Less than two months after the Orange County Register stopped contracting with rival newspaper the Los Angeles Times for delivery services, the Register asked reporters and other staff members to help deliver their newspapers.
On Friday, the Times wrote that, “The unusual requests signal that problems persist since the Register switched from Los Angeles Times distributors to new carriers in early October” and that the requests were made for deliveries on Sundays and Thanksgiving. As part of their “We Care” campaign, the Register is reportedly offering up to $150 in Visa gift cards for employees helping with the delivery campaign.
The Times, hard-hit by financial woes and facing an uphill recovery themselves, said that they had notified the Register in September that they were in default on their delivery contract and offered them a 30-day option to pay. “In mid-October, the Times sued the Register, alleging breach of contract and failure to pay about $2.5 million in fees for delivering the newspaper,” wrote the Times.
Reportedly, the switch had been made by Freedom CEO Aaron Kushner — the company that owns the Register — after the Times “refused to guarantee uninterrupted delivery of our paper.”
The Register‘s interim publisher Richard Mirman said the paper is working to address their issues and that only “a select few delivery routes continue to be affected by intermittent or late delivery.”
Facing financial woes, the Register closed its Los Angeles print edition and let go of dozens of reporters as a result.
The advent of social media and online publications has posed great challenges for several newspapers over the past few years.
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