By Tiffany Rider - Assistant Editor
August 13, 2013 – The people of Long Beach will have another option for community news via the Long Beach Register (LBR) starting August 19.
“What the Long Beach Register will bring is a new way of approaching local news that the people of Long Beach haven’t gotten much of in a long time,” said Paul Eakins, a former Press-Telegram editor who will serve as editor of LBR. “I think it will be another, different option for people to learn about their community.”
The LBR is the first daily newspaper in Los Angeles County for owner Freedom Communications, which operates the Orange County Register (OCR) and various other publications. Five days a week, the LBR will print a minimum of 16 pages, with 10 pages of community-focused news and six pages of school sports. On Fridays, the publication’s sports section will instead focus on student extracurricular activities like band, and local arts.
The Long Beach Register staff will operate from offices at
Daugherty Sky Harbor on Spring Street near Temple Avenue. Pictured,
from left, are: Paul Eakins, editor; Susan Jacobs, community engagement editor;
Ian Lamont, publisher; and Jeff Gritchen, chief photographer.
(Photograph by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville)
“This is just to start,” LBR Publisher Ian Lamont told the Business Journal. (Readers may recognize the name of the former Press-Telegram publisher.) The LBR will cover Long Beach as well as the cities of Artesia, Cerritos, Lakewood and Signal Hill.
As a wrap around the OCR, the publication will launch with a distribution of 10,000, which includes approximately 2,600 OC Register subscribers who will automatically get the LBR, more than 200 paid news racks, 100 racks inside large retail stores and 220 free racks across the publication’s five-city coverage area.
In addition, the LBR staff will produce what Lamont called “a total market coverage product” of about six pages on Fridays that contains the news of the week. “It’s a ‘here’s what you missed’ for the non-subscriber,” Lamont said, noting distribution of this product is expected to be 46,000.
In addition to Eakins – who was hired by the OCR in April to facilitate the publication’s first effort to transition one of its weeklies into a five-day-a-week newspaper – the staff at the new LBR includes other familiar names: Kelly Puente, Greg Mellen, Bob Keisser, Jeff Gritchen and Jody Collins are all former P-Ters.
“We start with 20 employees, of which two-thirds of that staff are editorial,” Lamont said in an August 2 interview. “We have not completely made all assignments yet, but we will certainly have beat reporters.”
The LBR will cover all races, interview all candidates and endorse in all local races in the 2014 elections, Lamont said. “We’ll be doing what a daily newspaper should do in an election,” he said, noting that each Friday the paper’s community section will include an opinion on an issue.
The publication has a sales manager and three sales representatives, who will offer introductory ad rates through November 30. The LBR also accepts classifieds. “The philosophy of Aaron [Kushner] and Eric [Spitz] is that the newspaper should be available to everyone,” Lamont said of the Freedom Communications owners.
“Newspapers work. There is a whole generation out there of businesses that have not been able to advertise in newspapers for a long time. This is a way to show them the effectiveness of newspapers and introduce them back into newspapers at very modest rates.”
Looking ahead, Lamont said he expects the publication to adapt to demand. “It is going to evolve a great deal in the first 60 days,” he said. For more information about the LBR, visit www.lbregister.com.