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LA Times Announces Closure of 3 Community Papers

The old LA Times location in downtown Los Angeles. The paper moved to El Segundo when the newspaper was purchased by Patrick Soon-Shiong. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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The coronavirus outbreak has torn another hole in local news coverage.

Three local newspapers that have served residents of Burbank, Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge for many decades are closing, and their journalists being laid off, amid a wave of cuts in news operations nationwide.

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday advised editors, reporters and photographers of the Burbank Leader, the Glendale News-Press and the La Cañada Valley Sun that they would lose their jobs and the papers would close effective May 16. Ten union journalists and four non-union positions are being eliminated. One of the reporters will transfer to the Times.

The papers were part of the Times Community News, North business unit of the Los Angeles Times. The Times itself is making cuts after a short period of rapid growth and reinvestment under Patrick Soon Shiong, its owner since 2018.

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The Times already imposed cuts brought on by a drop in ad revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak. Non-union employees received pay cuts, furloughs and canceled retirement fund matching payments, said Anthony Pesce, president of the Media Guild of the West, which represents nearly 500 Times journalists.

The union would be bargaining with Times’ management over the layoffs from the community papers and other potential cost-cutting measures, Pesce said.

Southern California News Group, which operates 11 local newspapers including the Los Angeles Daily News, San Bernardino Sun and the Orange County Register, recently also imposed deep cost-cutting measures, including putting some 50 employees on week-long furloughs.

The Burbank and Glendale papers began in 1905 and were purchased by the Times in 1993. Their final editions will be out on Saturday. The La Cañada paper began in 1946 and was bought by the Times in 2005, and its last edition will be published April 23.