'OC Register' Begins Newsroom Layoffs

By: The Orange County Register is laying off staff and trimming other services after steep declines in profit and sales.

The layoffs follow expense cuts and voluntary buyouts last year.

The cuts were announced last week in a memo to staffers from the paper's editor Ken Brusic, in which he noted a 14 percent drop in revenue and a 38 percent drop in profit from the year before.

'None of this is easy,' Brusic wrote. 'But the truth is, as we see revenue continue to fall, especially in print, our company needs to take strong action to regain some balance.'

Brusic said the paper would cut space, eliminate open positions, reduce the freelance budget and drop some wire services.

'Our entire industry is in a state of transition,' he said. 'We are seeing fundamental shifts in the way people acquire and use news and information.'

He indicated local news and Web efforts would be a focus moving forward.

'If we can focus on the light at the other side of this small tunnel rather than the darkness, we will prosper,' he said.

The Register, which is published by Freedom Orange County Information, has a daily circulation of about 300,000. The number of editorial staffers wasn't immediately clear.

Last fall, the company, a unit of Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc., offered voluntary severance packages to more than one-third of the workers at the newspaper and other publications.

Management at the paper declined comment when reached by the Los Angeles Times on Monday.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here