The Reg-O-Meter©: Interpreting Terry Horne's Tuesday reader letter

Interpreting Register publisher Terry Horne’s Page 2 Tuesday letter to Reg readers, the same day the paper introduced a new slimmed-down format—all pages reduced by a one-inch width to save on the cost of newsprint. (You can just call it shrinkage.) Warning: Horne uses the word “exciting” twice in his letter—in our book, a coded phrase that means more layoffs and buyouts are a-comin’ . . .


"The Register is making a notable change starting Tuesday morning, followed by exciting updates to many of our 24 community newspapers this week.

The Register is narrowing the width of the newspaper page by one inch. [Narrowing even further will be the worldview of editorial scribbler Steven Greenhut.] This is a decision driven purely by economics. [We’re cheap fuckers.] Recent price increases in newsprint would impact our business by more than $6 million if we continued to print at the same size and quantities we did last year. [Think how much more we could’ve saved if we had never launched those catastrophic Squeeze OC and OC Post failures.]

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You may not even notice a difference. [Gordon Dillow’s incredibly huge forehead? Still the same size.] It’s important to note we are not eliminating any of your favorite columns or features by moving to a slightly smaller frame. Type size in the paper remains the same and so does the height of the pages. [Readers will still have plenty of room in our letters column to rant about Obama being a wild-eyed, bloodthirsty Muslim.] (You might notice slight narrowing of text in comics, some Marketplace graphics and some tabular sports results – and temporary narrowing of type on the Weather page and daily TV grids.) [Because we know what really matters to you, loyal TV-loving 800-pound Register subscriber who hasn’t been able to leave her house since the first Clinton administration.]

The Register’s award-winning news coverage, photography, graphics and advertisements [We won a Pulitzer back in . . . umm, been so long I don’t remember.] have the same presentation and color you’ve come to expect each day.

Virtually every daily metropolitan newspaper in the United States has moved or soon will move to this new size. Some are going even smaller. [Eventually our entire daily issue will be printed on a handy card you can slip into your wallet.]

Many readers in other markets prefer the narrower format, as it is easier to handle [Because that extra inch had thousands of people constantly bumbling and dropping the paper--least that's what Marketing tells me, so it must be true.] in a coffee shop, airplane or other close quarters [such as Dillow’s vice-tight anus].

We are living in a time of rapid change, so we must consider new ways to publish our newspapers. It’s exciting to see how our journalists and sales force have sharpened their focus on what we do best — delivering relevant local news and information. [Like our scintillating My Incredibly Cute Baby and That Darn Cat! contests.] Hopefully you will notice the steps we’ve taken in that regard.

One way we’ve done this is by expanding our community coverage on We now update our city-by-city news more frequently on the Web, and you can see the fruits of this work by pulling up your city in a drop-down menu within a blue Local News banner on the home page. [We’ll get around to doing it eventually, because even we can’t figure out our garish, confusing site.]

Another big part of our plans to publish more hyper-local content occurs this week, when we introduce a new look and feel in our community newspapers. [New color covers, same old dogshit.] Articles in each community newspaper will adopt a quick-read format with more photos, graphics and color. [We’ve dumbed them down more in the hopes that even inanimate objects will want to subscribe.]

We launched this new format in Irvine and San Clemente earlier this year, and readers have told us they like it. [If Martin Wisckol did the polling, this means we asked 11, maybe 12 readers.] We also researched this format extensively prior to our launch of [I’ll say it just once more, but I’ll wince] OC Post a few years ago, a product driven by readers’ calling for a quick-read paper that fits their busy lifestyles. [Apparently they didn’t call loudly or often enough.]

Our community newspapers will be more accessible as well. In addition to our distribution inside the Register to subscribers [If you can find it, since we’ll fold it up inside the classifieds and the real estate ads] we are adding nearly 700 news racks across the county to expand free distribution to nonsubscribers. [Gotta fill those OC Post and Squeeze OC racks with something] Four community newspapers are adding a second distribution day — the Saddleback Valley News, Anaheim Hills News, Yorba Linda Star and Placentia News Times. [Gotta keep those college kids we hire at $22,000 a year busy.] We’re also adding distribution in more than 200 retail locations in those four geographic areas. [So go fuck yourself, Stanton!]

As always, we appreciate your feedback on these endeavors and how we’re doing. Thank you for your support." [Okay, done—where’s my bonus?]

Terry Horne President and publisher Orange County Register Communications

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