After nearly 36 years at the Glendale News-Press and Burbank Leader, Features Editor Joyce Rudolph is retiring from her desk to take up a more active role in the community she’s covered for so many years.
Effective at the end of this month, former Brand X magazine editor Krista Simmons will take over the features desk as Rudolph settles into a life of those she’s covered in her pages for decades. She plans to spend her newfound free time volunteering for various organizations in her hometown of Burbank.
“For the last 36 years I’ve been living vicariously by looking at other people and reporting other peoples’ lives, and now I feel it’s my turn,” Rudolph said. “I’m going to find a second occupation that I enjoy and I’m going to spend more time with my family — my mom, my brother and his children and my sister — and enjoy the rest of my life and be able to look back on a wonderful time at the newspaper.”
Rudolph joined what was then the Burbank Daily Review in 1975 when she was recruited from Los Angeles Valley College. She earned a journalism degree from Cal State Northridge.
Former News-Press managing editor Al Friedenthal taught Rudolph never to leave a stone unturned while collecting research, she said. And from former Editor Frances Fernades, she said she learned to write as many notes as possible after initial interviews and observations to keep the story’s energy alive.
“I believe that this is what I was meant for,” Rudolph said of her career. “To tell people stories in the community, talk about people that have needed help — homeless issues, pets that have needed a home, the charitable organizations — the things that I have covered over the years I know have helped people raise money for numerous charities and organizations.”
Dan Evans, editor of the News-Press and Leader, said he was honored to have worked with Rudolph.
“She’s a tremendous asset to the newspaper and to the community as a whole,” he said.
While Rudolph’s retirement marks the end of an era for the papers, one of her columnists is celebrating a milestone.
Katherine Yamada, who writes the popular “Verdugo Views” history column, is celebrating 25 years at the News-Press. Yamada earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Fresno State University in 1965. She joined the News-Press in 1986 covering education and society.
Her “Verdugo Views” column has become one of the paper’s most popular fixtures, highlighting people that have shaped Glendale’s history. Yamada’s mother ignited her passion for history in sharing her own family’s history. Yamada eventually compiled it into a comprehensive account. Her genealogy work has been published in a recent anthology, “Celebrating Family History,” from Heritage Books.
Yamada consistently juggles 12 working historical pieces and likens her passion to detective work.
“One of the most rewarding parts of doing this is talking to different people,” she said. “I can sit down at a table at a community event and within 30 minutes I could get a story that could trigger a story.”