Robert Price is Digital Managing Editor, and a columnist and broadcast reporter, for 17 News and KGET.com.
Robert joined the team in February 2020 after 32 years at the Bakersfield Californian, where he served in more than a dozen roles, among them Metro Columnist, Executive Editor, News Editor, Opinion Editor, Eye Street/Features Editor, city and county government reporter, business/energy reporter, entertainment reporter, sports reporter, page designer, radio host and webcast host. His popular newspaper column was published three times per week, 1999-2008 and 2016-2020, and generally once a week in between, and it continues Sundays in The Californian and on KGET.com.
Robert’s work has been honored by the University of Oregon, Kansas University, Fresno State University, CSU Bakersfield, the Associated Press, and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He is the author of The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music (Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2018), which received a 2019 Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence prize in the country/folk history category.
Robert grew up in a military family; his father was a Naval officer, chaplain and, in civilian life, protestant minister. He spent his teens and early 20s in the Northern California counties of Marin and Sonoma, graduated from Petaluma High School and obtained his BA from Sacramento State University, where, among other activities, he served as editor-in-chief of the award-winning State Hornet.
Robert served as Sports Editor of the Turlock Journal and Anaheim Bulletin, and as a Sacramento advertising agency copywriter, before moving to Bakersfield.
He has participated in many community events since coming to Kern County, including CSUB’s 2013-14 commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, which was set largely in Kern County; “What Does Bakersfield Sound Like Today?,” a 2015 community event with Zocolo Public Square; “California’s Energy Future,” a 2016 community panel with CALmatters; and Stories on the Sidewalk, a 2020 project of the Arts Council of Kern, for which he wrote and performed a portrayal of Gen. Edward Fitzgerald Beale.
Robert has been an advisory board member of CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics; CSUB’s School of Arts and Humanities; CSUB’s Public History Institute; the Kern County Superintendent of Schools’ Camp KEEP; the Kern County Nut Festival, of which he was founding conspirator; and the City of Bakersfield’s Keep Bakersfield Beautiful advisory board. He created the anti-litter slogan “Litter: It’s Beneath Us,” winner of Keep America Beautiful’s 2012 national award for local campaigns. Robert has also taught classes for CSUB’s OSHER Lifelong Learning and Bakersfield College’s Levan Institute programs, and he coached in the American Youth Soccer Organization for 13 seasons, winning a Southern California championship in 2005.
Robert has two children: Jill, a teacher, actor and director; and Ben, a writer, actor, director and nonprofit employee.