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Newspaper owners celebrate newspapers’ “vibrant” future by shutting down a newspaper

Here is a stock photo of some newspapers, a medium with a thriving future ahead of it.
Here is a stock photo of some newspapers, a medium with a thriving future ahead of it.
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

Aaron Kushner swept into the southern California media scene with bold proclamations about reinvesting in newspapers in 2012. First, he purchased the Orange County Register. Then, he started up many local offshoots in other communities near Los Angeles, before starting up a Los Angeles Register and purchasing Riverside's Press-Enterprise (for which I worked from 2005-2008).

Kushner, however, has struggled to meet his vision. The O.C. Weekly went into detail on his troubles in June, and now, he and Freedom Communications co-owner Eric Spitz have had to shut down the Los Angeles edition of the paper, effective last night. It began printing in April, making it just around five months old.

Kushner and Spitz are, if the final line of the memo Jim Romenesko obtained is any indication, nothing if not fans of bitter, bitter irony. It reads, in full and directed at people losing their jobs:

Thank you for your commitment to pour everything we have into proving that newspapers have a vibrant and healthy future.

Yep, you've made the future of newspapers seem super vibrant, guys. Nice work.

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