OC Register’s arts blog bids farewell

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The Orange County Register has maintained a blog devoted to arts and culture since 2006. The blog, which is written by three of the newspaper’s reporters and critics, predates similar blogs launched by the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

Late last week, the OC Register announced that it is officially putting its arts blog out to pasture. (The final post went live on Tuesday.) The newspaper did not immediately respond to a request for interview. But in the comments section of the blog, Rebecca Allen, the Register’s deputy editor for features, suggested that the blog’s demise was due to a lack of reader traffic.


Allen wrote that the arts blog ‘hasn’t gotten much traction online. A blog takes four or five posts a day to build up an audience. Our three arts reporters have many responsibilities – including writing news, previews and reviews for our Web site and our newspaper.’

Allen added that the Register’s arts reporters ‘will continue to cover their beats and publish online and in print. We are just relieving them of the added duties of a blog.’

The newspaper’s arts coverage will now live only on the arts landing page, instead of on the blog and the landing page. ‘If the we concentrate on keeping just one of those up to date, the reporters can spend more time doing the thing that is most important: Reporting and writing on the arts,’ wrote Allen.

The Register’s arts writers include Timothy Mangan, who covers classical music; Paul Hodgins, who writes about theater; and Richard Chang, who covers the visual arts.

Readers have expressed their displeasure about the Register’s decision to euthanize the arts blog.

One commenter wrote: ‘What is the world coming to when there isn’t room for witty, intelligent arts news and chatter even online? I guess you didn’t mention Lindsay Lohan enough. Maybe if you linked to Mel Gibson’s operatically profane tirades....’

Another commenter wrote: ‘Like so many editors at so many newspapers, Rebecca Allen just doesn’t get it, The reason we read newspapers is not just to get news — it’s because of high-quality writers such as Tim Mangan who educate and stimulate us in fields about which we care deeply.... When papers like the Register dump things like Tim’s blog, they’re just digging their own graves.’

-- David Ng