Zach Ewing, The Californian's prep editor for the past five years, has been named sports editor, the company announced Thursday. Longtime hockey and motorsports writer Mike Griffith was named assistant sports editor.
Ewing, a native of Omaha, Neb., grew up in Albuquerque, N.M., and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He covered Missouri football and baseball for the Columbia Missourian as an undergraduate.
He was the prep writer at The Joplin (Mo.) Globe following internships at ESPN The Magazine and The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.
He moved to Bakersfield in December 2007 to take the high school sports job and has manned the beat ever since, organizing three All-Area sections each year as well as The Californian's award-winning prep football preview. Perhaps most notably, he has been heavily involved in the multimedia work, including the School House Zach blog, social media and the expansive BVarsity initiative. He will continue in those roles.
He and his wife, Ellen, are the parents of Hannah, 3, and Thomas, who is closing in on 2.
Griffith, the newsroom's senior member and second-longest-serving employee in the company, has been with The Californian since 1977. In addition to his new duties, he will continue his focus on hockey and motor sports -- and he will check in regularly on "Power Hour," the company's local weekly motorsports webcast, and "Condors Unleashed," the weekly pro hockey webcast.
Tony Lacava, who started at The Californian in 1985 and has been sports editor since 2001, steps away to take another position in the newsroom.
"Zach Ewing brings energy and a new outlook to our sports pages and to our rapidly growing multimedia presence," Executive Editor Robert Price said. "Mike Griffith brings an unmatched familiarity with the local sports scene, as well as the steady hand of experience. We value the knowledge and skill of all three of these men and look forward to giving readers and viewers solid, timely, entertaining sports coverage on a variety of platforms."
Louis Amestoy, The Californian's director of audience development and producer of several TBC Media webcasts, said: "I'm very happy for Zach and Mike in their new roles because it ensures continuity in the sports department, but also helps move us forward in our many digitally focused projects, including our video programming.
"I'm also pleased that Tony Lacava is staying with us in a new role, because he's done a fine job of leading sports in his career here," Amestoy said.