The bad news just keeps coming for the Orange County Register, so much so that we gotta combine items now instead of pacing them out day by day. So on this day's edition of As the Kush Turns, we have the death of OC Metro, embarrassing proof that the Reg no longer has any institutional knowledge left, and…a lobster bake?! Read on…
OC Metro Folds
The Orange County Business Journal reported on Friday (quick aside: Why do their great Reg scoops always happen on Fridays?) that Freedom Communications is folding OC Metro, the magazine it acquired in 2012 back when Reg owner Aaron Kushner was in the acquisition game. The issue scheduled for tomorrow will be OC Metro's last, ending its 24-year run. Already laid off: editor Kimberly Porrazzo, with the fate of the mag's 30 or so other workers unknown.
OC Metro's quality ebbed and flowed over the years. Early last decade, it commissioned long stories about county politics and featured prominent columnists, with mags publishing bi-weekly. Once Kushner got it, it became monthly, was awkwardly renamed OC Register Metro, and any pretense of being anything other than a bulletin board for OC businessmen–which it always was, but at least it once pretended to have loftier ambitions–went out the door.
Fare thee well, OC Metro: Your untouched Subway racks will miss you.
OC Register Now Thinks Old Saddleback is a Mountain
Old Saddleback–the ridge to the east created by Santiago and Modjeska peaks–has loomed over the Orange County conquistadors since the days of the conquistadors. Anyone who writes about Orange County will call it Old Saddleback; the lay person might know the area as Saddleback, but know it's not a mountain. There is no Saddleback Mountain; only pendejos who don't know anything about Orange County would call it that. It's like calling Beach Boulevard Highway 39–yes, it technically is, but only a yahoo would do that.
So what did the front page of the Orange County Register do yesterday morning? Say that Santiago Peak and Modjeska Peak combined form Saddleback Mountain.
Then again, that's what happens when you get a reporter from the Riverside Press-Enterprise doing a story about Orange County.
Corporate to Reg Employees: Deliver Enough Papers for Us, Win a Lobster Bake!
The big news late last week was that the Register was enticing reporters and other employees with $150 VISA gift cards to deliver newspapers–this, following a request by new-ish publisher Rich Mirman for employees to volunteer one hour a week for customer service calls.
But what all the newspapers that breathlessly reported the story failed to note was an even better enticement for Reg employees: a lobster bake.
Here's the message below. Rob Wallace is the director of digital for Freedom Communications, brought to OC from New England by Kushner:
From: Rob Wallace
Date: November 14, 2014 at 10:18:07 AM PST
To: OCR Associates
Subject: "We Care" Update – Lobster Bake Challenge
As Rich has mentioned, the associate response to the "We Care" program has been fantastic. Rather than build upon the successful numbers surrounding our actual LIVE contacts with customers I wanted to focus my communication on one number – 9,000.
We have a list of 9,000 customers, each of who have tried contacting us, but were unsuccessful. Each day a dozen of our fellow associates are volunteering to come to the 2nd floor (AKA We Care Center) and call 15 subscribers. Every call we make, every voicemail we leave for a customer let's them know "We Care" and we value their commitment to our newspaper.
9,000 – By the end of today, we will have successfully contacted 1,000 customers.
8,000 – We need your help to chip away at this list.
So I am announcing the "We Care Lobster Bake Challenge".
Every volunteer that participates next Thursday or Friday (November 20 & 21), making a minimum of 20 calls, will be eligible for a drawing to win 4 live Maine lobsters, fresh steamers, and New England clam chowder. If you know me, you are aware that I am from New England, so I am personally going to Maine over Thanksgiving to hand-pick 4 Maine lobsters – not from the grocery store, not from the fish market; but straight from the boat! Steamers and New England clam chowder will satisfy your authentic New England Lobster Bake experience.
I will even throw in a traditional Maine recipe on how to properly steam (not boil – please don't boil them, I beg of you…) your fresh lobsters.
Also, if required I can come to your home and tell old-fashioned Maine jokes about Enock – a famous mythical Mainer while you and your family/friends enjoy your meal.
To kick off the "Lobster Bake Challenge", I am throwing out personal challenges (Correct, it is not beneath me to steal an idea directly from the Ice Bucket Challenge) to the following associates participating next Thursday or Friday:
Each of you has 24 hours to respond to sign-up and challenge at least one other associate.
8,000 Let's cross it off!