The Orange County Register announced its launching a new paper in August called the OC Post. Basically, a tighter and shorter tabloid that repurposes content form the Register. In the story, OC Post will have a staff of 20 but it looks like these are current Register employees and no new jobs — and very likely no additional compensation for the reporters and editors. The success of these shorter tabs nationally is mixed at best. If I already subscribe to the Register, what do I need the OC Post for? I get four newspapers a day (the Register, the LA Times, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal).
It looks like another vehicle to sell ads; a better move would be for the Register to acquire a local radio station and create an all-news format to better handle breaking news, repurpose content from the paper and maybe provide a talk radio forum for the editorial staff.
The fundamental problem with corporate media is Wall Street’s unrealistic expectations of 20 percent profit every year.
When the ad market is maximized, then the only solution is to cut costs meaning a smaller paper, shorter stories, fewer reporters and editors chasing the stories with the sort of reporting that really matters. What’s needed is publisher’s with the testicular fortitude to stand up to Wall Street to reset expectations.
Or, some savvy investors to take these public or partially public media groups private, Shoot, many businesses would be delighted with a 10 percent profit year over year. Invest the profits to do true investigative pieces and really journalism instead of the some of the more slanted journalism we get today.