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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 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

    RETAIL: Had a nice chat with three of the partners at Cushman & Wakefield — Duane Keathley, Wayne Kress and Jeff Andrew — who appeared as my guests on “First Look with Scott Cox” on Tuesday. A couple...

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

    SCAM: A reader who asked that I not identify her offered this warning about yet another scam: "I opened a letter today from Amex saying my data had been breached. I Googled the name at bottom of...

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

    SAVINGS: If you have children under the age of 35 (this is the millennial generation), a recent report about their lack of ability to save money may not surprise you. According to The Wall Street...

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

    HOUSING: Some nuggets on the sputtering recovery in our home sales: The National Association of Realtors says fewer young people see home ownership as a goal, and the statistics support that. Only 33...

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

    RAIN: Who knew that a passing rainstorm could pick up our spirits? The rain (and wasn't Friday night amazing?) was the No. 1 topic in town over the weekend and everyone is hoping for more. Which...

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