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Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Kushner’

OC Register Dropping Adult Ads?

Whenever OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano sets Orange County Register savior Aaron Kushner  in his “Navel Gazing” sights, it feels a lot like a conversation between a pair of unlikely suburban neighbors. Check out my manicured lawn, says the one. I turned down my music for this, wonders the other?

This afternoon, Arellano has shared a letter sent by Register senior vp of sales and marketing Michael H. Burns to an unspecified group of newspaper advertisers. Gustavo says the recipients are of a kind that used to favor boxed drawings of a man in a Panama hat ogling a young woman:

Though Burns doesn’t name the business category affected, sources say the only such advertisers to receive the [termination] letters were in the adult section of the paper. The paper will enact its ban May 31.

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Orange County Register Adds the Angels to Its Membership Rewards Program

Ken Doctor, a media expert often quoted in other people’s articles, has gone long-form this week at Nieman Lab about the topic of the Orange County Register‘s ongoing bold experiment. His article is a worthwhile read for anyone closely following the paper’s fortunes.

Next Tuesday, some of the fans sitting inside Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the mighty team’s home opener will be doing so for free, courtesy of the paper’s seven-day subscriber membership rewards program. In this particular case, all at the behest of newspaper president Eric Spitz and CEO Aaron Kushner:

The Register approached the Angels, located 10 minutes away, with the idea of better using the empty seats the Angels couldn’t sell. The Angels found themselves sitting on almost 600,000 empty seats last year over 81 games. Put another 7,000 butts in those seats each night, even without getting paid for the ticket, and the club is pulling in another 10 bucks or so on Chronic Tacos, garlic fries and overpriced Corona.

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LA Times Asks: Is University Section Sponsorship a Conflict of Interest for Orange County Register?

Next week, the Orange County Register is launching three new weekly six-page insert sections dedicated to area universities. The UC Irvine one debuts April 1; Chapman University April 2; and Cal State Fullerton April 3.

Ahead of those debuts, LA Times reporter Kim Christensen questions the wisdom of the paper respectively partnering with each institution for the sections on a $275,000, one-year contractual basis. For that money, each university gets a half-page ad in 45 issues. From Christensen’s piece:

Some Register staffers have expressed concerns — most of them privately for fear of alienating their bosses — that the collaborative effort and the schools’ paid sponsorship of it will undermine the newspaper’s credibility and blur the line between advertising copy and news stories…

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Businessweek Vet Dan Beucke Rejoins the Orange County Register

It’s by now a familiar HR refrain at the Orange County Register: a reporter who was once with the publication comes back to help Aaron Kushner build out the brand. The latest journalist to fit into this category is Dan Beucke (pictured), who covered technology, airlines and fast food at the paper after graduating from Cal State Fullerton.

Beucke started March 18 as deputy editor of the paper’s Business section, working alongside fellow section editor Donna Wares. He comes to the Register from Businessweek magazine, where he spent 16 years and more recently also co-authored the Wealth Debate blog. From this week’s announcement:

“There’s no better life than working at a newspaper,” Beucke said. “To find one with a startup vibe is amazing.”

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Orange County Register Adding D.C. Bureau

It’s truly remarkable how the hits just keep on coming at the Orange County Register. The latest is one of the highest-profile moves yet by the very active regime of Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz.

Starting April 2, longtime former Register staffer Cathy Taylor (pictured) will be back in the fold as head of the paper’s new Washington D.C. bureau. From today’s announcement:

Taylor served as a reporter, editor and columnist supporting the Register’s business coverage, and joined the Opinion and Commentary pages in November 1996. She was a member of the Register’s senior leadership team as vice president of Opinion and Commentary before leaving the company in November 2011 to accept a position at Washington, D.C.-based Eagle Publishing as editor of Human Events, a national weekly publication.

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A Good Example of Aaron Kushner’s Media M.O.

From the outset of Aaron Kushner’s reign as owner-publisher of the Orange County Register, we’ve been impressed by his willingness to engage not just the community but also outside reporters and critics.

In this latest example, Kushner took the initiative via email. The context for his correspondence with USC professor Marc Cooper and website Voice of OC was an old journalism axiom, a pair of articles by Adam Elmahrek and a related Romenesko report of some March 6 newsroom comments by Kushner.

Last night, Voice of OC published two emails sent by Kushner (one to both Cooper and Voice of OC, one to just Cooper) as well as Cooper’s response. From Kushner’s first email:

There are many ways a newspaper serves its community. One important way is by holding those in power accountable for their use of that power. That is why in just the last six months the Register has hired more investigative reporters and journalists to cover city halls and Orange County business and political leaders than every other newspaper in America combined. How we cover those in power with one of the largest watchdog and beat reporting teams in the country is about getting it right, which includes tone. I agree with Marc that there is no dichotomy between being respectful and having robust coverage of our community and those who lead it.

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Five Takeaways from LA Weekly’s Fabulous LA Times Feature

Timing is everything. Just a few days before this week’s LA Weekly article “Who Will Buy the LA Times?” by Hillel Aron, CNBC broke the news that JPMorgan and Evercore will be handling the sale of the paper and other Tribune Co. assets.

That context gives the piece some extra urgency, and from this excellent bit of work by Aron, we were most struck by the following:

Richest Man in LA vs. Richest Man in the World: Aron references Patrick Soon-Shiong (pictured) in connection with former mayoral candidate Austin Beutner’s effort to put together a stealth group of combined LAT buyers. Surprisingly (at least to us), nowhere in the article does Carlos Slim come up, the man responsible for the relaunch of Larry King and much more. Aron confirms to FishbowlLA that it was not a case of being edited out; “no one ever mentioned Slim,” the writer says.

Two Shades of WSJ: The article characterizes Rupert Murdoch as the man who could potentially outbid everyone, with media expert Ken Doctor telling Aron the Wall Street Journal owner remains the odds-on favorite to acquire the newspaper. Doctor also thinks the two publications’ editorial and ad operations could be streamlined in a number of intriguing ways.

Which is perhaps ironic, because Aron also reminds that Times publisher and Tribune Co. CEO Eddie Hartenstein took a lot of flack internally for his decision to allow the Journal to print at the LAT, bumping the paper’s daily schedule down and “ruining its time-zone advantage over east coast papers.”

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Change in OC Register’s Political Advertising Policy Raises Eyebrows

We’re not trying to take Aaron Kushner‘s side here. But we do applaud the fact that this particular media company owner replied to a hot-potato-topic query from Voice of OC reporter Adam Elmahrek:

Kushner, who responded by email within hours, acknowledged that the Register recently adjusted its policy regarding political advertising. He said, however, that the policy was changed because “we don’t like negative political advertisements,” not out of support for Anaheim’s council majority.

“It was brought to our attention that the Register has had an inconsistent process for reviewing political advertising, which we are working to address and make more systematic,” Kushner wrote. “This is not a comment or endorsement of any particular politician or political cause but a systematic review of our process as we strive to better serve Orange County in everything that we do.”

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Aaron Kushner Lunches with 170 PR Professionals

During a Friday discussion sponsored by the Orange County chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (OCPRSA), Register publisher Aaron Kushner highlighted some of the newest components of his print media broadside. Or, as moderator Steve Churm framed it, “new chapter in American journalism.”

Starting in April, two magazines published by Churm’s recently Register-acquired firm (OC Family, OC METRO) will be bundled with the Monday print edition of the newspaper. Kushner also urged attendees to make sure their clients take advantage of his publication’s BUSINESSPremier program:

The membership program provides seven-day business subscribers with a once-a-week advertising presence in a community newspaper valued at more than $1,500, free help wanted ads and other business-building benefits.

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Pretty Much Everyone is Rumored to Buy The Boston Globe

Ever since the New York Times Company announced that it was selling the Boston Globe, people have been speculating about who/what will purchase the paper.

Because the media is nothing but precise, that list has now been narrowed down to about 834 potential buyers. Below are all the ones we found mentioned, but we’ve surely missed one or 500.

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