Six pounds of holiday goodness delivered to your door step this morning via the Register’s daily newspapers … not including our fantastic local weekly papers, that are also mostly delivered on Thursdays.
A few weeks ago at one of our news meetings, Long Beach Register sports editor Bob Keisser asked me if I had seen that Sunday’s New York Times. It was a double-truck that spanned the front and back covers of the Times’ sports section.
It looked like this:
Bob said he wanted to do something similar for the Long Beach Register’s high school football preview coverage that would be published a few weeks later.
After getting the basic idea cleared — both philosophically and technically — by Orange County Register design gurus Helayne Perry and Brenda Shoun, the wheels were set in motion for us to try this in our Long Beach newspaper.
That’s when Bob began working LB Register designer Matt Murray. We ended up getting lots of helpful suggestions all across our design and photo teams, and what was published on Friday was fantastic! (But Bob and Matt were definitely the guys who made sure this happened and did the legwork.)
Let’s start by showing the front of the entire newspaper for that day and work our way back to the sports section.
Friday’s Long Beach Register cover was designed by Anna Berken, based upon a story idea by Bob. Here’s what it looked like:
Here’s a detail shot of the centerpiece:
The sports cover then looked like this:
But if you opened it up, it looked like this:
That’s the front and back cover of sports. Really fun!
Here is what the inside pages looked like for the rest of the playoff preview:
And that’s how the Long Beach Register “borrowed” an idea from the New York Times.
When someone is hired into the Orange County Register newsroom, I am asked to explain not only the history of our newspaper, but why we do certain things the way that we do them.
It takes me awhile. And it’s also almost always the highlight of my week. I love that we try to explain our newsroom’s philosophies and strategies to those who join our team. Seems kinda basic, even important, but this is the first newspaper I’ve worked at that does this.
At one point in my talk, I go through these points:
And here is picture of the chart mentioned in the screen grab above. (It was given to me a few years ago by a wise friend who loves numbers even more than I do.)
So, that leads us to this …
The front page of this morning’s Orange County Register might not even be the best example of all of this from just this week, but it does really illustrate some of our core philosophies.
And here are a few detail shots that show what I am talking about:
Our editors and designers know what we’re trying to achieve, and our A1 editor — Marcia Prouse — does a great job of pulling it all together for us.
From the Oct. 27 edition of the Orange County Register:
This doubletruck in amazing:
Back in September, before the federal government shutdown, I wrote a post about how the Orange County Register was working hard to make sure the broccoli tasted pretty darn good.
Over the last few weeks, our government and politics team — led by editor Mark Matassa — along with lots of help and suggestions from the rest of our OCR crew, has continued to make a complex story very accessible.
Today’s paper was a great example of what we’re trying to do with our coverage. Here are a few examples from Wednesday’s seven-section, 88-page paper.
Here’s a closer look at the A1 timeline, which was the brainchild of Register A1 editor Marcia Prouse:
An explanation of what would happen if the U.S. government defaulted on its debt:
There were all sorts of great stories on our local cover, but come on, if you find an 18-foot fish, you play that sucker up:
Here’s a look at Fred Matamoros’ graphic for the package:
And here’s Taylor Hill’s story on the “sea serpent,” I mean oarfish:
Then check out this great food package on spicy cocktails, with fantastic photos from Kate Lucas:
The Orange County Register’s daily newspaper for Irvine is the Irvine World News. (I’ve written a lot about the transformation of our Irvine paper in previous posts, if you’re interested.)
Today’s paper was notable because it was the biggest edition of the Irvine World News since it became a daily — 40 pages! Unless you count the spadias. If you do that, it was a 46-page paper.
But that’s not why I wanted to write something quick about today’s edition.
Please check out this centerpiece package by Michael Katz on youth sports injuries, with amazing design from Chris Lusk.
Irvine World News editors Paul Danison and Jeff Rowe — along with OCR community design editor Helayne Perry — are masters at telling stories using much more than just text and photos. This package shows this perfectly.
Here is the front page:
Here is the first page of the story:
And here are a few detail shots:
And here is the second page of the package:
And here is a detail shot from that page:
One of the things that has always fascinated me about the Orange County Register is the newspaper’s commitment to storytelling that does not just involve 50-inch narratives and a black-and-white, two-column photo.
Our editor, Ken Brusic, seems to ask once a week if we have told a story in a way that gives our readers clarity through the chaos.
I relate to that. Have we not only made something complex understandable, but have we also made it so that people want to read it?
Readers’ lives are complicated. They have a lot going on, with tons of things vying for their attention. And most folks aren’t saying: “Boy, I hope the newspaper has a whole lot of words in it today about the possible government shutdown, because I can’t wait to read as much about that as possible.”
So, if newspaper editors feel like something really weighty is important, I’ve always felt like they had an obligation to make it worth our readers’ time. Make it compelling. I’ve written about this before, but we need to make sure that the broccoli tastes great so that folks want to eat healthy things.
Working closely with our Washington bureau, our design team, our Page One editor, our local editor and our wire editors, here is how the Register made the broccoli (a possible government shutdown dripping with politics) taste amazing today:
Here is a close-up on the centerpiece:
Every day, we have one or two Focus pages in the Register’s print edition, where the goal is to take a story that might typically be told as a text-based wire story and we try do something interesting with it.
The mainbar for today’s budget showdown package is a Focus page, except that Matthew Fleming from the Regiser’s Washington bureau wrote it:
And here are some more detailed looks at the page:
Even with our related coverage from the wires, we tried to make sure we had elements like “3 things to know” …
But one of my favorite things we do at the Register is to try to have “learning moments.” What if we viewed Orange County as a classroom with 3 million people in it and we wanted to teach them things?
That’s the idea behind our “Living Textbook” packages. They typically run in our University sections and we reach out to local professors to help us teach our readers about something going on in the news or just something interesting.
How do we demystify something that seems super complicated?
Here is our “Living Textbook” for the possible government shutdown:
Here is closer look at the top of that page:
As someone who may or may not have eaten Buffalo wings, onion rings and Krispy Kreme donuts last night for dinner, I can tell you that right there is some tasty broccoli.
On Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, we published our first edition of the Long Beach Register. It was a two-section, 32-page paper — the main news section was 22 pages, and the sports section was 10 pages. And it was loaded with ads.
Here are the editorial pages, but not all 32 pages. I haven’t posted any of the pages that were full-page ads.
Our very first centerpiece story was written by the uber talented Greg Mellen, with an amazing illustration from the Register’s Fred Matamoros. The page was designed by our team’s senior designer, Helayne Perry.
One of my favorite details on our Page Two package is the custom weather graphics from Chris Morris. And having a standing place to put a cool photo from Jeff Gritchen and our other talented photographers is wonderful.
Here’s a close-up of that Long Beach Register family photo taken by Ed Cristostomo:
Here’s the beginning of the centerpiece jump from the cover. Greg Mellen wrote the heck out of this great story, and the page was designed by Anthony Mendoza:
To go with the centerpiece, we also developed a double-truck historical timeline that was written by Josh Stewart and designed by Jorge Medina:
The centerpiece story then jumped to Page 14, also designed by Anthony:
Here is our first opinion/voices page:
Here is the final jump page for the front-page centerpiece by Greg:
Then the sports section began. For the first few weeks, we’re doing previews of the local high school football teams.
I am blown away by how many stories Bob Keisser and the rest of our sports staff wrote. And Jeff Gritchen’s photos were kick-ass fantastic.
The sports pages were designed by Andres Cardenas and Matt Murray.
Well, that was the first edition of the Long Beach Register. It was fantastic and I was so proud of our team. But Tuesday’s paper was even more impressive. I’ll try to post a few pages from that paper later in the week to show where we’re heading with the design and content.
I’ve always felt like newsrooms are magical places. But I have never experienced the thrill of being in a newsroom that was about ready to launch a new, daily, subscriber-based newspaper in a major metro market until last night.
It was beyond amazing to work with so many people to literally make a new newspaper: the Long Beach Register.
The Long Beach Register’s chief photographer, Jeff Gritchen, took these awesome photos last night:
LB Register editor Paul Eakins, designer Matt Murray and a nerd named Rob all look over assistant editor Jody Collins’ shoulders as she makes final changes to a page.
Matt holds up the proof page of a double-truck from the first issue’s main story package, as Jody laughs at Matt’s description of the layout’s awesomeness.
Paul and I read over a proof of the front page.
Once all of our pages had been sent to the production department, we all headed over to watch the plates being made. There was some high-fiving.
One of the plates being taken to the press.
Dork heading to the press room.
Plates from our centerpiece package on the press.
Press operator working on sports front page.
The first copies coming off the press.
Looking over one of the first copies with our senior designer Helayne Perry and LB Register publisher Ian Lamont.
Enjoying the first paper with Matt and senior writer Greg Mellen.
Ian shows off our front page and sports page.
Paul, Freedom Communications president Eric Spitz and Ian look over the first edition.
A pressman examines the paper.
A group of us from all different parts of our company wait for the press to start again as lots of still cameras and video cameras capture the moment.
Eric shows me something on his phone, which — BTW — seems to be big enough to hold a full-sized image of our paper.
Paul holds up a stack of our very first papers.
And here’s Jeff, the great photographer who took all of these photos, holding up our paper.
What a night! I’m so proud of everyone who worked on this, and honored that I got to be around their creativity, talent and spirit as we did this.
Now let’s do it again today. Only without the TV cameras.
Here’s a video that is from the Register’s website about the first night of production for the Long Beach Register from Mark Eades:
After a few quick web searches, I’m still confused whether free promotional items are called “swag” or “schwag” and I will be the first to admit that I’m not the essential copy editor. (However, those web searches did reveal a definition to “schwag” that I have never heard before, though some of my friends who were in my college rock bands may have.)
That being said, check out this stuff, whatever it is supposed to be called …
And here’s a shot of some of us (including Long Beach Register editor Paul Eakins and Long Beach Register publisher Ian Lamont) waiting for our staff photo to be taken last week. I think the child in the background was there with his mom checking out the scenery, though I haven’t met all of our interns yet. The interns all look so young to me now.