Sept. 22, 2014, 1:36 p.m.
Is Aaron Kushner thinking of getting out of L.A.? The owner and publisher of the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Register told an audience at the Portada Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference he’ll be considering the paper’s future:
Aaron Kushner, CEO of Freedom Communications, said that he will evaluate “in the next few weeks” whether the Los Angeles Register has a viable future as a daily. The Los Angeles Register was launched in April of this year in the Los Angeles, CA market, where it competes with other dailies including the Los Angeles Times. Kushner’s comments, which were made during an on-stage interview conducted by Portada publisher Marcos Baer during Portada’s 8th Annual Hispanic Advertising and Media Conference, are the first explicit references by Freedom Communications CEO about the possibility of discontinuing daily publication of the Los Angeles Register.
The paper’s had a rocky existence so far, and the timing of Kushner’s remarks will probably only fuel rumors
about the fate of the paper. The Los Angeles Register debuted in April
, but by June Freedom had instituted a company-wide furlough program and was offering voluntary buyout packages
Of course, evaluating can mean a lot of things. But that Kushner would say he’s evaluating the status of the L.A. paper, rather than praising the investment, chastising critics, or trying to stoke an old-fashioned newspaper war, is no small sign. Kushner also told the crowd Freedom Communications’ weekly papers, along with dailies like the OC Register and The Press Enterprise are responsible for “low single-digit revenue growth rate” at the company.
Update, 9/23: Well, that was quick:
The Los Angeles Register, which launched in April as part Aaron Kushner’s bold bet on print newspapers, will cease publication, effective immediately.
Orange County Register co-owner Aaron Kushner announced the decision Monday night in a memo sent to employees.
“Pundits and local competitors who have closely followed our entry into Los Angeles will be quick to criticize our decision to launch a new newspaper and they will say that we failed,” said the memo, signed by Kushner and his Freedom Communications co-owner Eric Spitz.
“We believe, the true definition of failure is not taking bold steps toward growth.”
The memo hints at layoffs, but provided no specific details.