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  • Writer's pictureRuss Newton

The Best Team I ever worked with!


Was at California Community News from 2000 to 2005 roughly. The first picture is Steve Bentz he was the Manager over Warehouse and Preprints. He went on to bigger and better things but I have nothing but good memories of our time at CCN. On story comes to mind. He came into my office one day and told me had a job offer for more money. I said good luck in the new job as I was stunned and didn't know what else to say. He left looking a little puzzled. Then he came back in and said he wanted a raise, he didn't want to leave. That that approach used to work at Times Mirror. I said it won't work under Tribune I know that. And we worked it out.



John Craig was the Packaging Manager. He could be a little bossy! We used to have epic staff meetings I will let one of them comment on. I will warn all of you the overriding rule was to keep my attention.




Leticia Bugarin was the Human Resources Manager. She could handle Steve Bentz which was the only part of the interview that mattered for me when we hired her! And that is Christina Ortiz heading out of her office. She was the nicest person to work with.



Nina Pang was the business manager. God, those were the Golden days of newspapering! But she held her own in the staff meetings and often had an interesting perspective.


Perry Kirkpatrick Pressroom Manager. Funny story for me to tell. I met Perry when I was at the Daily Press in Newport News. I used to play basketball at lunch time and that is where I met Perry. He passed the ball, I liked that. We had an opening in Packaging for a supervisor and we were not having good luck in finding someone. So during a break in the game I asked Perry what he did. He told me. I asked him to apply for the job. He came in and I put my hand on the scale and he got hired. Then I left and went to Orlando for four years, Ohio for two years and then LA. By that time he had pressroom experience so i hired him to be the pressroom manager at CCN. So the lesson to be learned here is pass the ball!


The SIXTH member of the team is Dinesh Shah. He was our controller. I don't have a picture of him, I am sorry for that. Dinesh was a glue guy. He kept the team functioning with a very relaxed and cool vibe. The rest of us were a little wild but Dinesh kept an even keel at all times. I think he and Perry are still there. I hope they are at least.



All these pictures I am posting today came courtesy of Alma Perallon former assistant at CCN and she just sent me two boxes of memories from my time there. It was very nice of her to track me down and get me the stuff. It was for the most part worthless but provoked a lot of good memories for me.

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gdtomaske
gdtomaske
May 10, 2021

I remember all of these folks fondly and will only add that Steve Bentz was, hands down, the funniest man I ever worked with. OK, John Craig was a pretty funny as well. Come to think of it Russ, you and Chris Avetisian were pretty funny as well.

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Russ Newton
Russ Newton
May 10, 2021
Replying to

Gordon, I think you have it in the right order! Steve, John, Chris and I. Russ

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heblumer
heblumer
May 09, 2021

The video from your previous post is so touching ... makes a tear fall. And yet it is an upbeat look at the tomorrow we all must face ... some sooner than others.

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Russ Newton
Russ Newton
May 09, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Helen!

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ltarabini
May 09, 2021

I remember being nervous when the SDUT moved their packaging to CCN - just cause change is hard. My worry was unfounded, as I never met a more knowledgeable and capable group of people, who were also a lot of fun!

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Russ Newton
Russ Newton
May 09, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Laura, we appreciated the business and I am happy to hear what you said! Russ

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sfbentz
sfbentz
May 09, 2021

I couldn't agree more!


What an amazing team. Maybe with the exception of Leticia. She was smart, organized, ethical, and followed rules. Just never seemed like a good fit for me!!


Fiery staff meetings with few boundaries and a boss that played the part of peer, mentor, coach and referee. Life changing few years with an awesome group of people. (even Leticia I guess)

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jcraig4902
jcraig4902
May 09, 2021

Ok, I admit it - a life long pattern of being too Bossy! Jessica, my 12 yr old daughter and Joshua my 14 yr old son will attest to that fact. It was the CCN years working with you and the team that truly shaped my life!


Such great memories, I’ll share a few here in the next couple days.


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