Posted on | January 16, 2014 | 5 Comments
Two newspapers in Southern California owned by Aaron Kushner’s Freedom Communications, the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise, laid off about 70 editors and reporters Thursday. For the past 18 months, Kushner had been aggressively expanding his operation, but suddenly — whack! whack! whack!
This was perhaps predictable. Kushner spent a lot of money and expanded staff at a time when everybody else in the business is counting pennies and getting by with skeleton news operations.
Meanwhile, in the allegedly prosperous world of digital media, the Daily Beast has formally named John Avlon editor-in-chief and hired Noah Schactman as executive editor. In case you missed it, founding editor Tina Brown exited the Daily Beast last fall in typical fashion. Three years after talking Barry Diller into buying Newsweek for her, having squandered tens of millions of dollars of other people’s money on a web site less influential than either BuzzFeed or Huffington Post, the imperious Brown announced that she would pursue the business of organizing her Women in the World conferences.
One former Newsweek staffer described the reaction: “At rows of desks, reporters and editors pretend to stare at screens, while fighting the urge to jump and start dancing and cheering.”
The post-Brown editors of the Daily Beast probably won’t be flying Robin Givhan to Paris to track down the editor of Vogue.