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City Buzz: Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press controversy

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News rack for The Burbank Leader

It didn’t take long for readers of the Burbank Leader to react to the ludicrous plan to remove all the paper’s outside news racks from city streets. Glendale News Press readers, who are victims of the same screwball  decision, responded as well.  The uproar prompted a newspaper editorial/weak apology. Here’s the first paragraph.

“Some changes went into effect this week relating to the delivery of the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press that have caused a stir. Some of our loyal readers can’t find their newspaper in the usual racks that have long stood along the two cities’ thoroughfares and near supermarket parking lots. Local residents are calling and emailing us at a steady pace asking how they might find their paper. ”

So the recommendation is: “… ..we wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone that, as we have reported recently, the Leader and the News-Press are both available in their respective communities via a home delivery subscription to the Los Angeles Times. They are also now folded in with copies of the Los Angeles Times in the Times’ news racks around our cities.”

Well, I bought the Saturday Los Angeles Times from a news rack yesterday. The cost $1.50. In order to get a Burbank Leader, which is usually free,  I had to pay for the Los Angeles Times. You don’t have to be Warren Buffett to see the big picture. The readers of the two community newspapers are being forced to shore up the sagging subscription sales of the Los Angeles Times! In 1998, the L.A. Times reportedly had more than a million subscribers, however, by 2013 that number had dropped drastically to around 433,000.

Editor, Dan Evans, claims “theft” of the community newspapers is behind the change. The editorial called them “… opportunists who were on the hunt for materials to recycle for cash.” Apparently, these selective individuals only go after stacks of Burbank Leaders and Glendale News-Press and don’t bother with other free newspapers like The Tolucan, The Burbank Times, L.A. Weekly …etc. Yeah, right.

According to the editorial: “To circumvent that activity, we are seeking to place bundles of free copies inside buildings, rather than outdoors. We are working with local merchants to identify the best sites for distribution of our papers.”

Bottom line: the community newspaper readers who don’t want to be forced to buy the Los Angeles Times must now search around, even more than usual, for free copies of the Burbank Leader and the Glendale News-Press. That’s outrageous! The readers deserve better.

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