Is the Register Going Tabloid?

After Frank Mickadeit’s hit piece on Larry Agran today, this news doesn’t surprise me.

Editor & Publisher reports:

NEW YORK The Orange County Register is studying a change to tabloid format after an internal task force review of money-saving options proposed the move along with several other changes.

Terry Horne, president and publisher of the Santa Ana, Calif., daily, confirmed that the option is being reviewed and that prototypes will likely be created in the coming weeks or months. He said the proposal is one of several money-saving ideas that came out of a newspaper-wide review of cost-cutting measures in August by several “cross-departmental teams.”

“It would be easier to read,” Horne said about a tabloid approach. “It depends on what size tab, half a broad sheet or a long tab. You would have to determine the format.”

The review comes just months after the Register, owned by Freedom Communications, reduced its broadsheet size from a 50-inch web to a 46-inch size in June.

“We are studying it, everyone is studying everything,” said Horne. “Everything that might save money and hopefully appeal to readers more.”

The tabloid review comes as the Register suffered a daily circulation drop from 284,613 to 250,724 for the six months ending March 31, 2008, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ last FAS FAX report. The paper also went from 329,551 to 311,982 on Sunday during the same period.

It would be terrific if the paper’s editorial pages were a tad more purple when it comes to its syndicated columnists.

  7 comments for “Is the Register Going Tabloid?

  1. Eric Cooper
    September 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    A perfect idea, if you ask me. I’m surprised that ol’ RC Hoiles did not think of that years ago! (dating myself here!)

  2. Homewrecker
    September 9, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    What took them so long? Based on their letters to the editor alone it is often difficult to distinguish the OC Reg from the Enquirer.

  3. September 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Dan,
    Just posted this myself. I got it in my inbox and thought it bizzare.
    As to the tabloid….They mean size, not content….but you never know…

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    September 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Oh I know they mean size, but I can’t think of a single daily tab thats respected. Barron’s is weekly. The Register needs to recognize the market has changed. OC isn’t nearly the Right wing bastion its become

  5. Homewrecker
    September 9, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Like most newspapers, their hard-copy circulation is dropping. I also notice that at newspaper racks, often the one for the LA Times will be empty and the one for the OC Register half-full.
    The quality of writing in the OCR leaves much to be desired; but I think they are better at covering general OC news than the LAT, which even in its regional papers tends to focus on the entire LA area. I agree that they tend to run opinion pieces only by right-wing standard-bearers, whereas the LAT has more of a balance. The LAT really pissed me off when it hired Micheal Kinsey, who was too snooty to live in LA full-time, and then replaced Robert Scheer with Jonah Goldberg. They made a few dreadful mistakes that cost them a lot of their subscribers.

  6. September 10, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    “I can’t think of a single daily tab thats respected.”

    What about the Chicago Sun Times or the Boston Herald.

    Le Monde or the Daily Mail?

    The Rocky Mountain News?

    Or my favorite….The Scotsman?

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    September 10, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I’m going to retract my comment but not for any of the papers you mention.

    The Boston Herald is not a respected paper. They have a couple of decent reporters and one good columnist. The Sun Times isn’t bad but its no Tribune.

    I’ll give you a respected Tabloid: OC Weekly. Probably the best investigative journalism in OC. I also love the Village Voice. I published a story in the Boston Phoenix in the early 1990s; good paper.

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