Circulation up at the ‘new’ Orange County Register

Some highlights from a memo that Orange County Register publisher Aaron Kushner sent to his staff on Wednesday:

* In the first full month of new ownership, the Register had a 3.4% increase in daily home delivery and 3.9% Sunday increase over the previous year.
* The paper now has 46 new editorial positions approved, up from 23 four weeks ago.
* The Register has added 26 year-long internship slots “for the best college journalism graduates from around the country.”
* Opinion pages have expanded to three full pages daily.

Read Kushner’s memo after the jump.

Note from Orange County Register Publisher Aaron Kushner on latest developments
Sept. 19, 2012:

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for taking the time to attend our associate Town Hall. Eric and I are thoroughly enjoying growing the Register, and we hope you left the meeting as energized as we are about the significant steps we are already implementing to add more value for our subscribers and our community.

As discussed, our first full month is now in the books and it was a nice, little win. A 3.4% increase in daily home delivery and 3.9% increase in Sunday home delivery over prior year is a good start. When combined with beating budget for both print and overall advertising, August was solid. We have a long way to go and it’s lovely to start on the right foot.

We now have 46 new positions approved for hiring in our content group, up from 23 four weeks ago. We are looking for the best – engaging, thoughtful professionals whom we will enjoy working with and will thrive as we grow. If you have friends and colleagues who you believe can help us grow, please share the opportunity with them and encourage them to reach out directly to Ken Brusic or any of our deputy editors. We have openings in almost every area of our content group, and if someone fabulous comes through and we don’t have a specific opening, we’ll do our best to make one.

With deputy editor, local news Rob Curley joining our team, we also have approved the expansion of our internship program with an additional 26 year-long internship slots for the best college journalism graduates from around the country, in addition to the 20 slots already being filled from local colleges. We are the Orange County Register, and I know we will have one of the most exciting programs in the country for our next generation of journalists.

We also are ramping into a major cycle of hiring for our sales team with at least 22 open positions approved for hiring. Similarly to our hiring for the content group, any and all referrals of strong talent are appreciated. I am especially proud of the speed with which we’ve been moving our initiatives from the drawing board into reality. The new full page review of a major national story on our Focus page has come together to be a splendid regular addition to our daily rhythm. Adding an entire section of OCVarsity HotShots on Wednesdays with great photography, plus doubling the OCVarsity Saturday section in less than a week, is something to be proud of.

Opinion pages in the Local section have expanded to three full pages daily, and we’re kicking off what should be close to 200 editorial board meetings before the elections with political leaders across Orange County. It is wonderful to see and a great public service.

Launching a daily, full-scale Business Section from concept to live production in less than 8 weeks speaks to the talent we can bring to bear on whatever we set our minds to. And as the sales team readies to launch its first major initiative, there is no doubt that as a team we are doing exactly what we should be doing: working together thoughtfully, skillfully, decisively with joy and heart. This is exactly what I believe it is going to take to win.

Thank you again for the inspiring and engaging work you do every day. We look forward to growing the Orange County Register together.