Newspapers cut investments in community to stanch bleeding revenues.
Print media outlets in the Santa Clarita Valley continue to
shrink as both the Daily News and Signal newspapers announced cutbacks in their
local presence on Friday.
Once two of the largest employers in town, the papers are
cutting back because of decreased revenues and declining readership, with
readers driven to the web for free news.
The Daily News, which has been progressively laying off
employees across the board as revenues have declined over the last two years, gave
layoff notices to all press, production and office staff at the Valencia
plant on Avenue Rockefeller on Friday.
Employees were told that printing at the
building will cease in May, when all production will shift to Southwest Offset
Printing, a private company in Gardena.
Newspapers printed at the Valencia
facility also included the Long Beach Press-Telegram and three of Los Angeles
Newspaper Group’s daily newspapers from the San
According to a LANG release, the company is further
evaluating long-term plans for its Valencia
property as a non-production facility. Located at the corner of Avenues
Rockefeller and Scott, the building has been the main production and
distribution center for the Daily News since 1989.
In a 2007 cost-cutting measure, local sections of the Daily
News targeting the Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope
Valley were eliminated.
According to Daily News Publisher and CEO of LANG, Ed Moss,
"Outsourcing our printing will enable us to reallocate vital resources to
our editorial and advertising sales efforts and refocus on our core mission of
being the premium local content provider in the communities we serve."
According to Moss, Daily News subscribers can expect to
receive the same reliable home delivery service. "The newspaper will
continue providing readers throughout the San Fernando
and neighboring valleys with the best local coverage, and that most certainly
includes our loyal subscriber base in Valencia
and the Santa Clarita Valley."
However, former LANG staffer Gary Scott told the media
website LA Observed that Daily News Editor Carolina Garcia told a gathering of
the Society of Professional Journalists that coverage by the paper would “be
focused almost exclusively on the San Fernando Valley.”
The Signal, which has been the community’s newspaper for 90
years, announced Saturday that it had laid off seven employees and temporarily
cut pay for the rest of the staff.
Editor Lila Littlejohn wrote an editorial explaining the
situation in which Signal Publisher Ian Lamont was quoted.
"These cuts hurt. We are already a very lean
operation," said Lamont. "But the current economic times are
requiring that we reduce operations and employees."
According to the article, salaried employees will take a six percent cut in pay
and hourly employees will see a four percent cut, which the company intends to
pay back when the financial situation improves.