A Times Obituary

When did the Times OC become the Times DOA?

Whatever the changes are, don't count on your opinion mattering. The Times conducted focus groups last month in which they tried out some of their pending redesign on normal folks like you and me. Except none of them wereyou and me because none of these focus groups was convened anywhere near the county that once mattered so much to the Times.

With the looming prospect that the Hoiles family might sell off Freedom Communications, including the flagship Register, to the highest bidder, there is the potential that there may soon be less of a local voice in our daily papers than at any time previous. All of the local identity OC has established since rising from the citrus groves—the Top 10 bands, the wacko congressmen, the surfwear industry, the world's largest municipal bankruptcy, the performing-arts centers, the fish-taco empires—all will be for naught, as some distant corporate overlords consign us again to bedroom-community status. We'll be our little secret.

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