This is the note to readers that appeared on the front page of this morning’s Orange County Register:
Before there was the Orange County Register, there was the Santa Ana Register, and today our newspaper returns to its roots. Santa Ana readers now have a weekly paper dedicated to telling stories of a city rich with culture and diversity.
Our new weekly has a distinctly historic feel as we return to the banner used before 1939. In 1952, the paper changed its name to simply The Register, and in 1985 became The Orange County Register.
In the early years, the Santa Ana Register’s mission was to be the “People’s Paper for all Orange County.” That also describes our goal for the Orange County Register – to keep improving the nation’s largest and best community newspaper.
Our new weekly will be delivered to subscribers in Santa Ana every Thursday. But all our readers will benefit from increased daily coverage of the county seat.
This first edition of the Santa Ana Register as a weekly newspaper was 36 pages. The first 18 pages were a news/sports section, and the second 18 pages were devoted to the history of Santa Ana and how the Register wove through that history.
Here are a few highlights of this morning’s paper:
“Voices” is our opinion/editorial page. But with the exception of the column from me, it is all contributed from the community.
The second part of the paper was the historical section – a section filled with full-page ads … and only full-page ads. It was lovely to see all of these open news pages sitting right next to advertisers who truly believe in the re-birth of this newspaper.
The middle of this history section included this amazing double-truck timeline. This was designed by Jorge Medina.
I’ve written and said this next sentence so many times that it probably sounds like a cliche now, but it’s still as true to me as the day I first heard it. My mentor in journalism – photojournalist extraordinaire Bill Snead – emphasized to me how important it was to give our readers a gift each day … something that surprises them and makes them feel a real emotion.
This history section was that. But really the whole paper was.
Santa Ana is such a great city with so many important stories to be told, and now we have a great local newspaper where we can tell them. And what a team to tell those stories!
The paper’s editor, Theresa Cisneros, has worked at the Register for 14 years, and is the fourth generation of her family to call Santa Ana home. Nearly every person on this staff has similar ties, from the reporters to the great visual journalists.
Along with Theresa, so many others really worked their tailfeathers off to make this first edition such a treat, people like designers Jorge Medina, Helayne Perry and Fernando Donado, community editor Michelle Nicolosi and senior reporters Ron Gonzales and Tim Burt, as well as our newest reporters Jordan England-Nelson and Alejandra Molina. Our group editor over the Santa Ana Register is Paul Danison.
It’s not very often that you get asked to launch a new newspaper. These people treated it like the amazing opportunity that it was.