The Orange County Register is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper focused on serving Orange County and helping it thrive.
The newspaper portfolio includes two-dozen community newspapers serving Orange County’s 34 cities and Spanish-language weekly Excélsior.
Monthly magazines include Coast, OC Family and Southland Golf. Its market-leading digital offerings include OCRegister.com, OCVarsity.com and many others. Orange County Register also offers a full spectrum of digital advertising, custom content, printing, and advertising insert services that help Orange County’s 80,000 small businesses effectively reach Orange County.
The Orange County Register is part of Southern California News Group, which operates 11 daily newspapers and associated websites in Southern California, including the Los Angeles Daily News, Daily Breeze in Torrance, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Pasadena Star-News, The (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, The Sun in San Bernardino and Redlands Facts. When combined with its multiple weekly newspapers, Spanish-language products and social channels, SCNG products reach an audience of more than 8.1 million readers each week, with in-depth reporting on exclusive content focusing on local news, politics, sports and entertainment relevant to the communities it serves.
The evolution of the Orange County Register began on Nov. 25, 1905, when a group of businessmen launched the Santa Ana Register to serve Orange County’s 20,000 residents. There have been several major developments, both in the county and within the Register, since that date.
As preferences in how to receive information and connect with our neighbors in Orange County continue to evolve, the Orange County Register is evolving right along with those preferences.
Here are some noteworthy milestones at the Register:
1935 Raymond Cyrus “R.C.” Hoiles buys the paper after negotiating for nine months with owners Loyal King and J. Frank Burke. The 32-page evening paper cost readers 3 cents a copy.
1937 Hoiles begins writing a bylined column, which becomes a six-day-a-week mainstay of the paper, eventually under the label “Common Ground.” It is his forum to take a stand for limited government, free markets, property rights and individual liberty – and against public schools, collective bargaining, social-welfare laws and taxes.
1938 Purchases and absorbs Santa Ana competitor the Journal, from John P. Scripps.
1939 Moves from Third and Sycamore to Sycamore and Sixth, in downtown Santa Ana.
1939 Changes name to Santa Ana Register, dropping “Daily” from the flag.
1940s With World War II, world and national news dominated the front page; local news moves to a second section.
1942 Hoiles opines against the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans, one of the few in the country to speak out against the forcible relocations.
1949 Launches Sunday edition again. With a cost to readers of 10 cents a day, the paper has a circulation of about 15,000.
1950 Hoiles’ newspaper holdings are incorporated as Freedom Newspapers Inc.
1955 Changes name to The Register.
1957 Moves out of downtown Santa Ana to a 6.4-acre orchard at 625 N. Grand Ave.
1959 Starts a morning edition.
1965 Circulation tops 100,000. Buys community dailies and weeklies in Orange, Brea, Anaheim, La Habra.
1970 R.C. Hoiles dies. R.C.’s oldest son, Clarence, serves as CEO until his own death in 1981.
1979 R. David Threshie becomes publisher. New offset presses installed.
1980 N. Christian Anderson III named editor. He later becomes publisher, after Threshie retires.
1985 Wins first Pulitzer Prize, for photography of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
1985 Changes name to The Orange County Register.
1986 Moves into 5-story addition at Grand Avenue site. Circulation tops 300,000.
1989 Wins Pulitzer Prize for military affairs coverage.
1996 Wins Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting on fertility fraud at UC Irvine.
2005 The Register celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
2007 Terry Horne named president and publisher.
2008 Expands availability of its news content through Amazon Kindle handheld device.
2008 Begins delivering news updates to mobile phones through m.ocregister.com.
2009 Introduces revamped OCRegister.com with personalization capabilities and hyper-local content.
2010 The Orange County Register introduces mobile news app on iPhone, Android, Blackberry smartphones in April. OCVarsity app is launched in September.
2011 Sunday circulation for the Register grows by 7 percent, to 283,997.
2012 2100 Trust completes its acquisition of Freedom Communications on July 25. The investor group is led by Aaron Kushner, who becomes Freedom’s CEO and Register publisher.
2012 Freedom Communications acquires Churm Media, which includes a portfolio of magazines, Ripe Orange marketing agency, and a custom content unit, in December.
2013 Register expands depth and quality of its daily and community newspapers. Updates include new sections in the daily, and a full redesign of its community newspapers from tabloid-size to a larger broadsheet-size matching the daily paper.
2014 Rich Mirman named publisher in October.
2016 The Register and The Press-Enterprise (owned by Freedom Communications) are purchased by Digital First Media in March; Southern California News Group (SCNG) is formed. Ron Hasse is named publisher of the newspapers, and president of SCNG.
Nearly three quarters of American students who took the first-ever computer-based national writing exam did not communicate effectively, even when allowed to use spell check, a thesaurus and other word-processing tools, according to a federal report released Friday.
Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress: 2011 Writing exam show that few students can write successfully in both academic and workplace settings, educators said.
The program is part of a series of national tests in math, science, reading and other subjects known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” It tested 24,100 eighth-graders in 950 schools and 28,100 12th-graders in 1,220 schools. So far, only national data has been released; names of participating public and private schools have not been made public.
The first-of-its-kind writing exam provided students with information via short video or audio segments, newspaper articles, data from real-world settings and other materials on which to base their writing. Students were measured on their ability to: persuade or change the reader’s point of view; explain or expand the reader’s understanding; and convey experience or communicate individual experiences to others.
Officials said they worked to test a sample of students that’s representative of the overall population.
Results show that 27 percent of eight-graders and the same rate of 12th-graders scored “proficient or advanced,” meaning they developed explanations with well-chosen details to enhance meaning, presented a clear progression of ideas, chose precise words and crafted well-controlled sentences.
Students could score up to 300 points, with results scaled so 150 would represent an average score. To be scored proficient, students had to achieve at least 173.
An additional 54 percent of eighth-graders and 52 percent of 12th-graders scored “basic,” writing explanations using some details that did not enhance the clarity or progression of ideas, organizing thoughts loosely and relying on relatively simply sentence structure.
Students had to achieve a score of at least 112 to be marked basic
Twenty percent of eighth-graders and 21 percent of 12th-graders scored “below basic,” meaning they lacked basic skills and struggled to compose clear thoughts in writing. These students scored 111 or lower.
Students were allowed to use the full features of word-processing programs. One writing task asked students to explain to a college admissions committee why they value a specific type of technology. Students watched a short video with animations and statistics about technology use. Then, they were asked to write an explanation of the value of technology.
Previously, students taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress writing test had to use pencil and paper. Changes in technology and the need to write across electronic formats prompted the switch to computers.
“Writing is fundamental to effective communication, especially in an era in which email and other word-processed documents are the norm rather than the exception,” said David Driscoll, chairman of NAEP’s governing board.
In the 2007 writing exam, 33 percent of students nationally scored proficient or advanced, but officials cautioned against comparisons because the tests are significantly different.
Each year, about a third of the nation’s high school graduates ascend directly to four-year colleges and universities. Driscoll said the writing test results affirm that schools need to get more students ready for college.
“Our nation’s students need to write clearly, logically and accurately. We need to focus on supporting students beyond basic levels so that they have a solid grasp of effective writing skills,” he said.
In Orange County, students generally outperform peers statewide and nationally on other writing standardized tests, including the written portion of the SAT. That section requires a written essay, where students are graded on grammar, mechanics and word choice. In 2011, Orange County students earned an average score of 525 out of 800 on the SAT’s writing portion. Statewide, students earned an average score of 494, while nationally, students scored 489.
Still, some local educators said Friday’s results show more room for improvement.
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District began placing a stronger emphasis on writing recently to boost scores in English and other subjects.
“The NAEP scores you see today are where we were six years ago,” said Candy Plahy, the district’s assistant superintendent of education.
The district introduced the program Step Up to Writing, where writing coaches use a color-coded system to help students organize their writing with the theme, key points, a summary and ideas that support the points they make. Officials credit the stronger emphasis on writing for helping increase the district’s English test scores, which now rank among the top 10 to 20 percent in the state.
“Writing crosses all the different content areas. It’s the way you are able to learn and understand,” she said. “If you are not able to put your thoughts into words, you’re not going to succeed academically.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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