I wanted to take a moment today to introduce myself as your new editor of this esteemed newspaper, The South Pasadena Review.
First off, I want to tip my hat to Harry Yadav, who served as editor for more than a year and did such an incredible job. Harry is a remarkable young man whose passion and institutional memory is invaluable. He has all the makings of a great newspaper man and he will be missed. Alas, he’s off to pursue a career in law and the legal profession will be all the more better for it.
It is an honor to take the helm of such an outstanding publication that’s been serving the community on an ongoing basis since 1888. Can you imagine that? The Review has been covering South Pasadena for 130 years. You can’t get any more consistent than that.
I’m now going to bore you quite a bit with my background so please bear with me. I will be jumping over some things because I don’t want you to fall asleep too quickly.
I was born in the old St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. I used to say I was born where Marcus Welby used to practice. Many of you have no idea what that is. “Marcus Welby, M.D.” was a popular television program from 1969 to 1976, starring Robert Young as the title character. I was raised in the Pacific Palisades in a somewhat idyllic atmosphere. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was the actor, James Whitmore, who was twice-nominated for an Academy Award. I was most fortunate in my upbringing and surroundings.
I graduated from Oakwood High School and went onto serve in the 8th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during Vietnam where I was an investigator, court bailiff and paralegal for the lead prosecuting attorney of the Judge Advocate General’s Corp. After the Army, I attended San Diego State University where I graduated with honors in 1979. That’s when I accidentally fell into reporting at the Glendale News-Press. I was a stringer, getting paid $1 a column inch. Instantly, I loved it. I couldn’t help myself. I just fell in love with newspapering. Five years later, I left the News-Press as the managing editor for the L.A. Times, where I worked for a short stint until moving on again, this time to the seemingly greener pastures of television news. But despite the money, my heart just wasn’t in it, so when the former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca asked me to be his spokesman, I couldn’t resist.
I spent 16 years as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department senior communications officer before retiring in 2016. I’m not the retiring type so when this job came open at The Review, I jumped at the chance.
I told my bosses, Carie and Andy Salter, that I hoped this would be my last job. I love South Pasadena. I love The Review. The Salters have brought an energy, dedication and a commitment to The Review that I have rarely seen in my four decades in the newspaper business. I am so grateful to be here with you all.
There’s something special about this town, the people, the atmosphere of community that just says “welcome.” And I am planning to give you all I have. And that, as they say, is that. Talk soon.