David Perlman, the former science editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, died June 19, 2020, in San Francisco, The Chronicle reported. He was 101.Perlman began at The Chronicle in 1940. When he retired, at age 98 in 2017, he was believed to be the oldest full-time news reporter at a U.S. metro newspaper. Perlman was “the epitome…

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George Hostetter, a former reporter at The Fresno Bee who covered his beats with a detective’s precision and shoe-leather diligence, died May 7, 2020, at home in Fresno, GVWire reports. He was 70 and had prostate cancer. “George upset people from time to time,” longtime Bee colleague Bill McEwen, now GVWire news director, wrote in his remembrance of…

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Beth Ashley, the former Marin Independent Journal columnist, died May 4, 2020, in Corte Madera of natural causes, The I-J reports. She was 93. “Ms. Ashley’s weekly column was like a journalistic reality show long before any network executive had the bright idea of doing that on TV,” the newspaper’s obituary said. Ashley joined the newspaper in 1953…

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Tom Missett, a former publisher of newspapers that became the old North County Times in San Diego County, died April 8, 2020, at home in Vista, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. He was 79. Missett’s 30-year career as a California publisher began in 1967 at the Oceanside Blade-Tribune, which later became the Blade-Citizen and eventually…

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Joe Baltake, a former critic at The Sacramento Bee who wrote more than 10,000 movie reviews during his career, died March 26, 2020, at home in Haddonfield, N.J., after a long battle with multiple myeloma, The Bee reported. He was 74. Baltake wrote more than 10,000 movie reviews, his wife recalled. His favorite actor was…

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Lee Guittar, top executive at Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner in the 1990s, died March 26, 2020, at home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was 88. Before concluding his career with Hearst, Guittar had published or overseen operations at the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Times Herald, Denver Post and USA Today.…

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Tracy A. Wood, noted investigative reporter, editor and war correspondent, died March 12, 2020, due to complications from cancer, Voice of OC reports. She was 76. Wood, a founding editor of Voice of OC a decade ago, previously had been a reporter with City News Service, UPI, the Los Angeles Times and The Orange County…

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John Crittenden, who founded the Alameda Journal in 1987, died Feb. 21, 2020, in Mission Viejo, the East Bay Times reports. He was 89. Crittenden, an Oakland native, ran a successful real-estate brokerage before “he saw a niche for a newspaper that catered more to local news,” recalled David Snyder, his stepson. The Journal later…

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Robert Ray Mercer, former journalism educator at Cypress College, died Jan. 21, 2020, in Tulsa, Okla., the Tulsa World reported. He was 72. Mercer was journalism chairman at Cypress College in Orange County from 1996 until his retirement in 2015. He received several Fulbright grants and taught journalism classes in Japan, Ukraine and Pakistan. Mercer…

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Jim Webb, former publisher of McNaughton Newspapers’ Mountain Democrat in Placerville, died Feb. 3, 2020, at home in El Dorado Hills, the newspaper reported. He was 79. Webb was publisher there from 1985 to 2009. “Jim brought professionalism and that winning personality to the Mountain Democrat,” said Foy S. McNaughton, the company’s president and CEO.…

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