With the flurry of want ads posted by the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register recently, one could hope for a renewed, 1990s-style newspaper war between the two mainstream dailies.
Wind comes out of the sails of such a prospect today with word the Times is pulling back further on Orange County community coverage.
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Not that the Times spun it that way, of course. The focus from Spring Street was that the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot, which decades before being acquired by the Times covered the entire county and was equal in size to the then-Santa Ana Register, has a new app coming out Nov. 1. So does another Times Community News property, the Glendale News-Press.
That sound you just heard? The other shoe dropping: the Pilot and News-Press will stop publishing Tuesday editions. Glendale's announcement was accompanied by the news they are giving up their building in that city and moving into the Times building downtown. The Pilot years ago moved out of its longtime home on Bay Street in Costa Mesa and into the Times Orange County plant near Harbor Boulevard between South Coast Drive and Sunflower Avenue in Santa Ana.
The Pilot and News-Press, which last year stopped publishing Monday editions, are not the only Times Community News papers scaling back, as the La Cañada Valley Sun is ceasing its Sunday edition, and The Burbank Leader is adopting a Wednesday through Saturday print schedule.
Of course, the future is online anyway, baby, and all those community news staffs will continue cranking out daily content online, even on days their presses have the day off. To that end, the company is putting more emphasis on its local news blogs, including The OC Now, which is expected to carry more posts than it is now. So, if the Times–Register war re-erupts, expect it to be a virtual one.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.