RIVERSIDE, Calif. (June 7, 2013) – The Press-Enterprise has hired five reporters for its Southwest edition in an effort to enhance and expand local news coverage after the closure of The Californian. The company’s Southwest edition serves the communities of Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Perris and Canyon Lake.

One reporter was added on a full-time basis, and four have been hired on a temporary basis. Each had worked for The Californian, which was closed on May 28.

“These are talented, knowledgeable, locally based journalists,” said Nels Jensen, Editor/VP of News & Content for The Press-Enterprise. “If we've learned anything in the newspaper business over the past few years, it's that we have to be better connected to our communities for us to succeed. These reporters are connected and well respected for their work in these communities. ”

The Press-Enterprise will be expanding it coverage and content for its Southwest edition in news, high school sports and entertainment.

The Californian was purchased by the U-T San Diego in September 2012, and in late October 2012 it was reduced from a stand-alone newspaper to an insert in the metro paper. The Press-Enterprise in early November responded by adding two staffers, including longtime Californian columnist John Hunneman, and creating a new expanded Southwest edition to offset the loss in local news coverage to the communities. This included a redesigned, more local Front Page and Sports section.

The Press-Enterprise plans to hold a number of forums with local community stakeholders in the seven Southwest Riverside County cities to listen to how the newspaper can best serve the needs of the communities.

“With the closing of The Californian, we’re creating an interim structure for increasing the scope and scale of local content while we determine the opportunity to convert, serve and retain former subscribers of The Californian,” Jensen said. “In three to four months it will be clearer how many subscribers we have picked up, which will better enable us to determine what level of resources we can sustain.”

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