As part of a general expansion in coverage and content, the Orange County Register is preparing to feature the life and culture of the county’s largest universities in new weekly sections on Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Chapman University.
The new sections are set to publish the first week of April—UC Irvine’s will run on Mondays, Chapman’s on Tuesdays and CSUF’s on Wednesdays.
Aaron Kushner, CEO of Freedom Communications, 2100 Trust LLC and publisher of the Register, said the sections will be significant enough to stand alone and will be distributed to all areas of Orange County.
Eric Morgan, communications manager at the Register, said the sections will illustrate all aspects of campus life.
“We want to introduce readers to the vibrant university communities that are centers of ideas and innovation, and explain how each university’s impact reaches far beyond the physical borders of each campus,” he said.
Guest columns by various leaders at each university campus can be expected in the inserts, Morgan added. These will supplement regular stories on academic research, guest speakers on campus, inter-collegiate sports and other subjects.
The Register has reached out to university public relations and student newspapers at the three campuses, but Morgan noted the joint effort will not lead to lopsided coverage of the schools.
“There will be active collaboration, but like all other news sections, the Register newsroom ultimately decides which articles and content (will) publish in the university sections,” he said.
According to a press release, Rob Curley, who introduced major changes to the Register’s 22 community issues, will oversee the sections.
The new sections will be headed full-time by editor Thomas Martinez, an 11-year veteran at the Register. The team covering the universities will eventually have six full-time reporters, Morgan said.
“So far there have been three full-time reporters hired, a full-time page designer, and we’re hiring a full-time photographer,” he said.
Student journalists at the schools may also have opportunities to be published in the sections, Kushner said.
The announcement of the new sections is yet another layer to an abundance of changes at the Register since it was purchased in July 2012 by 2100 Trust LLC, an investment group that has purchased and revitalized several newspaper companies and had previously planned to buy the Boston Globe.