OC Register Laying off Five Percent of Workforce

It's never fun being right about this kind of thing, but apparently the OC Register is laying off 80 to 90 employees, according to a post today on the newspaper's website.

Here's about half of the post (it's really short):

"... [Publisher Terry] Horne cited Orange County’s sluggish economy, especially in real estate, as affecting the company’s revenues from local retail, automotive and classified advertising for jobs. The company provided no financial details about the decline in advertising revenue.

This is the third round of layoffs in a year for Orange County Register Communications, the umbrella brand for the Register newspaper, web sites, magazines and other community publications. The company also completed a voluntary severance program to cut staff in 2006.

I kind of predicted this was happening in my previous blog posts about the Register's content-sharing agreement with Dean Singleton's MediaNews, quoting anonymous staffers at the paper saying they were worried layoffs could follow. You can find those stories at our OC Register Deathwatch archives.

Singleton was the first to follow the content-sharing deal with staff cuts, but folks—including one crazy Register staffer and serial blog commenter—who thought the Reg was safe and my reporting was speculative hype are now probably wondering if they should dust off their resumes.

For the record, despite the fact that my stories have been filed under the subject header OC Register Death Watch, neither my colleagues nor I here at the Weekly are happy about any of this.

Here's an idea: Instead of firing 90 people, fire Gordon Dillow. Then hire him back. Then fire him again 89 more times.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of some still-unexplained rewriting of readers' comments, the comments feature for this post has been disabled. Messing with comments like that violates the spirit of free-flowing debate and community we've worked hard to cultivate on this blog. We're trying to figure out how it happened—and ensure that it doesn't happen again. —Ted B. Kissell


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