After months of anticipation the Los Angeles Register has hit the streets. The offshoot of Freedom Communications' Orange County Register under the new regime of publisher Aaron Kushner debuted today in about 5,500 retail locations and news racks. Home delivery is supposed to start in May.
Whether it makes much of a dent against the Los Angeles Times remains to be seen, especially with a staff of only 40 or so mostly OCR transferees on the news side. But, hey, you've got to applaud any newspaper's birth and wish them the best.
If it succeeds, the Register is more likely to take a bite out of financially-flailing Digital First Media's Los Angeles Area News Group papers, which are weak and getting weaker. They've been decimated in a fashion similar to the company's Mercury News and its sibling editions in the Bay Area. In fact, there's probably as much speculation about Kushner attempting to peel off some or all of the LANG newspapers in a fire sale as there is about his new LA incursion.
A Sunday OCR piece says the Register will start with 50 to 60 pages weekdays, 80 to 90 pages on Sunday.
Today's opener features a front page column by T. J. Simers, the longtime former LA Times sports columnist who parted ways with the Times last year, and a column on the local page by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about movies.
An unsigned editorial page piece makes a philosophical pitch to presumed liberal-leaning Angelenos for the more conservative editorial perspective the Register hopes to bring, something Kushner has not been shy to talk about. An excerpt:
Los Angeles Register Opinion aims to infuse a new perspective into the political and public policy debate in our community and lead the charge for a new generation of liberty-minded, free-market intellectuals.
To do so, we deliberately try to ignore party affiliation, focusing instead on principles and ideas with a very simple bright line: What can be done to increase economic and social liberty?
We favor free-market economic and fiscal policy and believe government – at all levels – should exercise budgetary prudence and restraint.
We believe individuals have the right, and are solely suited, to make the incredibly personal decisions about who to love, what to buy and what to consume.
And we believe that thriving cities and regions need a strong advocate for community building and development to support the everyday people who are the lifeblood of any great metropolis.
Let the fun begin, I guess.
Image: Los Angeles Register via Twitter