KFBK News Director and Senior Editor Judy Farah has more than 25 years news experience in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento. She's edited the KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal the past 16 years while also directing the newsroom by assigning stories to reporters and scheduling guest interviews. Farah started out as a newspaper reporter on the East Coast, covering major stories as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, including the 1984 Olympics, the Oscars, Emmys, the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the criminals trials of the Night Stalker and the Hillside Stranglers.
Farah came to KFBK in 1996, and has helped direct coverage of five presidential elections, five governor's elections and the killing sprees of Yosemite Killer Cary Stayner and Scott Peterson. She reported live for two 13-hour days for KFBK from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She was also the editor on KFBK's 2011 exclusive report that the Sacramento Kings were considering moving to Anaheim.
A graduate of William Paterson College in New Jersey, Farah has won three Edward R. Murrow awards, including one for Best Writing, while at KFBK. She's also earned three awards from the Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association for Best Series, Best Newscast and Best Sports Segment. She has also written for the Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, Los Angeles and Parents magazines. She was honored with a Jefferson Fellowship in 2009 and traveled to Japan, China and Hong Kong to study the Asian economy. In 2010, she was awarded a RTNDA RIAS Fellowship to travel to Germany, Belgium and Prague to study the European economy.
Farah currently is a national blogger for The Huffington Post and often speaks on news and social media. You can find her on Twitter @newsbabe1530
In her free time, Farah enjoys the outdoors by hiking along the American River bike trail and kayaking. A wine enthusiast, Farah's produced a monthly wine segment on KFBK the past five years and enjoys visiting our local foothill wineries.
While the sports world was imploding Thursday night as a blockuster, three-team, trade for NBA superstar Chris Paul suddenly unraveled, something major was quietly happening on the Kings front in Sacramento -- no less than Gov. Jerry Brown and NBA legend Magic Johnson were talking about bringing more business into Sacramento via a new sports and entertainment complex for our region.
You had to be among a special, elite group to hear about it. Magic flew up to Sacramento from Los Angeles Thursday to be inducted into the California Museum Hall of Fame. He made an inspirational speech at the ceremony at the Memorial Auditorium but it was what he said afterwards at an afterparty at Cafeteria 15L that worked people up. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson hosted the party, which was also a fundraiser for his re-election campaign that featured Magic as its marquee speaker. At $50 a ticket, those who attended got their money's worth. After an introduction from the mayor, who played against Magic in his NBA career, the former Laker talked to the crowd about his good friend "Kevin."
"Here he is talking about a new arena to make sure the Kings stay right here in Sacramento. (applause)"
"Not lip service, because so many times, unfortunately, we hear a lot of lip service and hear a lot of promises that have never been kept (such as) four more years."
"He still got work to do. He wants to see this arena project through. He wants me to bring my funds to the city of Sacramento." (Wild applause)
An excited Mayor Johnson jumps in. "Y'all heard that? Someone got that on video? He told me that three years ago, so I'm gonna give you another two or three to make it happen.."
Back to Magic...
"I'm gonna do it because you get an arena built so I'm going to make sure I bring back."
"What Mayor Johnson is talking about is making the arena a destination point for all of you. Where he's driving not only an arena, but an entertainment corridor that you can go out and have a good time at night. It will be a mixed use of things happening so it drives everybody back downtown. We don't want you to leave. We want you to stay here and spend your money and also provide jobs to those who need jobs."
Magic continued..."When I come back in the next 8-12 months (Crowd yells 8 weeks!) We want to make sure that he is again the mayor."
And this next part is open to interpretation, but the crowd there believed Magic not only plans to write a check for the mayor's re-election campaign, but toward investing in a new arena as well.
"We want to make sure that I'm writing a check...(KJ interrupts and yells, "Write it right now!") No, I'm not talking about a check to him, but a check...(dramatic pause) -- He knows he gonna get the check (for re-election). I'm talking about a check to bring jobs and bring opportunity here."
"This city deserves to keep the Kings. This city deserves to have more job opportunities for the people who live here."
That's when Magic was interrupted...by Gov. Brown, who walked on stage with his wife, Anne Gust Brown.
Gov. Brown continued Magic's momentum and endorsed his remarks but joked "Don't ask me for money. I don't have any," meaning the state of California. Brown said he lived in downtown Sacramento and added he doesn't want people going out to the suburbs. He wants them staying right there in downtown with him.
Mayor Johnson wrote a post on his blog Saturday titled "A Night to Remember."
"Magic stepped to the podium and owned the room. He had just been inducted into the California Hall of Fame, but his comments were on a totally local level. Magic talked about the importance of capitalizing on Sacramento's potential, and how eager he was to find investment opportunities for his company here in our region."
Kevin Johnson on Gov. Brown's remarks: "The governor reminded the crowd that he lived just a couple blocks away from 15th and L, and how important it was for a city to build a strong, vibrant core to attract people and investment from around the region."
Two big endorsements for Sacramento from two big personalities.
By Judy Farah
KFBK News Director/Senior Editor