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L.A., Valley Business Journals Combine

 The Los Angeles Business Journal and its sister publication, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, are making some changes aimed at bringing the warea’s leading business news outlets together to service the greater Los Angeles region even better.

Josh Schimmels, the publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Business Journal, will add the title of publisher and chief executive of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, effective April 1. At the same time, Charles Crumpley, the editor and publisher of the San Fernando Valley news operation, will become editor in chief of both newspapers.

Also, the Woodland Hills office of the Valley organization will be consolidated into the existing office of the Los Angeles journal in L.A.’s west side. The two newsrooms will be combined as will the two advertising staffs. All employees are remaining on staff and will work together, as one unified media company, to continue to produce the two award-winning publications. No changes are being made to the publishing schedules.

Stephanie Barbaran, who has been interim editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal, and Joel Russell, who has been editor of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, will be managing editors of the combined operation. 

The consolidation eliminates what has become unnecessary office space, but the main impetus is to make operations more efficient, thereby freeing up resources to improve the products. Reporters and editors, for example, can collaborate on articles and share sources. Advertising executives, likewise, will have an opportunity to work more collaboratively with their clients, to create effective and meaningful marketing plans for advertisers; many of whom already utilize both publications for their community messaging.

Having previously served as an executive with the LABJ, Schimmels returned to the company in April of 2020. Schimmels was Associate Publisher and Vice President at the Business Journal from 2010 to 2015. He also served as Associate Publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal during this time.

He began his media career in 1999 with a five-year turn at the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to returning to Los Angeles last year, he was with Phoenix-based AZ Big Media, where he served as publisher, contributing six years at the company in two different roles. Schimmels spent nearly four years as business group publisher at D Magazine Partners in Dallas. There he oversaw a portfolio of publications that included D CEO magazine, along with its custom publishing division. During his tenure, D CEO magazine was named the country’s Best Regional Business Magazine three times by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers or AABP. 

In the two years Schimmels has been back with the Business Journal, he has already led the company to its largest digital overhaul in over 15 years. The LABJ’s website and digital content has a new look, with a more user-friendly interface, added content features and new marketing opportunities. 

“I live in the West Valley,” Schimmels said. “My daughters attend school there as well. It’s always been my home in Los Angeles. Having started my media career as an advertising sales professional in the San Fernando Valley, this is an incredible opportunity to make an impact to the publication that I worked hard to help grow in its early years. The San FernandoValley, and the city of Los Angeles, are one.Aligning our publications’ newsrooms and operations only strengthens the overall content we’re able to produce for our Community of Business throughout Los Angeles County,” Schimmels continued. “The LABJ and SFVBJ have always been, and continue to be, the leading sources of local business news for Los Angeles. I’m excited about the opportunities this change will bring.”

Crumpley also has a long history with the organization. He was editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal from 2006 to 2016. In six of the last 8 years of his tenure, the newspaper was named the best large business journal in the country by the AABP, which is the professional organization of business news outlets. 

After he became editor and publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2016, that publication was named the best small business journal in the country four of the last five years by the AABP. And Crumpley was given two local awards for civic involvement, including a “Valley of the Stars” honor last year from the Valley Economic Alliance, presented to him by Mayor Eric Garcetti.  

The two business journals are owned by CBJ Associates Inc., which also owns the Orange County Business Journal and the San Diego Business Journal.

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