Amidst the coming hara kiri of the Orange County Register next week, owner Aaron Kushner traveled to the IE yesterday to meet with staff of the Riverside Press Enterprise, the paper he acquired last November...only to lay off a bunch of people and install yes-men at the top.
He tried to reassure them that everything would be hunky-dory at the P-E--layoffs and buyouts aren't expected at the paper...yet. But, unsurprisingly, the P-E staff didn't believe a single word that came out of Kushner's mouth, and is already mocking him behind his back.
From a source in the newsroom, who requested anonymity:
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The Press-Enterprise meeting with Kushner today went as well as the OC one, I think.
Someone in the newsroom kept a tally; he said the word growth/grow 60+ times. But, no real specific on how to grow. One reporter had the balls to question how to grow with better content when you keep laying people off and furloughing them.
He kept going on and on about how we're moving into San Bernardino and giving the people there a good newspaper. Someone finally brought up the fact we don't have a reporter covering the area. At all. That might come later, he said. Maybe. You know, if we make money. Because the people in San Bernardino don't need actual news about the city they live and work in. But, I'm sure they love all the Hemet news!
He was later heard saying there's no need to cover big stories there and just to write some happy stories.
No audio has emerged yet--we'll report back if we find some. In the meanwhile: P-E folks, start spilling the beans to me. Anonymity guaranteed, and contact info below!