Sunday, January 13, 2008

Publisher of The Reporter joins NorthBay Healthcare

Publisher of The Reporter joins NorthBay Healthcare
By Reporter Staff
Article Launched: 01/12/2008 07:32:34 AM PST

The Reporter Publisher Steve Huddleston gets a hug from Cheryl Goldsmith, of the paperÕs advertising department Friday. (Ryan Chalk/The Reporter) Steve Huddleston, publisher of The Reporter, announced his resignation to employees Friday afternoon following his annual "State of the Newspaper" address.

"After 32 years, it is time for me to move on," said Huddleston, who joined the newspaper 32 years ago as a cub reporter covering schools, police and the state prison. Later, he would cover local government and business. He eventually worked his way into the managing editor's chair.

Former owner Richard Rico made Huddleston the assistant publisher, akin to general manager of all daily operations. He continued to write editorials and a weekly column to this day. When the Rico family sold The Reporter to Denver-based MediaNews Group in 2002, Huddleston was appointed publisher.

Huddleston's last day will be Feb. 1, and he has accepted a job as vice president for public affairs at NorthBay Healthcare System, which operates the area's only community-based, nonprofit hospitals - NorthBay Medical Center and VacaValley Hospital.

Gary Passama, president and CEO of NorthBay Healthcare, noted the position is a new one. In addition to public relations and in-house communications, Huddleston will work on government affairs. "Steve will assist me in developing and coordinating a more structured public affairs program, particularly at the local and state level," Passama said.

Passama noted that Huddleston 'has been very active in Solano County community activities. He is currently chairman of the Major Employers Council of Vacaville. He was Chairman of the Solano Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors in 2005 and Chairman of the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2002 and 2001.'

Huddleston, 54, told his staff it was a difficult decision and praised them for their hard work and dedication.

"I grew up at this newspaper... and as this city grew up around me," he said. "I met my wife here. I was here when by two boys were born and here when my parents died. It has done more than shape my life, it's really been a part of it."

He told the employees, "I came here as a 22-year-old rookie reporter working for the state's best weekly newspaper, and I leave a 54-year-old grizzled publisher of the best community daily newspaper in California."

A search for his replacement begins immediately.

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