The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian is a daily newspaper serving Bakersfield, California and surrounding Kern County in the state's San Joaquin Valley.

The Bakersfield Californian
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatTabloid Monday-Friday
Broadsheet (Saturday-Sunday)
Owner(s)Virginia F. Moorhouse
PublisherVirginia F. Moorhouse
PresidentMichelle Chantry
Editor-in-chiefJim Lawitz
Founded1866 (152–153 years)
Headquarters1707 Eye Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
CirculationMonday-Saturday 26,000; Sunday 28,000
OCLC number44342451


The Bakersfield Californian is an independent, family-owned newspaper. It is the direct descendent of Kern County's first newspaper, The Weekly Courier, which was first published on August 18, 1866, in Havilah, California. At that time, Havilah, a small mining town about 50 miles northeast of the present site of Bakersfield, was the center of the 1864 gold rush, which brought the first major population influx to Kern County. The newspaper's name was later changed to The Havilah Weekly Courier.

As the mineral wealth of the area became depleted and the population moved southward toward Bakersfield, the newspaper also moved to Bakersfield in 1872, becoming The Kern County Weekly Courier. In 1876, the Courier merged with another Bakersfield newspaper, The Southern Californian, to form The Kern County Californian. Its name was changed to The Daily Californian in 1891 with the advent of daily publication. In 1897, the Kern County superintendent of schools, Alfred Harrell, purchased the newspaper.

Harrell gave The Bakersfield Californian its present name in 1907. In 1926, he moved the newspaper into its present location at 1707 Eye Street in downtown Bakersfield. In 1983, that structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. He served as editor and publisher of the newspaper until his death in 1946. Under Harrell's leadership, The Bakersfield Californian was recognized as one of California's finest newspapers, winning over 40 state and national awards for journalistic excellence. In 1969, Harrell became the 24th person to be named to the Newspaper Hall of Fame.

After Harrell's death, his wife, Virginia, became president of The Californian. She held that position until her death in 1954, when the Harrells' daughter, Bernice Harrell Chipman, assumed the position of president. She died in 1967.

Berenice Fritts Koerber, granddaughter of Alfred Harrell, was the president of The Bakersfield Californian from 1967 until her death in 1988. Under her leadership, the company constructed a $21 million publishing facility in 1984. It is named the Harrell-Fritts Publishing Center and is located at the company's airport business center near Meadows Field, 6.3 miles from the newspaper's downtown offices. It includes a modern offset press built by Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd of Japan. With the completion of the publishing facility, The Californian became one of the most technically advanced newspaper companies in the United States. News and advertising copy is transmitted to the facility using an underground fiber-optic cable system, the first of its kind for a newspaper in the United States.

In January 1989, Virginia F. Moorhouse, daughter of Berenice Koerber, was elected chairman and president of The Bakersfield Californian. She also serves as president of The Bakersfield Californian Foundation, a separate and independent entity established to provide financial assistance to non-profit charitable organizations in Kern County.

On August 17, 2009, the weekday editions of the Californian switched to a tabloid format.

In December 2014, Virginia "Ginny" Cowenhoven, daughter of Virginia F. "Ginger" Moorhouse, was named associate publisher, the fifth generation of the Harrell-Fritts family to serve in a leadership position at the locally owned media company.

In June 2016, Michelle Chantry, a member of The Californian's executive team since 2010, was named president, chief executive officer and chief financial officer.[1]

Other publications

TBC Media runs several other publications in Kern County including the Tehachapi News, The Voice,[2] Kern Business Journal, and Bakersfield Life Magazine.


On February 23, 2017, the paper won several awards at the 29th annual George F. Gruner Awards, which recognizes great print journalism in the San Joaquin Valley. Competing in the large-daily newspaper category:

• Reporters Harold Pierce, John Cox and Steven Mayer took first place in the News Story category for their coverage of the deadly Erskine Fire last summer.

• Senior Editors Jennifer Self and Robert Price placed first in the Feature Story category for their obituary of Merle Haggard, who died last April at age 79.

• Columnist Lois Henry won first place for column writing. Her entry included the piece "Kern supes preach trust, collaboration but scheme in secret," which took a critical look at behind-the-scenes discussions late last year to hire then-retiring County Administrative Officer John Nilon as a county consultant for upwards of six figures.

• Reporter Jeff Evans took first place in the Sports Story category for his piece on the late Jordan "Turk" Eliades, North High's first football coach. Eliades, who coached for 32 years, was also a WWII fighter pilot who was shot down and spent several months as a German POW at the end of the war.

• Photographer Felix Adamo placed first in the News Photo category for his photo of Jack Palme struggling with California Highway Patrol officers after going past a roadblock to get to his Squirrel Valley home during the Erskine Fire. Adamo also won an honorable mention in the Sports Photo category.

In February 2016, two staffers were honored at the 29th annual George F. Gruner Awards, Kelly Ardis won first place in the features category for her article "McFarland: Town up and running, even before film," (published Feb. 15, 2015). Ardis was one of three first-place finishers in the category.

Reporter John Cox received an honorable mention in the public service category.

In 2004, the paper received the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism[3] for Robert Price's January 2003 "Lords of Bakersfield" stories, which focused on the stabbing death of Assistant District Attorney Steven Tauzer and similar crimes committed over the previous 25 years, some of which reflected negatively on the newspaper's ownership and management. The articles were also recognized with California Newspaper Publishers Association and George F. Gruner awards, and publisher Ginger Moorhouse was named Publisher of the Year by Editor & Publisher magazine.

In 2008, the paper received an $837,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop Printcasting, a technology for democratized magazine publishing.


  1. ^ History of The Californian
  2. ^ History of the Voice
  3. ^ List of Past Winners of the Payne Awards

External links

1948 All-Pro Team

The 1948 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players who were chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team for the 1948 football season. Teams were selected by, among others, the Associated Press (AP), the United Press (UP), The Sporting News, and the New York Daily News. The AP and Sporting News selections included players from the National Football League (NFL) and All-America Football Conference; the UP selections were limited to players from the NFL.

1948 Cal Poly Mustangs football team

The 1948 Cal Poly Mustangs football team represented California Polytechnic State University during the 1948 college football season. Cal Poly competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).

The team was led by first-year head coach Chuck Pavelko and played home games at Mustang Stadium in San Luis Obispo, California. They finished the season with a record of three wins and five losses (3–5, 1–4 CCAA).

1948 Santa Barbara Gauchos football team

The 1948 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos football team represented Santa Barbara College during the 1948 college football season.

Santa Barbara competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The team was led by fourth-year head coach Stan Williamson and played home games at La Playa Stadium in Santa Barbara, California. They finished the season with a record of six wins and five losses (6–5, 2–3 CCAA). At the end of the season, the Gauchos played in the first Potato Bowl, in Bakersfield, California.

1976 All-Pacific-8 Conference football team

The 1976 All-Pacific-8 Conference football team consists of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Pacific-8 Conference teams for the 1976 NCAA Division I football season.


Bak-Anime is an annual two-day anime convention held at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield, California by the staff of Sac-Anime. The convention is the sister conventions to the Bakersfield Comic Con, Sacramento Comic, Toy and Anime Show (Sac-Con), and Sac-Anime.

Bakersfield Californian Building

The Bakersfield Californian Building, also known as the Bakersfield California Building, is a historic office building in Bakersfield, California. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on March 10, 1983. It was built for and is currently occupied by the newspaper The Bakersfield Californian.

Bakersfield station (California High-Speed Rail)

Bakersfield is a proposed California High-Speed Rail station in Bakersfield, California. The station is part of the Initial Construction Segment expected to be completed by 2017.

Bill Kernen

William Craig Kernen (born August 1, 1948) is an American baseball coach and playwright. He was the head coach at Cal State Northridge from 1989 to 1995 and at Cal State Bakersfield from 2009 to 2015.

Derek Carr

Derek Dallas Carr (born March 28, 1991) is an American football quarterback for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Raiders in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Fresno State, as did his older brother, former NFL quarterback David Carr.

Ed Barge

Edward John Barge (August 10, 1910 – September 29, 1991) was an American animator.

Barge was born to Alfred Edward and Margaret G. Barge in San Jose, California. In 1916, the family moved to Bakersfield, where his father was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad and Pacific Western Oil Co. before retiring in 1954. He was the second of six children; his brother Henry was a photographer for the Bakersfield Californian. Barge attended St. Francis Parochial School and high school in Bakersfield, where he was a baseball and basketball star. He was still living in Bakersfield in July 1936 and was becoming known for his landscape paintings. He married Alice Davis, the daughter of Mrs. B.A. Davis of Bakersfield, in Beverly Hills on April 6, 1939.He began his career at the Harman-Ising studio which shut down by August 1937 when Fred Quimby poached a number of its staff members to form the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio. Barge worked at MGM as an assistant animator and received his first screen credit as an animator on Innertube Antics, directed by George Gordon and released in 1944. Gordon's unit had been disbanded the year before, at which point Barge was placed in the William Hanna/Joseph Barbera unit which made the Tom and Jerry cartoons. Barge remained until about the time the studio closed in 1957.

Hanna and Barbera opened their own studio that same year and hired Barge in 1965 for the movie The Man Called Flintstone. He remained with Hanna-Barbera until retiring in 1982.

In Family Guy episode, "Road to Rupert", Barge became archive footage as Jerry's visible.

Fay Helm

Fay Helm (April 9, 1909 – September 27, 2003) was an American film actress. Born in Bakersfield, California, she appeared in about 65 films between 1936 and 1946.

Helm "came [to Hollywood] in 1936 at the age of 22."

Jason Evert

Jason Evert is a Catholic author and chastity speaker. He founded Totus Tuus Press and Chastity Project, an organization that promotes chastity primarily to high school and college students.Evert earned a Master of Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, with undergraduate degrees in theology and counseling, with a minor in philosophy.He is married to Crystalina Evert, who is also a chastity speaker and runs Women Made New Ministries. Crystalina is the author of the books Pure Womanhood, How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul, and the curriculum YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body.

Kern County child abuse cases

The Kern County child abuse cases started the day care sexual abuse hysteria of the 1980s in Kern County, California. The cases involved claims of paedophile-sex-ring-performed Satanic ritual abuse, with as many as 60 children testifying they had been abused. At least 36 people were convicted and most of them spent years imprisoned. Thirty-four convictions were overturned on appeal. The district attorney responsible for the convictions was Ed Jagels, who was sued by at least one of those whose conviction was overturned, and who remained in office until 2009. Two convicts died in prison, unable to clear their names.

Mettler, California

Mettler, or Mettler Station, is a heavily Hispanic, low-income unincorporated area and census-designated place in Kern County, California. The population was 136 at the 2010 census, down from 157 at the 2000 census. It is the place where motion picture actor James Dean received a traffic ticket on the last day of his life.


Printcasting is a web site and self-publishing technology designed to let individuals and organizations create self-updating PDF magazines using content from participating blogs or news providers. It has been mentioned in Business Week, The Miami Herald, the Rocky Mountain News and other publications as an example of online experiments that can help newspapers during a time when print readership is declining.

Printcasting was founded by Dan Pacheco and is supported by an $837,000 grant to The Bakersfield Californian newspaper by the Knight Foundation through the Knight News Challenge. The focus of the project in its initial phases is hyper-local and interest-based, allowing micro-communities to publish magazines which can be printed and distributed by various methods. According to Business Week, the service begins with a pilot in Bakersfield, California and will be available in other cities later in 2009.

In the fall of 2008, the World Association of Newspapers [WAN] listed Printcasting as one of five important audience-building strategies newspapers should consider.

Robert B. Powers

Robert B. Powers, (October 3, 1900 – December 3, 1976) was a prominent police officer in the history of California, first as Chief of Police in Bakersfield, California (1933–1945) and as the chief enforcement officer at the state level (1944–1947) during which he co-established one of the earliest training programs for police in matters of race relations.

Tara (cat)

Tara “The Hero Cat”, or Zatara, is a female tabby cat living in California, who rescued her family's child from being attacked by a neighbor's dog. The moment was recorded on household surveillance. The footage uploaded on YouTube received over 16.8 million views in the first 48 hours.

Tehachapi News

Tehachapi News is the local print and online source for news and events affecting the residents and businesses in Tehachapi, California.

Tehachapi news is considered a Wednesday publication and is available through home delivery and at rack locations throughout the area. The newspaper is printed every Monday night, delivered to Tehachapi from Bakersfield Tuesday morning, and available at Tehachapi stands most everywhere by Tuesday around noon.

Terry Phillips

Terry Phillips is a journalist, author and media consultant. As a foreign correspondent, he covered events around the world for CBS News, and reported regularly for NPR, MonitoRadio and the NBC/Mutual Broadcasting System.

Phillips is a contributor to the Hellenic Journal. He also provides analysis for such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle and The Bakersfield Californian. For ten years, he co-hosted the Armenia Fund global telethon.

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