California newspaper orders worker furloughs
SANTA ANA, Calif. • The owner of the Orange County Register is furloughing staff, calling for employee buyouts and downsizing its Long Beach daily just months after laying off about 70 newsroom workers at its publications.
Freedom Communications told staff Tuesday that everyone must take two weeks unpaid furlough in June and July, although publication will continue.
The company is also asking newsroom staffers to accept severance packages, but spokesman Eric Morgan says there could be layoffs if enough people don’t volunteer.
Meanwhile, the company’s Long Beach Register, launched last August, is changing from a daily paper to a section within the new Los Angeles Register. It will still print a Sunday edition.
Freedom, which got new owners two years ago, has aggressively tried to enter the Los Angeles market.