By: Joe Strupp
Los Angeles residents on Tuesday voted down a controversial ballot measure to allow the city’s San Fernando Valley to secede and form its own city — a proposal that could have significantly impacted the city’s two newspapers.
The voter initiative, which lost 33% to 67%, drew interest from newspaper industry observers because it was seen as a potential circulation and promotional boost to the Valley-based Los Angeles Daily News, which endorsed the measure and provided blanket coverage of its campaign.
The Los Angeles Times, based downtown, had drawn criticism early on for failing to fully cover Valley secession, which some observers believed might hurt the paper’s readership in some areas. The Times also editorialized heavily against the breakaway.
Although the ballot measure lost citywide, it did manage to win a slight majority within the Valley itself, with a slim 51% to 49% victory. In order to pass, however, the measure would have needed to pass citywide.