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Richard Beene
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Richard Beene

President & CEO

Beene was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and reared in the Atlanta suburbs and has spent his entire career in newspapers on both the editorial and business side. He was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 1998 after serving four years as Executive Editor.

His duties include overseeing the flagship Bakersfield Californian as well as the affiliate company Valley Direct. In addition to the daily newspaper, The Californian produces a glossy city lifestyle magazine called BakersfieldLife and a range of digital products including the community portal bakersfield.com. The Tehachapi News, a community weekly about an hour from Bakersfield, is also part of the operation as well as a community telephone book division.

Beene joined The Californian after seven years with The Los Angeles Times, where he worked in the Orange County, South Bay and San Fernando Valley offices serving in a variety of editing and management positions. He was part of the reporting teams awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Prior to that, Beene worked as a journalist overseas, serving as Latin American bureau chief in Mexico City for The Dallas Times Herald, an editor at the Spanish News Agency EFE in Madrid and as Cairo bureau chief for United Press International.

He also worked as state manager for UPI in Miami and Birmingham, Alabama, an editor on the UPI Foreign Desk in New York, political writer for UPI in Atlanta and in editing positions at The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal and Warner Robins (Ga.) Daily Sun.

Beene graduated with a degree in history and a minor in journalism from Georgia Southern University.

Recent Articles from Richard Beene
  1. BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    HOUSING Another sign that we are far from recovering from the recession came this week when it was revealed that the share of Americans who own homes had dipped to its lowest level in almost 20 years....

  2. BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    SCAM: More on those telephone scams going on around town. From Alice Merenback: "Today, I received 11 phone calls (obviously their machine jammed because it was the same message each time). The...

  3. BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    TRAGEDY: Horrible news out of Cabo San Lucas, where a Bakersfield man was severely injured in a zip-lining accident. Brian Hodges and his wife, Shimeaka, were in Cabo celebrating a year of marriage...

  4. BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics and people

    PLEDGE: Kati Hartnett McKeown, who works in the district office of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, noted this as she was driving with her 6-year-old son: "Jake just said the Pledge of Allegiance to a flag...

  5. BAKERSFIELD OBSERVED: A blog about life, media, politics & people

    FREEMAN: I had a chance the other day to catch up with Bruce Freeman, who is retiring as president of Castle & Cooke after 21 years on the job. When Freeman arrived in Bakersfield in 1993, Seven Oaks...

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