Leaks from the Orange County Register newsroom in Santa Ana have fueled a rumor mill in advance of a 2 p.m. meeting that’s expected to bring word that parent Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. plans to make sweeping changes to the daily’s newsroom, where a total of 35 layoffs are expected.
Unconfirmed reports point to the departure of Editor Ken Brusic and several deputy editors. Rob Curley, who has been in charge of the Register’s efforts to bolster its roster of community weeklies, is said to be in line for the top editor’s job. Donna Wares, who joined the Register as business editor in late 2012 and more recently was named editor of a new daily said to be in the works for Los Angeles, will be managing editor under Curley, according to several sources.
Freedom laid off 39 at Press-Enterprise in Riverside yesterday—a second round of layoffs since Publisher and Chief Executive Aaron Kushner struck a deal to buy the newspaper from Dallas-based A.H. Belo Corp. in November for $27.25 million. The layoffs were dubbed a “part of an ongoing effort to evolve and operate as one organization” with the Register.