The July issue is a relaunch under Emmis ownership by new editor Martin Smith. Editor's note here. The issue's best of OC media section proclaims the Register's Frank Mickadeit as the county's top columnist. "For years, the county’s two major dailies and other publications have offered local commentators who lacked that rare combination of reportorial savvy, life experience, and storytelling ability," says the piece. "Some of those columnists have been little more than provocateurs, or muckrakers, or bleak imitations of old-school newspaper curmudgeons; others have been too young to be credible or just comically cliché. Mickadeit, though, knows the county’s players, has mature opinions, and doesn’t mind sharing them."
* OC Weekly's take: "Smith is clearly making a statement: no more cover shots of celebs who’ve never even heard of the magazine. Still, this transition into what I hope will become a regional magazine that’s rich with literary nonfiction and every bit as good as Texas Monthly or Los Angeles...may be a slow one," OCW managing editor Rich Kane blogs.