Register Brass Celebrate LA Register while 66 Take Buyout in OC



Denial is not just a river in Egypt.  According to OC Weekly, 66 experienced Register editors, columnists and reporters are leaving the paper accepting a buyout or face a possible layoff that could have totaled 100 people.  And what’s not posted at OC Weekly is the elimination of freelance columnists and contributors like Newport Beach’s Barbara Venezia.

And in the midst of this devastation (there’s really no other word), the Register’s management team decided to throw a party to celebrate the expansion of Freedom Communications into the Los Angeles market.  The party, posted and promoted on the Register’s Facebook page, was held at the House of Blues in Anaheim (kind of appropriate when you think about it).

Was this an Irish wake?

From the post:

The Register is celebrating our expansion into LA and across Southern California with customers and business partners at House of Blues Anaheim tonight! Pictured from left to right: Ryan Cueva from Omega Events; Freedom VP of Revenue Mike Burns; Wing Lam, co-founder of Wahoo’s Fish Taco.

This sort of event is a couple of months late and it’s ill-timed to say the least. It was dumb.

I wish Register management would value the experience of some of these senior editors and reporters who have great institutional knowledge of Orange County, its political figures and its political past.  The kids at the paper have a real opportunity to do a lot and learn a lot, but without the expectation that they’ll actually make a living wage here.  No word on how many high pay business-side management team members resigned or might be let go, but the LA Register may have a shorter lifespan than the Long Beach Register or OC Post.  Perhaps the best strategy for Freedom’s management team is to sell the chain to someone who actually knows quality journalism is what sells newspapers; not fluff.

Keep checking back with OC Weekly on updates on who else is leaving and try to ignore the petty side shots at some departing reporters.  The fact is what’s happening with the Grey Lady of Grand Street is a tragedy.

The OC Press Club is taking the buyouts and furloughs to the next level by announcing these events in an email to members:

Bloodbath and Beyond

The board decided the appropriate way to respond to the buyouts at the Orange County Register is to, also quoting from “Animal House,” drink heavily. Therefore, our next event will be held Tuesday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Lark Creek in Newport Beach. Please buy a newsperson a cocktail at “Bloodbath & Beyond,” as we toast scores heading for new careers. All are welcome. The restaurant management will extend Happy Hour for our group to closing time. Please say thanks.

Furlough Fridays Kick Off June 27

We also want to help out those who remain at the Register, but who must take two weeks of unpaid “fur-cations” by the end of July. Thus, we announce Furlough Fridays! The first is scheduled for 6 p.m., June 27 at Paul’s Cocktails in the Orange circle area. If you have a proposed location for July 11, 18 or 25, send it along (We’ll pass on July 4, figuring you’ll already be celebrating).



  6 comments for “Register Brass Celebrate LA Register while 66 Take Buyout in OC

  1. Sherree
    June 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

    It defies logic that “OC Register” management insists on publicizing these culpable events at a time of crisis for the paper. One editor tweeted that he went to an Angels game while his staff struggled to publish a daily newspaper with fewer hands on deck. How can they not realize this damning evidence of profligate behavior can and will be used against them–especially by outlets actively looking for it? It’s one thing for a party attendee to post this pic to their Facebook page, quite another for the Register to make it an official announcement and post it to their own. As someone on “OC Weekly” put it, the Register’s PR person must have taken a buyout.

  2. Gustavo Arellano
    June 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Good ol’ Dan, never stopping to take a pot shot at us…get over yourself, and go back to reporting on such hard news as the Bloviator making an ass of himself…

  3. June 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    You’re patently unfair to many of the journalists over there. For someone who lives to take pot shots at others, you have onion-thin skin.

  4. June 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Interesting Gustavo; go to and type in “Village Voice Media Layoffs” and there are dozens of stories about layoffs, doom and gloom at the Register, the LA Times and other publications but only two stories about troubles at OC Weekly.

    you have to dig for Commie Girl’s final column and news of her departure:
    her final column is here and how many of the folks she names are gone?

    No word of the layoff in 2011: But you can read about it in FishBowlNY here

    then there’s the news of layoffs at Village Voice Media in 2013 that I don’t remember reading about in OC Weekly:
    and in 2012:
    and in 2012 again….

    You know what? Its a tragedy everytime a publications cuts jobs; its distasteful watching someone take such delight in a sinking ship from their own leaky boat.

  5. Greg Diamond
    June 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

    You can have an up close and exclusive interview with my ass anytime you’d like, Gustavo. It’s more than willing to speak to you directly and forcefully.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    June 23, 2014 at 5:04 am

    try not to toot Diamond

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