The Times’ downtown L.A. printing facility will shut down in 2024, ending more than 40 years of operations at the once-proud newsroom of the nation’s most influential newspaper.
The Los Angeles Times said Friday it is ceasing printing within Los Angeles County and will shut down printing on June 30, 2024.
The Times said the decision to close came after a long review that concluded a merger with The Times’ Web site, which has been plagued by slow growth and layoffs in recent years, wouldn’t be enough to ensure survival.
For decades, the newsroom has been locked in a daily struggle with the city bureaucracy to stay afloat, amid a major cutback in city-paid news staff and other staff reductions, the departure of longtime advertising and newsstand sales employees, and a dramatic rise in digital advertising revenue.
“In the end, what we wanted to do was make sure that we had the means to provide the quality journalism that we do to our readers,” Times editor Bruce Robbins said. “When you lose the means to do that, and when the means are less than there are left, you’re forced to look in other places to find the revenue to replace it.”
Los Angeles has lost nearly $5.4 billion in News Media Corp. assets over the past four years, including $1.4 billion in the last year, according to data provided by the city-owned news organization to the Los Angeles Times. In addition, the L.A. City Council approved $2.8 million in cuts to the City News Enterprise, which distributes news wire stories to the Times, earlier this year.
Times executives, including current and former top executives, had been in open and public debate in recent months about the financial state of the newspaper, amid a prolonged, and seemingly endless, battle with city bureaucracy over pay and benefits for the newsroom and other city-funded employees, and a decline that began last year in digital revenue, led by a dramatic and sustained drop in online advertising.
The Times’ recent advertising revenue in May was the lowest since 2009, down more than 40 percent from a year earlier. Last month, the newspaper’s digital revenue hit $1.2 billion —