Orange County Register co-owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz have thrown in the towel.
They told their staff Tuesday afternoon that they’re resigning, effective immediately, from all executive duties at the struggling Register and parent Freedom Communications.
“It has been a privilege and honor to serve as a leader of this institution,” Kushner told the newsroom. “Thank you for hard work, your patience and commitment to the Register.”
From the Register story:
Freedom has gone through dramatic changes since Kushner and Spitz and their 2100 Trust bought the privately held firm in 2012.
The company hired scores of reporters and editors, more than doubling the newsroom staff, to add new sections and publications. It also purchased the Press-Enterprise in Riverside in 2013.
During Kushner’s tenure as CEO, Freedom carried out three rounds of buyouts or layoffs at the Register and ended the Los Angeles Register in September after five months of publication.
Former casino marketing exec Rich Mirman becomes CEO and president.
* Orange County Register co-owners step down (ocregister.com) | (ocweekly.com)
* Dan Kennedy had an appointment to interview Kushner today (dankennedy.net)
Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
– June 2102: Aaron Kushner and associates buy the Register
– March 2013: The Register opens a Washington bureau
– January 2014: Orange County Register lays off dozens of staffers
– June 2014: Register staffers are offered buyouts, told to take furloughs
– September 2014: Kushner and Spitz kill their Los Angeles Register
– November 2014: The Register asks newsroom staffers to deliver Sunday papers
The Dallas Morning News has the correct Parker Rice, a graduate of the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas. The paper reports:
The 19-year-old Rice has erased his social media presence; so has most of his family, including his mother, who has deleted her Facebook page. The father’s work phone number has been disconnected; the house number is not accepting any further voice mail messages.
And a recently posted story about Rice and his brothers — one of whom is also a SAE member at OU — was deleted this week from the Dallas school’s website.
Update: The Dallas paper has just posted the expelled student’s apology. It says in part: “I clearly dismissed an important value I learned at my beloved high school, Dallas Jesuit. We were taught to be ‘Men for Others.’ I failed in that regard, and in those moments, I also completely ignored the core values and ethics I learned from my parents and others.”
* Jesuit school president says graduate appears to be leading racist chant (dallasnews.com)
– Facebook image via @_Ally_Jay
Sports journalist Jay Mariotti, who just joined the San Francisco Examiner, tweeted this morning that “I have a small role in a movie. Play a sportswriter. Need to wear ’80s garb. Nehru?” I asked him to tell us more. “A director friend is doing a movie about Bill Lee, the eccentric pitcher from the ’70s and ’80s,” he writes in an email. “Apparently, I am one of three reporters surrounding the Lee character as he quits baseball for good. Bill Lee is played by Josh Duhamel.”
* Shooting begins in L.A. for “The Wrong Stuff” (deadline.com)
* Jay Mariotti on Twitter
Tweeted after Lex Fenwick was fired as Dow Jones CEO in January 2014:
A Romenesko reader sends the photo below and a note with the subject line “Lex’s Legacy,” referring to ousted Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick:
“Known for his purple suits and taste for modern art, Fenwick imposed his flashy style on the more button-down atmosphere of Dow Jones. He tore down office walls to create an open floor plan, installed a low-hanging crystal chandelier, and provided pricey espresso machines that one person familiar with the matter said cost about $30,000.
“Rob Copeland, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal quipped on Twitter after the news [about Fenwick’s dismissal] was announced: ‘.@newscorp CEO confirms: @WSJsnackbar coffee machines sticking around.'”
I’m told that there’s a repairperson at the Journal at this hour, so staffers can soon put away their Starbucks VIA packs and drink decent coffee again.
* Don’t hit your head on the WSJ chandelier (jimromenesko.com)
* Lex Fenwick is gone, so his chandelier is coming down (jimromenesko.com)
* @WSJsnackbar (twitter.com)
* @WSJChandelier (twitter.com)
– From Tuesday’s New York Daily News
“I expected far better than this dull corporate cafeteria,” writes News restaurant critic “Anonymous.”
The Cajun turkey was “dry,” the cheesecake was “mushy,” the pork ribs were tiny, and the not-very-chic Conde Nast diners were wearing “slip-on sneakers, oversized sweaters and leggings.”
* Lunches aren’t so rich at new Conde Nast cafeteria (nydailynews.com)
The 40 or so staffers at the McClatchy Publishing Center in Charlotte have been told they have to reapply for their jobs and that eight people will be let go. Employees find out on March 23 if they stay with the company. (The publishing center journalists handle copy-editing duties for the Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, and the Rock Hill Herald.)
“Consolidated operations are easily maligned, especially when bad mistakes make it to print,” writes one of my tipsters, “but these people already shoulder an immense burden. I can’t fathom how they’ll keep up after the staff is further reduced. They deserve better.”
A second source writes: “Knowledge of social media will be a plus during this ‘eval/re-hire’ process, as will editing video.” Employees will be judged in part on this digital skills survey.
The source continues: “They had called copy editors ‘universal editors’ in the past. Now, they will be called “digital specialists.’ Meetings/evals have already started. Once finished, they’ll make the announcements [on March 23] and those who don’t make the cut will have to work for a period of time to get their severance.”
* Digital skills survey
* Team leader job description
* Digital specialist job description
* Gigaom was abruptly shuttered Monday night after eight-plus years. Here are its staffers available for hire.
* Michigan’s Attorney General withdraws subpoenas served on Michigan Radio and a Huffington Post reporter. (metrotimes.com) | (michiganradio.org)
* Don’t bother with the funeral flowers, says a Louisiana man who wrote his own obituary. (theadvocate.com)
* Bill O’Reilly calls Fox News “a deep threat to the progressive movement.” (adweek.com) | Calling B.S. on O’Reilly’s reporting. (newsweek.com)
* OU frat scandal coverage from The Oklahoman and Oklahoma Daily.
* Lester Holt tops ABC’s David Muir in last week’s ratings. (@brianstelter)
* Ouch! “Oh, I only went on a date with you because I thought you worked for BuzzFeed…” (salon.com)
* Vogue editor’s tweet showing a homeless person reading the magazine “speaks to the larger issue of how the fashion industry presents itself on social media.” (huffingtonpost.com)
* No more death-of-literature essays, please. (latimes.com)
* Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: “By giving the address [of someone accused of a crime], we are ensuring that we correctly identify the individual.” (democratandchronicle.com)
* St. Louis Post-Dispatch wins a Wilbur Award for “Faith in Ferguson.” (religionnews.com)
* A Los Angeles Dodgers reporter sets her photo rules. (Know her name before requesting one.) (@alannarizzo)
* Finalists for the 2015 Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics are named. (wisc.edu)
* A former Orange County Register journalist wonders if she’ll ever see her retirement money. (facebook.com)
* Jack Limpert: Too much hoopla for the “new” New York Times Magazine launch. (jacklimpert.com)
* Glenn Thrush is named Politico’s chief political correspondent. (@DylanByers)
* Dan Abrams addresses charges that Mediaite leans left … and right. (mediaite.com)
* The Ship Your Enemies Glitter guy drinks too much. (observer.com)
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