The Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader will publish their final editions Saturday and La Canada Valley Sun Thursday, victims of the coronavirus outbreak.
The parent company of the weekly Times Community News newspapers, California Times, announced their closures Thursday.
“A challenging business environment, including a decline in advertising revenue and the increasing cost of printing, has made it difficult to continue to support these publications,” Chris Argentieri, the president and chief operating officer of California Times, and Los Angeles Times executive editor Norman Pearlstine wrote in a letter sent to employees Thursday evening.
“While the business environment has been challenging for some time, it has become extremely so due to the unexpected effects of COVID-19, which have led to the closure.”
The California Times is also the parent company of the Los Angeles Times.
The 14 staff members who worked for the News-Press, the Leader and the Sun will be leaving the company, Argentieri and Pearlstine wrote.
The two remaining Times Community News publications, the Daily Pilot and TimesOC, will continue publishing in Orange County.
The Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press began publishing in 1905, La Canada Valley Sun in 1946.
The Times purchased the News-Press and Leader in 1993 and the Valley Sun in 2005. The papers became part of The Times Community News division. They were distributed for free at local businesses, in newspaper racks and to The Times home-delivery subscribers in those areas.
The publications have received awards from the California Newspapers Publishers Association, the Los Angeles Press Club and other organizations.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, released the following statement after the closures of the three newspapers were announced
“I was saddened to learn of the decision by the Los Angeles Times to shut down the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and Valley Sun. These are institutions that have served our community for decades, and have chronicled and guided our way forward for as long as many of us can remember.
“I have read these papers for decades and had the privilege of working with many of their reporters and editors. And while I’ sure I took issue with some of their articles from time to time — as it should be — I never once doubted their skill and professionalism, or their passion for serving our community. Whether it was uncovering wrong-doing or profiling one of our amazing residents or documenting our community coming together, you could be certain these papers would be there.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I am deeply worried that the loss of these three papers is being repeated all over the country in communities large and small. It has been going on for years, but the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated these trends, and more and more places are becoming news deserts, without dedicated journalists to investigate corruption and tell local stories. This is a tremendous loss, and a threat to democracy.”
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