Steve Falk 2
Steve Falk

The California Press Foundation has named Steve Falk, publisher of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa and CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, the Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year. The award is to be presented during Cal Press’ 143rd Annual Winter Meeting, to be held Dec. 4 via Zoom.

Falk is the 56th recipient of the award, which is given to publishers, editors-in-chief or equivalents who have involved themselves in the directions of the editorial and news side of their newspapers by showing exceptional editorial achievement. Their newspapers have made impacts on their community or influenced local, state or national concerns as a result of their journalistic effort. The award was established in honor of Justus F. Craemer (1888-1966), who served as president of the California Press Association for 20 years.

California Newspaper Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame honors deceased newspaper men and women whose outstanding devotion to their responsibilities resulted in substantial contributions to their regions and to the development of California. Two honorees are recognized: one who has been deceased for more than 10 years and one who has been deceased fewer than 10 years.

The 2020 inductees will be Frederick Madison Roberts (1879-1952), who was publisher of New Age in Los Angeles; and Arthur G. Kunkin (1928-2019), publisher of the L.A. Free Press.


Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award
The Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award will be presented to Chery Dell, former publisher of The Sacramento Bee. This award honors newspaper executives who are no longer fully active in the industry but who have served their communities well for an extended period and have made lasting contributions to the industry.

Mark Twain Award for Journalistic Excellence in California
Established in 2010 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the death of Mark Twain, this Cal Press award goes posthumously to journalists (editors, writers, cartoonists) whose journalistic work – either regional or statewide in nature – challenges the status quo.

The 2020 Mark Twain honoree is David Perlman (1918-2020), who was the longtime science editor at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jack Bates Award for Distinguished Service to the Cal Press
This year’s award will go to two recipients: Michael Belote and the late John O’Malley, longtime Capitol advocates for the newspaper industry in Sacramento.

The award, named for the late Jack Bates, executive director of the California News Publishers Association for two decades, honors an individual for distinguished service to the California press. This individual has demonstrated effective leadership in addressing newspaper challenges and assisting journalism education.

The 143rd Annual Cal Press Winter Meeting will be held via Zoom. It is slated for 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4. Three guest speakers will offer insights and forecasts keying off the 2020 state legislative session. The topics will be:

  • “Funding News,” with Lauren Gustus, The Sacramento Bee;
  • “Distribution,” with Troy Niday, Sonoma Media Investments; and
  • “Public Notice,” with Richard Karpel, Public Notice Resource Center.

Admission is free, and donations are most welcome. Register now