The Orange County Register
The December 7, 2005 front page of The Register
|Publisher||Aaron Kushner |
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The Register is notable for its generally libertarian-leaning editorial page. Although it sometimes supports Republican politicians and positions, it is the largest newspaper in the country to have opposed the Iraq war from the beginning and opposes laws regulating issues such as prostitution and drug use. It was one of a handful of newspapers that opposed the internment of Japanese aliens and Japanese-Americans during World War II. It also opposed Proposition 8 in 2008, which proposed a ban on same-sex marriage.
1905–1985: under earlier names
The Register was founded by a consortium as the Santa Ana Daily Register in 1905. It was sold to J.P. Baumgartner in 1906 and to J. Frank Burke in 1927. In 1935 it was bought by R.C. Hoiles, who renamed it the Santa Ana Register and reorganized his holdings as Freedom Newspapers, Inc. in 1950, later Freedom Communications. The paper was renamed The Register in 1952.
In 1956, the newspaper was a prominent supporter of a vociferous campaign by anti-communists against the Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act, claiming that the Act was part of a communist plot to establish concentration camps in Alaska.
Circulation rose with the burgeoning population of Orange County and after The Register added a morning edition in 1959. In 1970 Hoiles' son Clarence became co-publisher with his brother Harry until 1979, when R. David Threshie, Clarence's son-in-law, was named to the position.
Faced with an aggressive push into the county by the Los Angeles Times under then publisher Otis Chandler, Threshie brought in 30-year-old editor N. Christian Anderson III to increase the professionalism of the paper. Political positions were restricted to the editorial page. In 1981, the paper began publishing in full color.
1985–present: as The Orange County Register
In 1985, the paper was renamed yet again to The Orange County Register. In the same year it won its first Pulitzer Prize, for its photographic coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics in nearby Los Angeles. It won additional Pulitzers in 1989 for beat reporting by Edward Humes on U.S. military problems with night vision goggles and 1996 for an investigation into Ricardo Asch's fertility clinics.
In 1992, Orange County Register Communications launched Excélsior, a Spanish-language weekly. Excélsior currently has a circulation of 51,000 and covers Orange County's burgeoning Hispanic community, which now numbers over 1 million. Julio Saenz is the Editor and General Manager.
In 1999, Threshie became Chairman of the Board for Freedom Communications and N. Christian Anderson III assumed the position of publisher and CEO. Ken Brusic was named vice president of content and executive editor in April 2002.
In 2004, a family schism led to a sale of a majority interest in Freedom Communications to investors led by the Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners. Through a stock arrangement, the Hoiles family descendants retained control of the board.
In 2006, Orange County Register Communications launched the OC Post, a tabloid with shortened versions of Register stories as well as news articles from the Associated Press. It folded in February 2008.
By April 2007, the Orange County Register was feeling the effects of the recession and shifts in news consumption to digital platforms. Staff and pages were reduced to remain a profitable enterprise, which had averaged more than 20 percent annually in the preceding five years. In September 2007, Terry Horne replaced N. Christian Anderson III as publisher.
In spring of 2009, Freedom Communications instituted furloughs for all employees nationwide, followed by a permanent 5-percent pay cut starting in July 2009. News reports in August 2009 indicated that Freedom Communications planned to file for bankruptcy and turn control of its publications, including The Orange County Register, over to its lenders.
In 2008, the Register expanded availability of its news content through Amazon Kindle handheld device. In the same year, the Register began delivering news updates to mobile phones through m.ocregister.com.
In 2009, ocregister.com introduced a revamped website that included personalization capabilities.
In 2011, Sunday circulation for the Register grows by 7 percent, to 283,997.
On July 25, 2012 the Orange County Register and six other papers were purchased by 2100 Trust LLC. The papers will still operate under the Freedom Communications name.
On April 1, 2013, the Orange County Register began providing their online content through a metered paywall. After a free, seven-day trial, non-subscribers will be charged to access content from the newspaper. Most online content requires a subscription, except for local weather, traffic and a few select local news articles.
- "Aaron Kushner named Publisher of Orange County Register Communications" The Orange County Register, August 3, 2012
- Saba, Jennifer (28 April 2008). "New FAS-FAX: Steep Decline at 'NYT' While 'WSJ' Gains". Editor & Publisher. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
- Lattman, Peter; Adams, Russell (August 31, 2009). "Paper Owner Freedom Plans to File For Chapter 11". The Wall Street Journal. p. B1.
- "R.C. Hoiles, Chief of Freedom Newspaper Chain, Dies at 91". Los Angeles Times. October 31, 1970. p. C1.
- "Raymond C. Hoiles, 91, Is Dead". New York Times. October 31, 1970. p. 32.
- "Who Opposes Prop 8?". 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- Graham, Harry L., Stop the Damned Presses!, pp.183–6, Words & Pictures Press, Clearwater, FL, 2005.
- "Updated Excélsior Statistics for 2010". Echo Media.
- "Executive Leadership". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- Kouwe, Zachery (August 31, 2009). "Owner of Orange County Register May File for Bankruptcy". New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Milbourn, Mary Ann (July 25, 2012). "Freedom Communications closes sale of the Register". Orange County Register (archive). Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- Register to launch online paywall (Subscription required) Retrieved April 1, 2013
- Official website (Subscription required to view)
- Official OC Register mobile website (Subscription required to view)
- OCExcelsior.com (sister publication) (Spanish)
- Freedom Communications flagship profile of The Orange County Register
- OCLC 12199155