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In Memoriam

Joseph Barletta, 83

Joseph Barletta, a former top executive in several national news companies, died Oct. 28, 2019, in Napa, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was 83. Barletta was a former president of the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, which managed the joint-operating agreement between the San Francisco Chronicle and then-Examiner; president of Freedom Communications, president of Thomson…

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John O’Malley, 72

Memorial services are pending for John Francis O’Malley, CNPA’s contract lobbyist for 25 years, who died Oct. 21, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. He was 72. O’Malley collaborated with CNPA’s advocacy team from his post at Lang, Hansen, O’Malley and Miller and then at California Advocates, Inc. “Although his client base was as…

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William Lee, 83

Dr. William H. Lee, co-founder of The Sacramento Observer, died Sept. 22, 2019, The Observer reports. He was 83. Lee and two other businessmen started The Observer in 1962. In 1965, Lee and his wife Kathryn became sole owners of the African American paper. They also started the Lee Publishing Company, which operated six publications…

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Steve Hunt, 64

A memorial service will be held Sept. 17 in Upland for Steve Hunt, president, publisher and editor of GateHouse Media’s Daily Press in Victorville, five weekly publications and their websites. Hunt died Aug. 27, 2019, The Daily Press reported. He was 64 and had congestive heart failure. Hunt’s 45-year news career began with police reporting…

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Janet Armantrout, 77

Janet Armantrout, editor of The Independent in Livermore for more than 30 years, died Aug. 24, 2019, of complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease, the newspaper reported. She was 77. Armantrout joined The Independent in production in 1964, the year after its founding. She added reporting and writing to her duties during the 1960s and…

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Paul Whitefield, 66

Paul Whitefield, a former editor who helped to produce many important stories and sections at the Los Angeles Times, died Aug. 14, 2019, after a five-year battle with esophageal cancer, The Times reported. He was 66. “He was truly unflappable in dealing with breaking news on tough deadlines,” said former colleague Jon Thurber. “That notion…

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Larry Wakefield, 82

Larry Wakefield, former general manager of The Record Searchlight in Redding, died July 11, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, the newspaper reported. He was 82. Wakefield joined the newspaper in 1980 as business manager and later was promoted to general manager, a position he held until his retirement in 1997. Previously, he had worked at the…

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Stephen Laxineta

Stephen Laxineta, 2002 CNPA President, died July 19, 2019. Laxineta was the former president and CEO of The Beach Reporter in Manhattan Beach. “While Steve was a valued colleague, business partner, mentor and friend, he meant so much more to me,” said Will Fleet, a CNPA board member and publisher of the Tracy Press. “He…

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Marge Apperson, 90

Marge Apperson, former editor-publisher of Southern Siskiyou Newspapers and a former CNPA director, died June 28, 2019, in hospice in Yreka after a short illness. She was 90. Marge and then-husband Orbell Apperson Jr., both Stanford Daily alumni, had acquired the Mount Shasta Herald from Or’s parents in 1950. They acquired The Weed Press in…

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Sandy Schwartz, 83

H.L. “Sandy” Schwartz, an Associated Press reporter who co-authored an exclusive story linking Richard Nixon’s re-election committee to the Watergate break-in, died June 11, 2019, after a long illness, the Pottstown (PA) Mercury reports. He was 83. Schwartz’ 40-year career, from 1959 to 1998, saw him as reporter, news editor and executive, including as editor…

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