Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's The Real Deal, Zate Is Leaving the News-Press

Over at BlogaBarbara yesterday "Citizen Stringer" was wondering who would cover the Santa Barbara city beat for the News-Press, now that reporter Hannah Guzik has left?

Well, it won't be Maria Zate. The long-time business and consumer affairs reporter for the paper, who also had a weekly column called "Real Deals," gave her two-week notice yesterday that she is resigning.

Surprisingly, they didn't pull a "Kim Favors" on her and insist that she depart immediately. Zate reportedly intended to give associate editor Scott Steepleton her notice on Tuesday but he didn't come into the newsroom that day so she held off on handing in her resignation.

Zate was on maternity leave for part of the immediate aftermath of the meltdown at the News-Press but was photographed on at least one occasion attending a union rally.

Left behind to cover business news in the wake of Zate's departure are business editor Dale Rim, who reportedly fills in as editor of the paper when Steepleton is gone, and newby reporter Tom Risen.

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Required reading. Starshine Roshell's first-hand account of testifying as a witness in the News-Press/NLRB hearing.

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What's the best thing about editorial page editor Travis Armstrong sitting in the front row at the NLRB hearings every day serving as the News-Press' official party representative?

Some think its the fact that he has less time to write anything for the paper. From Thursday through Sunday of last week the paper ran no editorials on its opinion pages or in the Sunday "Voices" section.

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Who says I can't jump on the O.J. Simpson news bandwagon? On the weekend that O.J. was arrested in Vegas for robbery, a member of the prosecution team that unsuccessfully tried him for murder 12 years ago was in Santa Barbara.

Rock Harmon, a deputy DA from Alameda County who specialized in DNA evidence and was "loaned" by that office to the L.A. County DA for the Simpson trial, was having a drink at Joe's on State Street towards the end of happy hour last Friday evening.

A career prosecutor in Oakland, Harmon told me that he just retired from the Alameda DA's office. He plans to work as a consultant on "cold cases" in San Francisco.

"Cold cases?" If he specialized in "cold heart cases" we could put him to work right here trying to figure out what to do about Wendy McCaw and the News-Press.

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