Appeal-Democrat editor ready to retire
Appeal-Democrat Editor Joseph Calderon announced Monday he will retire from the newspaper later this year after nearly three years at the helm of the newsroom.
“The time has come for me to retire - it feels right,” said Calderon, 61. “I'm looking forward to turning my energies to other uses. In whatever I do, however, I hope to remain in touch with my community and to continue to contribute to its success.”
Calderon joined the A-D in September 2003 as editor, coming from the San Bernardino Sun, where he worked as assistant managing editor for metro. He succeeded former A-D editor Laura Nicholson, who left to become executive director of the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce, a position she still holds.
Calderon's retirement date will be Oct. 6.
“I wish Joe the best as he embarks on the next chapter of his life,” said A-D Publisher Don Bricker. “Joe has placed tremendous emphasis on increasing our focus on stories of local significance and featuring more local voices in the Appeal-Democrat.
“We will continue to embrace this ‘local, local, local' philosophy in the years to come,” he said. “Joe has been instrumental in the great success enjoyed by the Appeal-Democrat in the last few years, and he will leave with my gratitude for a job well done.”
During more than 37 years in journalism, Calderon also worked at the Miami Herald in Florida as a Web news editor and later as editor of two Neighbors local news sections of the paper, covering Miami Beach and other beach communities, as well as cities north of Miami. He worked at the Seattle Times in Washington as a Web news editor and at the Lakeland Ledger in Florida as chief of the paper's only bureau in East Polk County. He joined the Atlantic City Press in New Jersey, starting as a copy editor and moved up the ranks to regional editor, assistant city editor and later, as the paper's first metro editor and assistant editorial page editor.
“When I came to the Yuba-Sutter area in 2003, it was like a marriage made in heaven,” Calderon said. “This community embraced me as one of its own and allowed me to enjoy an unusual degree of success in shaping today's Appeal-Democrat. I thank the community for this.
“As with any marriage, we've had our differences, but we've moved forward steadily, even after the great Alley-Oop debacle of 2004 (when the comic strip was withdrawn with no prior notice).
During his time at the A-D, Calderon established the newspaper's Reader Advisory Board, a group of area residents who meet monthly and advise the newspaper's editors about issues of community concern.
“They are an incredibly valuable sounding board for the newspaper and I am grateful to each of them for their participation,” he said. “I will miss the monthly meetings of the board greatly.”
Features added to the newspaper during Calderon's tenure as editor include the popular “US” feature that appears five days a week on A2, the weekly Faith and Family page, the Your Neighbor's Favorite recipe page and the expanded Yuba-Sutter Homes real estate section, as well as a revamped auto section that will be published later this month.
“I am especially proud of our successes in strengthening the paper's bonds with the community,” he said. “Above all, I am proud to report that you see more of the faces of our community in the paper every day, both in news and feature stories.”
Calderon has been a member of the Yuba City Rotary Club since coming to the area. He serves on the curriculum advisory committee for communications at Yuba College and on the journalism curriculum advisory board at California State University, Chico.
Calderon often speaks to groups of children at area schools, from elementary to high school grades, and serves as a judge in the Yuba County Academic Decathlon. In 2005, he served as a speech judge in the state decathlon held in Southern California.
He also has been a speaker for LULAC and at the Marysville Rotary Club and has addressed the Linda Business Association and other organizations.
Calderon and his wife, Eileen, a human resources director working in Colusa County, live in East Marysville, and have two grown children and a grandson.