When Aaron Kushner bought the Orange County Register a year ago, he let it be known that OC's paper of record wouldn't be the only media acquisition in his feel-good empire. He's been rumored to want the Los Angeles Times, and will always have a hard-on for his hometown Boston Globe.
But sources tell the Weekly that Kushner has a new market in mind where he wants to start a new, nearly-daily paper in a seemingly surprising place: Long Beach.
I say it's surprising only because I never figured Kushner wanted to create a rag in a place where the Reg has no current presence. All of the paper's growth in the past year have been in increasing the size and reporting of its community papers, which eventually funnels into the mothership. Long Beach, on the other hand, has never had much coverage in the Reg.
On the other hand, Long Beach is Southern California's most notoriously underserved media market, a place covered only in print by the long-decimated Long Beach Press-Telegram and sporadically by this infernal rag. It's an area with a lively local blogging scene, with people begging for coverage--and somebody must've told Kushner this.
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People on Grand Street tell the Weekly that any such paper is still in the process, because the Reg first wants to expand its SanTana and Irvine papers to five-a-week dailies. But any Long Beach paper would be a 5-days-a-week edition with its own reporters. No word yet on whether it would be a standalone or bundled to subscribers like the Register's other community papers.
We wish we could get confirmation or denial from the Reg's Minister of Propaganda, Eric Morgan, but he doesn't return emails unless the paper is guaranteed sycophantic coverage. Our sources are legion, though, and well-placed, so we're more than happy to run with this story. So go confirm it, Romenesko or someone with actual credibility!