Plans to fold CV Sun announced

GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley Sun, after seven years of publication, will be folded into its larger sister paper, the Glendale News-Press, in a move Times Community News executives said would make operations more efficient while providing foothill readers with more timely daily news coverage.

As of July 4, the News-Press will assume daily coverage of developments in La Crescenta, Montrose, Verdugo City and North Glendale, after Crescenta Valley Sun staffers transfer to the Glendale office.

The final issue of the Crescenta Valley Sun is scheduled for July 3.

Both newspapers are part of the Los Angeles Times Community News Division, which also includes the Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.

The shift will streamline operations and cut down on overlap between the News-Press and Crescenta Valley Sun, whose reporters had often covered the same events for the different publications, Director of Editorial Dan Evans said.

“The Glendale News-Press and the Crescenta Valley Sun were often competing on the same story, and that just couldn’t stand any longer,” Evans said. “We need to be smart in how we use our reporters, photographers and editors.”

Evans acknowledged that some readers had been hesitant about the closure of the Valley Sun, but argued that the expanded News-Press would better serve the community.

“By expanding the News-Press into Crescenta Valley, we’re going to be able to provide Crescenta Valley news six days a week instead of just once. And, with an increased online news presence, people are going to have daily updates on the news they care about,” he said.

The News-Press and the Crescenta Valley Sun not only have overlapping coverage, Evans said, but 2,843 households receive both the News-Press and the Sun. The practice began when the newspapers were separately owned competitors prior to the Los Angeles Times purchase of the Sun in 2005.

“We literally had racks next to each other,” TCN Times Community News General Manager Scott Pompe said.

From duplicative reporting to overlapping distribution — a portion of the 13,000 homes that receive the Valley Sun also get the News-Press — the newspapers have for too long continued operating in a way that did not make business sense, Pompe said.

“Frankly, we never addressed it and we needed to,” he said.

Pompe stressed that the decision was not related to earnings, which he said are positive and the best they have been in more than a year. The move was made to increase efficiency and improve the quality of the division’s newspapers, he said.

The more streamlined operation will allow reporters not only to focus on the “hyper-local coverage that readers love,” but to develop stories about important regional developments that are relevant to the neighboring communities of Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta and La Cañada, Evans said.

Some residents were disappointed to learn that the Crescenta Valley Sun would be shutting down, and were concerned about how the News-Press would be able to report on a community that has largely been left alone, said Steve Pierce, president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council.

“That’s because the Sun was covering the Crescenta Valley,” Evans said. “Now the News-Press will be, and we are committed to covering the community.”

Longtime Valley Sun reporter Mary O’Keefe, a familiar face in La Crescenta, will continue to cover the foothill communities for the News-Press, Evans said. Pierce was confident that La Crescenta residents would appreciate O’Keefe’s coverage and hoped the changes at Times Community News would not leave residents out of the loop on their own community.

“I am definitely keeping an open mind on this and I hope it succeeds,” Pierce said.

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