In case you haven’t heard the news: The owners of my paper, the Orange County Register, launched a new paper this morning in Los Angeles.
My colleague, Register graphics editor Jeff Goertzen, stayed to the end last night. He tells us:
If newspapers are a dying industry, someone forgot to tell Eric Spitz and Aaron Kushner, co-owners of Freedom Publications, Inc. Because last night, they just launched their fourth newspaper in Southern California.
And this one was huge…the Los Angeles Register, a four-section, 60-page daily that will take a spot in the kiosks right next to the Los Angeles Times.
Last night’s launch was a nail biter. At midnight, the Dodgers went into extra innings and the presses at the Orange County Register building were on hold until we could get a final score to post in the paper.
We were a small group of about 40 employees and invited guests, huddled around the control panel of the presses, checking our mobile devices for updates on the game.
At 12:15 the game ended and by 12:34 the presses began rolling out 30,000 copies of Los Angeles’ newest daily newspaper.
Posing with fresh copies last night: OC Register editor Rob Curley, LA Register editor Ron Sylvester and co-owner Eric Spitz.
One of the coolest things about today’s debut edition: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a column for our metro front about the quintessential movie about Los Angeles.
That, by the way, was my one little contribution to today’s effort: I cut the background out of the little photo of Kareem.
Plus, today is Kareem’s 67th birthday. How nice that our new paper shares a birthday with him.
Reaction today via Facebook and Twitter has been fabulous. My favorite: This one by John T. Garcia of the Ventura County Star:
Ha! Thanks much, John!
Today’s Focus page — which was previously a feature in the OC Register but has been exported to the Long Beach Register, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and, now, the LA Register — was created by our ace graphic artist Scott Brown:
The actual anniversary of that turret explosion is Saturday. But a) We don’t have a Focus page on Saturdays, and b) We wanted something with a local angle for today’s papers. And the battleship Iowa is now a floating museum in San Pedro, in Los Angeles County.
But tomorrow’s page will be one of mine. And it, too, will have a local angle.