Since the news broke the other day about the Register moving its completely ridiculous faux alt-weekly Squeeze OC to an all-online format as well as laying off several of its staffers, we couldn't help but wonder how long the OC Post, the Reggie's other lame attempt at capturing younger readers, will be around. Really, if the paper has downshifted into full cost-cutting mode, it'd certainly be the most obvious thing to axe.
We'd shoot it in the skull based solely on those insulting TV commercials alone, the ones in which some wanker ponders to no one in particular, "OC Post, cut to fit my life. Hmmm . . . what else could be cut to fit my life?" and then a Shakespeare play pops out of nowhere at a ludicrous pace — Romeo & Juliet (we think, anyway), all wrapped up in about five seconds. The message, which the clueless Reg marketing department probably never thought would be deduced: "If you're so ADHD that five-second Shakespeare actually sounds appealing to you, then read OC Post!"
The best reason to be hating on OC Post, though, dates back to their debut last fall, when neighborhoods across OC were flooded with free copies of the rag for several weeks — no matter if people wanted it stinking up their driveways or not. Here's what I posted about it on my MySpace blog at the time — with exciting color photos!
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
OC POSTAL: REG RAG BOOTED FROM IRVINE!
Well, the gated community in Irvine that I live in, anyway. Here's the backstory:
Just before the weekend of Sept. 23-24, zillions of Orange County households received a glossy, oversized cardboarded missive in the mail from the marketing geniuses at the OC Register, announcing the recent launch of their new faster-format daily tab, the OC Post. I got one--the card blurted that I was "one of a select group of readers" who'd be getting a free five-week trial subscription to the Post, their latest misguided attempt at revenue-boosting. Except I couldn't have been that select, since not only did my Mom, who lives in Fullerton, get a postcard, but so did Eric, who I live with--so pretty much EVERYBODY in OC got one.
Said we were to get free copies of the Post for the next five weeks starting Monday, Sept. 25 (we didn't actually start getting ours till the 27th--that's the Reg: Late with the freelance checks back when I scribbled for them in the '90s, and still late a decade on).
Disturbing/funny, though, were what the Post postcard promised, among them, "NO FLUFF: News, sports and entertainment listings served up lean." Gee, if I was a proper Reggie staff writer, I know that would certainly make me feel like my job is important. Nice to know that marketing thinks a 15-inch story is "fluff." But on the flipside, to get across their idea of a faster-to-peruse pub (with the fluff excised, natch), they had a graf with words that were supposed to look like they had been removed by an editor's red pen (ain't that old-fashioned). Yet it also creepily looked like a censored/redacted CIA doc, which had Eric--who knows a thing or three about marketing--wondering "It looks like they're gonna censor the news more than anything else."
Agreed, hon! Here's a couple shots of the card:
The Post rag itself is garbage, full of screaming New York Post-styled ARE YOUR KIDS SAFE? headlines (yes, that was actually one; today's cover screamer, designed to tease an article about spiders, is simply "EEK!" – the OC Post LOVES them exclamation points almost as much as I like putting things in parenthesis) designed to shock you into putting your 25 cents (yeah -- unlike the Reggie's other pantsload pub Squeeze OC, they actually want you to PAY for this shit) into a coin slot. And all the stories lack bylines, which also probably makes the Reg staffers who penned the original pieces the Post articles have been cut from feel fantastic about their work being shredded into bite-size nuggets (unless of course they prefer not to have their names turded-up by appearing in this lame excuse for reportage). Morale there on Grand Avenue can't possibly get any worse, what with the Reg in such financial straits--$20 mil short in ad revenue, I read, weirdly, the same week that we started getting these unwelcome, unwanted Posts tossed at us
But here's where things get personal: These Register/Post assholes are cluttering up my 'hood with copies that are dumped in front of everyone's garage door and never picked up. Sure, some people are just pigs, but others are away at their vacation homes or other properties (or they are home, they're just dead
Guess other people were getting pretty pissed off at seeing the clutter as well, not to mention having to stoop over every morning and deposit the Post in their recycle bin without even taking it out of the plastic wrap, because by the end of last week, the Reg rag had disappeared from our neighborhood---haven't seen an issue in front of our garage since the 13th. And this free promo was supposed to go till the week ending Oct. 27th. Somehow, I don't feel as if I'm missing out on muchS.
OCT. 23 UPDATE: Desperation sinks in! Now the Reg telemarketing douches are starting to cold-call people and offer free trial subscriptions, which probably should've been the way to go all along instead of junking up people's driveways. Tragically, my Mom fell for this scam, but she tells me she just wanted the free newsprint because it'll help when she paints the baseboards in the bathroom. . . .