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Register Gets a New Publisher

Aaron Kushner, the new owner of Freedom Communications, will be a hands on owner and will serve as the publisher of The Orange County Register. He’ll be directly managing the day-to-day operations of Orange County Register Communications which includes 23 community papers as well as the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Spanish-language newspaper Excélsior, in addition to and Coast Magazine. Ken Brusic stays on as editor.

The Orange County Business Journal reports that Kushner plans to introduce a “subscriber first” strategy. The goal is “making content richer and more valuable to subscribers,” OCBJ reports Kushner told employees on July 26.

To that we say “amen.” But for Orange County’s more than 500,000 registered Democrats, the paper doesn’t live up to its corporate parent’s name of “Freedom” Communications. News columnists and editorial page writers skew center/right. The best a liberal or a bulldog Democrat could hope for is a “Reader Rebuttal.” Under the guise of the Register’s writers, global warming/climate change is a fraud and scientific fact is subject to debate, public employee unions are always overpaid and have very generous pensions (which average about $29,000), and lobbying by the California Teacher’s Association (at $6 million annually) is a travesty while AT&T’s annual $18 million in lobbying is corporate free speech. Even reeks of right wing claptrap. The Register does have an online “from the Left” column and good luck finding it.

So welcome to Orange County Mr. Kushner. There’s a whole host of us who used to subscrive to the Register. Three papers hit my driveway every morning: The New York Times, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal. Now the first two skew left and the last skew right, but all three publish editorial opinion columns from both a liberal and conservative persecptive. The LA Times runs conservative writer Jonah Goldberg. The NY Times has a policy encouraging Letters to the Editor from right wingers earning a better shot at publication. The Wall Street Journal runs op-eds from people like Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Who’s the Register’s resident liberal columnist? You don’t have one. Want to grow circulation? Allow the paper to become what it should be — a free market for ideas from the broad spectrum of right to left. There are a lot of us lefties out there counting on you, Mr. Kushner, to bring balance to the Force. Pleas


  1. Liberty Minded Liberty Minded August 6, 2012

    Hmm, why are the average pensions $29,000???
    Perhaps because they are OLD pensions from the pre-Grey Davis era. If we only had kept the pensions on a reasonable increase curve in place of the coming pension “weapons of massive budget destruction” that is certain to shatter many California governments. We are already facing hard choices – cut current employee salaries or cut current services or cut pensions present or cut pensions future.

  2. RHackett RHackett August 6, 2012

    The print edition had a soundbite by the new publisher that he intends to maintain the libertarian “voice” as part of the OC Register culture.

    What’s the over/under before the venture burrows in and crashes?

    • Noclib1 Noclib1 August 6, 2012

      Or cut through the right wing pension hysteria aimed at attacking public collective bargaining, and public employees (who sometimes have the temerity to bust crooked corporations). Try looking at the real facts at

  3. MikeM128 MikeM128 August 6, 2012

    If the Register were to swing to the left then it would be the end for it. Conservatives don’t like to spend money reading non stop left wing garbage. There is a reason why Fox News is always number one.

    The Register has been a mix of more conservative opinion and some readers like that. I personally like both sides for perspective but it seems that the media of all sorts is trying to sell one side or the other.

    It would be nice to have unbiased perspectives to look at all aspects of an issue and form educated decisions. Unfortunately we have spent more time making sure our children don’t get educated so that they grow up only being able to follow like sheep.

    Let’s face it, America is filled with the stupid and they are easily fooled by left and right wing propaganda. Thats why our media caters to one side or the other.

    I like you Dan subscribe to multiple sources, unfortunately not everyone can afford to pay for them all just for editorials.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | August 6, 2012

      Hate to break it to you Mike, but Comedy Central draws a bigger audience than Fox News and viewers of John Sewart and Steven Colbert are considered “better informed” than the average Fox News viewer.

      • MikeM128 MikeM128 August 7, 2012

        Liberals always like to pretend they are better informed. The anti one percenters make the toothless redneck right wingers look like they are geniuses. Liberals also have trouble with comprehension. They have no clue what the writing in the constitution means. I guess only the libertarians have a clue.

        If the left were that smart they would have kicked out all of the Democrats in this state years age. Instead they destroyed it.

        As for comparing comedy to news in ratings, then why don’t we just stop and say the NFL rules all. Although to me I guess you can call MSNBC comedy as well except they have no ratings.

        • santa ana citizen santa ana citizen August 7, 2012

          MikeM128: Liberals have a problem understanding what the “writing” in the Constitution means? Seriously? Care to explain or give examples so we can understand this (rather right wing) assertion? Oh, and by the way, I trust you are incorporating the bill of rights? While you are at it, kindly explain where in the Constitution it says corporations are people, with all the attendant rights of a human being?

          • MikeM128 MikeM128 August 7, 2012

            Oh where to start…… You also seem to think that I would agree with the conservative members. Yes I do include the bill of rights. Overall most of our founders plan to limit the federal government was a good thing.

            While I am very much pro choice, there is nowhere in the any of the documents that gives you a right to privacy. This is a key component for the decision of Roe v. Wade. The decision was pure activism.

            Anyone that thinks we should not have guns should have flunked history. We need guns to overthrow the government if necessary, not for hunting.

            Obama Care was a correct ruling if you use the case for taxation. Justice Roberts was the only one that got it right. The lefty judges would have used the commerce clause and that has been abused. It is a Tax and unfortunately Congress has that right. The commerce clause has been used to violate state rights over and over.

            I could see where a corporation could be determined to be a person. It is actually many persons. But I like you don’t like unlimited cash funds for the scumbags running for office. I will say that I am balanced, I don’t think unions should be able to spend any money either. This is less of an issue for the supreme court overall then having congress step up to stop it all. I think we would all love to put and end to pay to play.

            The Supreme Court is nothing but a joke anymore. They have proved over and over that they are just political hacks. Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy seem to be the closer to the ideal. The left leaning members would make up anything to push an agenda and the right leaning members are only a tiny bit more true to the original intent.

            Liberals are the first to try and find a way to eliminate Rush Limbaugh because they don’t like what he says. Conservatives don’t care what you say, they just don’t necessarily support it. They do support your right to say it.

            Fox brings on both sides to yell at each other and lie so that you can try to figure out what point of view is more correct. MSNBC brings on a leftest and and psycho leftist to push talking points.

            In the end I understand the theoretical ideal that Dan would like to see. I would like to see fair and balanced as Fox says. The problem is that newspapers don’t have opinion sections anymore. The entire paper is opinion.

            The Register allows me to read from the right of center perspective which is far more rare than left of center.

            The reason I am on here and other blogs, news and opinion sites is that I like to make informed decisions. I like absorb all perspectives even if I don’t agree with them.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | August 8, 2012

          Mike — I’m guessing there are some reading comprehensive probelms here. While Comedy Central is a comedy show, they use satire to demonstrate how conservative positions on certain issues don’t hold up to various constitutional or societal norms. The point is give Fox news viewers and Comedy Central viewers a current events quiz and the Comedy Central crowd will score higher.

  4. Phil Phil August 8, 2012

    Fox news is number one because the 30% of the electorate who are conservatives watch it while the 30% who are Dems split their tv news among the other three stations.

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