Aaron Kushner, the new owner of Freedom Communications, will be a hands on owner and will serve as the publisher of The Orange County Register. He’ll be directly managing the day-to-day operations of Orange County Register Communications which includes 23 community papers as well as the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Spanish-language newspaper Excélsior, in addition to OrangeCounty.com and Coast Magazine. Ken Brusic stays on as editor.
The Orange County Business Journal reports that Kushner plans to introduce a “subscriber first” strategy. The goal is “making content richer and more valuable to subscribers,” OCBJ reports Kushner told employees on July 26.
To that we say “amen.” But for Orange County’s more than 500,000 registered Democrats, the paper doesn’t live up to its corporate parent’s name of “Freedom” Communications. News columnists and editorial page writers skew center/right. The best a liberal or a bulldog Democrat could hope for is a “Reader Rebuttal.” Under the guise of the Register’s writers, global warming/climate change is a fraud and scientific fact is subject to debate, public employee unions are always overpaid and have very generous pensions (which average about $29,000), and lobbying by the California Teacher’s Association (at $6 million annually) is a travesty while AT&T’s annual $18 million in lobbying is corporate free speech. Even FreedomPolitics.com reeks of right wing claptrap. The Register does have an online “from the Left” column and good luck finding it.
So welcome to Orange County Mr. Kushner. There’s a whole host of us who used to subscrive to the Register. Three papers hit my driveway every morning: The New York Times, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal. Now the first two skew left and the last skew right, but all three publish editorial opinion columns from both a liberal and conservative persecptive. The LA Times runs conservative writer Jonah Goldberg. The NY Times has a policy encouraging Letters to the Editor from right wingers earning a better shot at publication. The Wall Street Journal runs op-eds from people like Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
Who’s the Register’s resident liberal columnist? You don’t have one. Want to grow circulation? Allow the paper to become what it should be — a free market for ideas from the broad spectrum of right to left. There are a lot of us lefties out there counting on you, Mr. Kushner, to bring balance to the Force. Pleas