1ST UPDATE, 11:40 A.M.: Here's a note from new Orange County Register publisher Rich Mirman explaining the layoffs to his crew. He confirmed what we broke--100 layoffs across the Register and the P-E.
Take it away, Rich!
Since joining the Register and The Press-Enterprise a few months ago, I have been inspired and impressed by the dedication, commitment and talent demonstrated throughout the company. I share your pride in our mission to serve Orange County through quality journalism and community involvement.
Over the last few years, Aaron and Eric have taken some bold moves in an attempt to grow the business. They deserve a lot of credit for improving our focus on the community, strengthening the quality of our newspapers, and delivering unique value to our subscribers through programs like Register Connect.
Despite these improvements, our business has not achieved the growth necessary to support our cost structure. Unfortunately, the business is not profitable. Going forward, success requires us to boldly rethink our priorities and our focus.
To that end, we are taking some important measures starting today to stabilize our business in 2015 and ultimately position ourselves for success.
First and foremost, we will have a renewed focus on serving our core markets with our core products. Between the Orange County Register and The Press-Enterprise, there's nearly 250 years of combined experience in delivering trusted journalism and information. Our strategic plan includes:
-Developing, enhancing and restoring subscriber relationships
-Enhancing digital content and continuing to grow digital revenue
-Expanding subscriber engagement through Register Connect and special events
Delivering increased value to our advertisers and partners
-Supporting our communities through philanthropic activities and programs (e.g., the Golden Envelope and Everyday Heroes)
Most importantly, we commit to ourselves and our readers that we will continue to deliver the highest standard of local, regional and national news and information.
Unfortunately, these activities are not enough to ensure profitability. A big part of the overall company strategy is to "right size" the business back to appropriate levels. Throughout the day, we will be letting associates know that their positions have been eliminated. Approximately 100 colleagues across several business units of the Register and The Press-Enterprise will be leaving us. We are most grateful for their contributions and appreciative of all they have done to help support the company.
It is very important to note today's restructuring will not impact the newsroom, and thus it will not impact readers or the overall quality of the newspapers. It is critical that we maintain the same standard of excellence in our journalism that our customers, advertisers and community have come to expect.
You will learn more about the company's new structure throughout the day, and it will be summarized in a note from me over the next couple of days. As you can imagine, there will be many changes throughout the company and many people will be affected. That said, I am confident that we will emerge as a stronger company.
Moving forward, every associate from entry level to the executive team is going to play an essential and hands-on role in our journey to better understand, acquire and retain our valued customers.
I hope you will join me in adopting a collective sense of ownership as we serve the emerging needs of our readers, advertisers and community.
Thank you for your continued contributions and commitment.
Rich Mirman, Publisher
Story continues on Page 2.
ORIGINAL POST, 10:17 A.M.: Multiple sources are telling the Weekly that layoffs are happening right now at the Orange County Register and its sister paper, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, with employees being called into meetings every 30 minutes and an estimated 100 people being targeted across Freedom Communications in all departments.
So far, we've only received notice of upper management receiving pink slips, with one name in particular being gleefully leaked to me: Riverside Press-Enterprise publisher and Freedom Chief Revenue Officer Mike Burns, whom one source called a "fucking asshole." Burns has never been popular at either the Register or the P-E, as he was seen as an Aaron Kushner lackey. And he was especially loathed as of recent for delaying the November commissions of his sales staff, checks that were supposed to be issued today but haven't been given just yet.
Other names so far revealed to us:
*Lisa Zsal, vice-president of majors/nationals, Freedom *Frank Minano, director of local retail, OC Register *Catherine Long, Director, Sales Creative and Ad Operations, OC Register *Lori Conrads, assistant to Burns *Lisa Jackson, Director, Event Marketing and Strategic Partnerships *Caroline Wong, Project Manager *Ray Arroyo, Regional Sales Manager *Aimee Larson, Market Research Manager *Hersson Preciado, National Hispanic Advertising Manager *Maria Mijares, Administrative Assistant *Tracey Taylor, Administrative Assistant *Gail Burns, Administrative Assistant *Joseph Rodriguez, Digital Sales Manager *Carter Lav, Senior Director, RV, Motorsports and Motorcycle Advertising
At Coast Magazine...
*Justine Amodeo, Editor in Chief
And at the Press-Enterprise...
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*Anita Davis, Retail Sales Director *Russ Stewart, Regional Sales Manager *Linda Franklin, Executive Assistant to the Publisher Diane Hanson, Programming Sales
More--much more--as the day develops.