A New Newspaper for Newport-Mesa? Really?

Newport Beach/Costa Mesa-centric blog A Bubbling Cauldron breaks news this morning that ex-Daily Pilot publisher Tom Johnson and ex-Pilot editor/LA Times journo/current Orange Coast columnist/impending book whore Bill Lobdell are teaming up to start a new community pub that will cover the two burgs, one that, the report says, will be distributed online and, on some days, in print.

Good luck with that. In this gawdawful economy, the pair are currently seeking investors for their project, sez the Cauldron, which means that it could be awhile before NB-CM citizens see anything, if at all. Unless Johnson and Lobdell go after some deep-pocketed plastic surgery docs to help out with startup cash. And lordy knows how many of those there are in Newport.

Their model appears to be the Voice of San Diego, a web-only nonprofit that relies on reader donations for its survival. But that's San Diego, not OC, where the same old problems regarding new media ventures have always persisted: too much competition from other outlets like the Register, the Times (bankruptcy or not, it's still gonna be around for awhile), the Weekly, and a slug of great local websites that blog about everything from food to politics.

Also, J&L will have to eventually realize that they're going to have to pay any fresh-out-of-college reporters they hire a living wage, enough so they can afford to actually live in Newport-Mesa, which eternally has some of the highest rents in all of OC. Oh, and they'll need to give them health insurance, too, if they want to be proper employers.

Yeah. Again, good luck with that.

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