Reports: Orange County Register lays off dozens of staffers

UPDATE: Publisher Aaron Kushner has put out a memo about today’s layoffs and newsroom changes.

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Many reports about Orange County Register layoffs are coming my way:

* OCweekly.com: OC Register to lay off several people today. [UPDATE: About 35 32 newsroom employees were let go, I'm told.]

* “It’s true,” writes an tipster who sends this link. “Layoffs are ongoing.”
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* Another email tipster: “Ken Brusic and his entire inner circle out at OC Register, he’s being replaced by Rob Curley. Buncha layoffs, too, even as the paper prepares to expand into Los Angeles.”

Update: “Brusic and his top folks – at least three deputy editors, I believe – resigned” in protest of the layoffs and weren’t pink-slipped, I’m told. “They are still in the newsroom today. The rest of us who were laid off are not allowed in the newsroom.”

If you have solid information, please pass it along. I’ll keep you anonymous.

UPDATE: Here’s what current and former Register staffers are passing along —

* “Just got laid off by the Register,” Faith and Values columnist Cathleen Falsani Possley writes on Facebook.

* “I was laid off today from the Orange County Register, along with 35 or so other people,” writes data journalist Ron Campbell. “Many of them, like me, had been there for years. Time for another chapter.”

* Travel editor Gary Warner writes on Facebook: “Gone! Register laid me off today. A head-scratcher coming off one of our best years financially and with lots of awards. … Sad, perplexed, proud and relieved all at once.”

* “It’s a blood bath at OCR. Nearly every top manager replaced.”

* “Estimates of about three dozen editorial staffers canned.”

* “There will be a general announcement about layoffs at 2 p.m. PST.”

- via ocweekly.com

– via ocweekly.com

* “The budget for freelance high school [sports] coverage has been frozen, which surprised me since one of [publisher Aaron] Kushner’s big selling points is being local and doing things other news groups can’t or won’t.”

* “I have a friend who works at the [OC Register sister paper] Riverside Press-Enterprise. He says he’s been told that copy desk functions for Riverside are moving to OC in 60 days, and editors will have to apply for a job in OC.”

* Aug. 2013: OC Register owner bets heavily on print, doubles staff and adds pages (latimes.com)
* Dec. 2012: Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register? (ocweekly.com)

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