To survive we must be “cheaper, better, faster,” Terry Horne, president OC Register

In channel surfing this afternoon I found the president of the OC Register addressing a group at OC Forum. In his presentation Terry Horne, president of the Register, put a positive face on the state of his industry during a very challenging time for those engaged in the world of print media. He stated that newspapers have lost $5 billion in want ads since 2000. Mr Horne said we must be “cheaper, better, faster” and offer solutions not products for our customers. He went on to say that “we are dealing with a significant revenue decline” citing competitors such as Craig’s List and others. He later stated that “newspapers are not a dying medium” but did admit that “it is a painful transition.”

In reference to the Internet he mentioned their daily web called “The Juice.” Note: That web site is not related to the Orange Juice blog which was created by Art Pedroza prior to the Register joining those of us who blog on the Internet.

Mr. Horne had some positive numbers to share with his audience such as the four percent increase in daily home delivery and having 500 new advertisers based on a new concept in frequency over volume ad rates. He said they are engaged in re-engineering the paper and stripping out costs to provide a better ROI for their customers.

Between their website and their print media the Register reaches 55 percent of the people who live or work in Orange County.

In closing let me paraphrase president Horne who said something that hits home. Without the print media who will stand up and challenge our government?

For additional information you may contact 949.588.9884.  The KDOC program referenced above was on

We were also told to keep our eyes out for a new local search directory in partnership with firms including Amazon to be found at

Gilbert comments: Months ago I stated that Internet bloggers have had a major advantage over the daily print media in that we could break or cover stories in a matter of minutes, not wait until the morning edition of the paper arrives on our driveways, to see what was happening in our back yards or the rest of the world.  The Register recognized that fact and have shifted their focus as admitted by Terry when he said they have now engaged in a “web first policy” for their news reporting. Just as there is room for a multitude of blogs in Orange County, we do need to have our own daily newspaper which has a role to play in serving the 3 million who reside in OC.

While all of us hit the keyboard at the same time, we still have an advantage when it relates to local stories. The local reporters are very cautious about writing anything negative about the cities they cover for fear of being cut out of news stories. I might also point out that they do not engage in the old fashioned investigative reporting to make sure that they touch all the bases. As bloggers we are not beholden to anyone. And while we try our best to verify the facts contained in our stories, lacking the same resources of the print media we may not be perfect but hopefully do not engage in false reporting.

While we have become a powerhouse in the blogosphere, I still enjoy it when the media takes our government to the woodshed. Let us not forget that their circulation is huge as compared to the number of daily hits that we are able to reach. For that reason alone I do not wish to see the demise of the OC Register.

About Larry Gilbert