BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Today marks the first time in 122 years that The Bakersfield Californian is being published by someone other than the family of Alfred Harrell.
Recently-formed Sound News Media Inc., started by Canadian businessman Steven Malkowich, is now the official owner of the paper, ending the Harrell family’s long run as publisher.
That transition has come with a number of changes, among them layoffs. A number of people on the copy desk and who worked the printing press are out of a job.
Also among those laid off are the paper’s executive editor and its education reporter. And a veteran sports reporter, at the paper 40 years, announced his retirement last week.
The paper, as reported last week by longtime Californian columnist Robert Price, will now be printed at a press facility in Palmdale owned by a sister company.
The staff, for the meantime, at least, will continue to work out of a building in an industrial park in the Oildale area. The paper left its historic downtown location last year, and the building is now rented out by a number of businesses.
Price wrote the paper will continue to provide quality journalism.
“Somebody else will be holding the purse strings, but except for a couple of other noticeable details, this will be the same newspaper you’ve grown accustomed to,” he wrote.