what caught my attention is the landlord of the property: a mysterious LLC called Raymab.

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OC Register Shareholders Claim Newspaper is "Insolvent," Demand Judge Place it In Receivership

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The crater that is Aaron Kushner's ownership of the Orange County Register took another dramatic drop last week, when two shareholders with parent company Freedom Communications asked a judge in a Delaware court to take the paper away from the Kush and put it in a receivership, claiming Freedom is "insolvent." YOWZA!

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2014 Bob Dornan Scary OC Hall of Fame Inductee: Aaron Kushner!

Illustration by D. W. Frydendall
Gollum Kushner, gone mad with the precious

To coincide with our annual OC Scariest People issue, behold the 2014 entry into the Bob Dornan Scary OC Hall of fame...Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner!

Has anyone in Orange County history ever had a more dramatic, sudden fall from grace than Aaron Kushner? A bit over two years ago, the Boston millionaire strode into town announcing he was going to save the Reg from the newspaper industry's death throes by staffing up and fattening the paper. And he stuck to his word, garnering national media praise and being hailed as a journalism Jesus at an Orange County Press Club mixer in November 2012.

Just four months later, the Kush missed a delivery payment, and he told his investigative team that he didn't believe in comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. And that's where the REAL fun began.

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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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