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Newspaper Wars: Long Beach Is Now A Two-Paper Town

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While most major newspapers are folding left and right, Long Beach is actually launching a brand-new one: The Long Beach Register made its debut today.

The owners of the Orange County Register is spinning off a new Long Beach edition that will focus on "hyperlocal" news. It will be published daily, but not on weekends, except for a subscriber-only Saturday edition.

The plan is to distribute 10,000 copies, publisher Ian Lamont told the Associated Press. It will be wrapped around the Orange County Register and also be at 450 news racks and retail outlets throughout the area, either as a stand-alone or combined with the O.C. Register, according to a July announcement by the paper.

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Subscribers also will have digital access to Long Beach-specific news at the O.C. Register site.

Because there's already a newspaper in town, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, that makes the California city one of the few in the nation that's a two-newspaper town. Long Beach has a population of 468,000 and the Press-Telegram, which was founded more than 100 years ago, maintains an average weekday circulation of about 55,000, according to AP.

"We believe that a city with the size and vibrancy of Long Beach should be happy to support a great newspaper of the variety we want to provide," Aaron Kushner, who bought the Orange County Register a year ago, told AP. Defying the current downsizing trend, they have steadily been expanding reporting staff and page counts.

"If it is, we'll make healthy money. If it's not, that'll be unfortunate for everyone. But we believe we'll be successful," Kushner said.

According to AP, editor Paul Eakins has told his staff of about 20 to cover "hyperlocal" news, including items about a new dog park and a boy becoming an Eagle Scout, as well as welcome contributions from readers.

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When the O.C. Register announced the spinoff last month, they promised a Saturday print edition for subscribers, which will be just the schools section with prep sports.

The newspaper will be distributed in most of Long Beach as well as parts of Lakewood, Cerritos, Artesia and Signal Hill.