Journos React to Surprising OC Register Layoff

It’s certainly not unusual, sadly, to hear about another round of layoffs at a SoCal daily newspaper. But the idea that the Orange County Register would not be able to find a way to keep Latina columnist Yvette Cabrera on staff is truly mind-boggling.

FishbowlLA was tipped to this development around the same time that James Rainey sent out the first tweet and Kevin Roderick got up the first post. Cabrera is the executive director president of CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California and was voted Best Columnist in 2011 by the OC press club.

So far, the most impassioned and detailed reaction to this developing layoff news (word is as many as eight other Register staffers may also be involved) comes from Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly. He writes:

Yvette was always kind to me, penning articles on various members of my family over the years. I, on the other hand, didn’t return the favor, both as part of the “Spy vs. Spy” game that is the rivalry between the Reg and your favorite infernal rag, and because I always wanted her to be tougher, more radical, more of an Agustín Gurza than a feel-good columnist. Immaturity on my part, I can now say with a bit more years under my belt.

In his fabulous on-the-fly item, Arellano also explains how Cabrera became the most publicly loathed reporter in the Register‘s history and suggests that the layoff came soon after she was assured by Freedom Communications that the coffers were full.

Here’s Cabrera’s latest Register story, datelined February 27. And per this KCET press release, she also recently won a Gracie Award for her work on SoCal Connected.

Update – 03/01/12: Today, Arellano has more info on the rest of the layoffs. Four vacant positions will not be filled, while the others being let go are two editors, reporter Jon Cassidy and sports columnist Randy Youngman.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.