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Long Beach Register, new daily newspaper, hits Long Beach newsstands

August 19, 2013 9:16:01 AM PDT
The newspaper industry has seen its subscriber numbers dwindle, due in large part to people turning to digital devices to read news. But that's not stopping a brand new daily paper from hitting newsstands in Long Beach.

The printing presses were in full swing overnight, printing 10,000 copies of the first issue of the Long Beach Register Monday. The headline on the front page read, "A glimpse into Long Beach's future."

The last time that a major U.S. city has expanded its newspaper coverage was during World War II, but the paper's owners, Freedom Communications, are betting that people still want to read newspapers. The Long Beach Register will have at least 16 pages to fill each day, covering "hyperlocal" news and utilizing contributions from readers.

"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," said Aaron Kushner, publisher of the Register and CEO of Freedom Communications. "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."

The Long Beach Register is competing with the Long Beach Press-Telegram, which was founded more than a century ago. The Press-Telegram maintains an average weekday circulation of about 55,000.

But many are asking if people still want newspapers when they can just read the news online.

"Hardly anybody ever brings a newspaper to class with them," said Gary Metzker, a journalism professor at Cal State Long Beach. "It's going to be really hard to convince the younger age group to pick up a new newspaper in town."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.