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.
Mittens. Ken Doll. Vulture Capitalist. Pious Baloney. All these labels have been launched by some conservatives at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The frontrunner is always the target in an election year. But the question is -- why do conservatives hate their fellow Republican Romney?
"They don't believe him," said Sacramento political analyst Gary Dietrich. "He does not appear to them to be a true blue believer."
Read more of this story at The Huffington Post
Please say it ain't so. Please say Sacramento Kings Coach Paul Westphal and forward Demarcus Cousins didn't get into a very public and ugly feud that erupted on New Year's Day.
On the first day of a new year, when everything is supposed to be a fresh start, was it a good idea for Westphal to issue an extremely rare news release publicly lashing Cousins?
"When a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely."
I'm in charge of monitoring all emails that come into KFBK. And on a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon in Sacramento, I was shocked by what I was reading. Fans have been through a lot with this team, from CWebb, JWill and Tyreke racing their cars; to the drunk driving arrests of ex coach Musselman and players to Ron Artest and his dogs. We've gotten emails from the Kings of coach and players' firings and hirings over the years, but from my position as a news editor, I've never seen anything like this.
And it couldn't come at a worse time.
Fans are once again on fire for their team. They sold out the first two games -- the first sellouts in years. I was at the home opener and two other home games. I saw and felt the excitement, the devotion, the passion of the fans who stay at the games until the very end. They love this team.
Didn't we just survive a four-month community fight to save them? Didn't a very impressive fan effort convince the NBA to give the Kings one more year to come up with a new arena plan? And didn't Power Balance Pavilion erupt like old times for the season opener win against the rival LA Lakers?
Now this? Is team dysfunction the way to start the new year, with a very critical March 1st NBA deadline looming for a new arena plan? Do we want David Stern to think the team fans are trying to save is in shambles?
A lot went on behind the scenes between Westphal and Cousins. Shouting matches. Trade demands. We don't know the full story.
While many support the coach's tough talk, including the Kings organization, I can't see how it can possibly do any good. I had a former boss who was a tyrant who would constantly call anchors and reporters and criticize them while they were on the air. Did they improve? No. The constant criticism made them mess up more.
Cousins is far from innocent. Those who cover the NBA say he is immature, feels entitled and is emotional. They say the 21-year-old needs to grow up and be professional. I've had the occasional bad blood person in the newsroom whose negative attitude affected the rest of the staff. Once they left, my team improved.
I'm not a diehard Kings fan. I just feel like Sacramento performance artist David Garibaldi who Tweeted Sunday night: "Coming to as many games as possible! My city fought too hard not too! And they're winning!"
Whatever is going on with team; whatever issues Westphal and Cousins have with each other, please fix it now. This isn't what the Sacramento region fought for.
I sit lazily in bed with a cup of coffee, propped up against pillows with my dog and cat snoozing nearby and the sounds of silence coming from my daughters' bedrooms as they continue their sleep. My bedroom is filled with a soft light from the early winter afternoon, a sight I don't often get to see because I'm usually at work at this time.
It's the day after Christmas and my family is still in bed, including me, I'm almost embarassed to say, after noon. It's an abnormal scene. Usually my alarm goes off at 7:45 a.m. to the sounds of the coffee pot sputtering while I lean over to turn on the radio to KFBK and grab my iPhone from its charger to read the hundreds of emails and Tweets that have come in overnight. For the next hour, I text, email and call my staff from home to plan the news day ahead before I head into work for my later 11 am to 8 pm editing shift.
For the past week, I languished. I lingered. There were no screaming digital clocks I had to obey for the KFBK Afternoon News telling me to get this interview on right now! It took a few days for my personal body clock to get off the news roller coaster. During the holidays, sorry guys, the woman -- single or married -- is overloaded. On December 23rd alone I drove all over town, making more than ten stops at stores, to ensure the perfect holiday. On Christmas Day, I crashed.
I also need to point out that relaxing, chilling, vegging during the holiday week once the chaos of Christmas Day is over is different than going on vacation. On vacation, you relax, but you still go out and have adventures and explore. I'm still in Sacramento; I'm still at home. It's not easy for a news person to slow down. By our nature, we are andrenaline junkies who work ridiculous nonstop, overtime, overloaded hours and are always on call. Trying to slow down is like a jetliner landing and the pilot pulling back hard in reverse on the throttle for landing. Stop. I can rest now.
I had big plans for my daughters and I who were reunited for the first time in three years for Christmas. Wine tasting here. Day trip to San Francisco. Happy Hour there. Finally cleaning out their closets for good. But none of that happened.
Instead, we slept and stumbled through the kitchen making unconventional breakfasts of holiday leftovers. Spinach dip, crab bisque, sushi, fondue, ham and favorite homebaked cookies were all fair game. We stayed in our pajamas and sweats too long and spent way too much time on the couch watching the silliest shows -- including "1000 Ways to Die."
And maybe that's what the holidays are also about and how families draw close. The holiday dinner is lovely but it's those subtle, understated, completely relaxed and spontaneous moments of being together with random conversation about life, love, living, politics, religion, absurdities and sharing it together while wearing sweats and socks that bonds us together.
I return to work today. I'll miss one daughter sleeping with both a Blackberry and iPhone at her fingertips, and the other foraging through kitchen not so quietly for late night holiday snacks.
I'm rested. I'm recharged. I finally succeeded in slowing down...if only for a week.
Music legend Carlos Santana shocked a crowd of more than 1,000 people when he bashed former President Ronald Reagan and Gov. Jerry Brown as he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in Sacramento -- while Brown was standing right next to him.
It was supposed to be a night of celebration and inspiration for the sixth annual ceremony started by Maria Shriver and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to showcase the innovators and celebrities from California who inspired the nation, if not the world.
California's well-to-do turned out to see a rare calvacade of stars come to the Capital City, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin, The Beach Boys, NBA superstar Magic Johnson and others. This year, Gov. Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, hosted the event for the first time at the historic Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento.
But those in the audience in their cocktail dresses and suits did not expect to hear this from Carlos Santana, who was last to be inducted after being introduced by Oscar-winning director and actor Clint Eastwood:
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