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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 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 and people

    OIL BY RAIL: Environmentalists applauded when President Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, but what did it accomplish? Not much, according to experts, who point out the oil extracted from our...

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

    SMOKING: If you smoke cigarettes, you suddenly have a lot more to worry about than simply dying of smoking-related diseases. A major new study has added a host of new ailments liked to smoking:...

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

    MEMORIAL: There's an important event this week that promises to usher in a new era of medical treatment for young children in our community. On Wednesday, Memorial Hospital will hold a groundbreaking...

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

    FRACKING: The anti-fossil fuel movement has largely succeeded in depicting hydraulic fracturing as a dangerous new drilling technique that poisons the underground water table. But the U.S....

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

    WRESTLING: The storied McFarland High School cross-country runners are getting some well-deserved attention with the release of the Kevin Costner movie chronicling their success, but Mike Stricker...

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