Daily that challenged LA Times shuts down

The Los Angeles Register, a newspaper launched earlier this year to challenge the region's dominant Los Angeles Times, announced Tuesday it was shutting down.

"We launched in April with the ambition to tell the local stories that make Los Angeles great," the daily said on its front page.

"Unfortunately, not enough readers took us up on our offering, and today's print edition will be the final one."

The demise of the daily is a setback for co-owner Aaron Kushner, a former Internet entrepreneur who invested heavily in print journalism, bucking the trend toward online news.

Kushner and co-owner Eric Spitz, who invested millions in newspapers in the Los Angeles region, will focus now on the nearby Orange County Register and Sunday Long Beach Register.

Subscribers to the closed daily will maintain access to the company's digital offerings, the daily said.

Observers said Kushner's print-centric approach was being closely watched in media circles.

Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor, said the decision "is not really a surprise" and that the warning signs had appeared in June, when cuts were announced just months after the launch of the Register.

"From the moment he acquired the Orange County Register, Aaron Kushner has been telling us that there was nothing wrong with the print newspaper business that investment and expansion wouldn't cure," Kennedy told AFP.

"A lot of us were hoping he was right. Unfortunately he was wrong, and the flameout of the LA Register is just the latest and most visible sign of a retreat that's been under way all year.

"I still hope Kushner might find a way to get it right, but so far his track record speaks for itself."

The shutdown comes as major US media firms have been spinning off or selling their print assets. That includes Tribune Co., which spun off its unit that includes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

© 2014 AFP

Citation: Daily that challenged LA Times shuts down (2014, September 23) retrieved 27 March 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-daily-la.html
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