Register Home Delivery Redux

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Back in October of 2009 I wrote here about the Register deciding to do away with its own home delivery workforce and instead contract with the Los Angeles Times to deliver the paper to subscribers. I called it a logical business decision, but lamented that it seemed to be another step away from the good old days when neighborhood kids on their bicycles did the delivery job.

My article was titled “Farewell Register Carrier” and reported on a note that came with my morning paper that read as follows:

Dear Customer: I am sad to inform you that as of October 18, 2009 I will no longer distribute the newspaper for you. The OC Register notified us that due to the current economy they were forced to lay off all of their personnel, which included me. For many years this employment provided economical support to me and my family. I would like to take this opportunity to say good bye and thank you for your kindness. You are appreciated.”

This sad note was signed by Manuel. Why is this news now? Well, read on –

In the October 1 Register, page14 of the first section, there appears a half-page advertisement announcing that the Register is “excited to introduce new independent carriers to deliver your Register”. The ad states that it is the paper’s mission to ensure quality service and improve delivery, and this new delivery strategy will begin October 4.

I don’t buy it. My delivery has been flawless. I think this is a move to try to work around a destroyed relationship with the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps that destruction is the result of the failed attempt to market a Los Angeles Register in the turf of the Times, or perhaps the reports are true that the Register has not been paying the Times for its delivery service and a debt has built up. I don’t know the reason or reasons for this change, but I can bet there is a bit of desperation behind it.

I wonder what happened to Manuel and his family. Will the Register track him down and give him his job back?

Maybe the Register’s investigative journalists who write their Watchdog pieces focused on blunders and perceived bureaucratic waste in government should turn their spotlight on this home delivery saga and tell us what is really going on here. Take a look at your own, Watchdogs!

In the meantime, wish those of us who still subscribe to The Register for home delivery luck. Something tells me we are going to need it.


About Over But Not Out

A retired Orange County employee, and moderate Republican. The editor seriously does not know OBNO's identity as did not the former editor, but his point of view is obviously interesting and valued.