Friday, October 31, 2014
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Ken Miller Begins New Chapter With Rep. Richardson

Long time editor leaving Sentinel after 31 years


By Jason Lewis

Sentinel Staff Writer


The Los Angeles Sentinel has had numerous talented writers, editors, photographers, salesmen, executives, and the like come through its doors over the past 75 years, but there has been one individual who stuck around a little longer than most others have.

A person who has passionately given his life's work so that the community's voice would be heard.

That would be Kenneth Miller, who has been a writer and editor for nearly every section of the paper since he began working at the Sentinel October 13 1977. Miller is proof that if you work hard and stick around long enough, you will move up to the top spot.

Miller is leaving the Sentinel as the Managing Editor to accept a position as the Press Deputy for Congresswoman Laura Richardson.

Miller is a native of Los Angeles, where he attended Fremont High School. Miller grew up listening to Vin Scully and Chick Hearn. By listening to the broadcast Miller learned to use proper English, which he was teased for at school. Some of his classmates would call him an Oreo, but he had teachers that would encourage him to continue on his path.

Miller's dream was to go to Colombia School of Broadcasting, but then Managing Editor of the Sentinel Brad Pye Jr. convinced him that a better route would be to take a job at the Sentinel. He remembers his first day at the Sentinel like it was yesterday.

"I remember being on 43rd and Central," Miller said. "We had manual typewriters. When you were typing on the manual typewriters the symbol would sometimes punch a hole right through the paper. If you made a mistake you didn't have the ability to erase it or spell check it."

The first story that Miller wrote was on a Jefferson High School football game.

"I still have that article," Miller said. "That's probably the only article that I've saved over 30 some odd years."

Miller remembers the old paper smell and the sounds of typewriters when he first started at the Sentinel.

"There was a buzz about it," Miller said. "There was an energy about being in that environment that I will never forget."

The first time Miller left the city limits of Los Angeles was with the Sentinel. He traveled the country covering the Raiders and other stories. One of his greatest joys was telling the stories of individuals who stories would normally not have been told.

"I've always prided myself on being the voice of the person that nobody else wanted to talk too," Miller said.

Miller has worked for different owners. Ruth Washington and Danny Bakewell Sr. have been very special to him, and he said that the best days of his Sentinel life has been under Bakewell.

Miller is the only person at the Sentinel to hold the positions of Managing, Sports, and Entertainment editor simultaneously.

The Sentinel has changed over years that Miller has been there. For a good amount of his time there he said that the Sentinel was similar to a police blotter, reporting all of the bad news. But that has changed he said. The Sentinel now has more political power, and there are more uplifting stories.

Miller has always been a major part of the Sports section, and he has covered every major sport. He has always had both hands in boxing, working with the likes of Don King and other big names in that sport.

"The passion to be able to tell our story," Miller said. "When I got here in '77 there were very few blacks in the press box. I felt that I had a responsibility to keep those avenues open for other blacks. I want to make sure that the same opportunities afforded to me are there for other young black writers."

Miller now has an opportunity to grow in a different direction.

"I'm excited about it," Miller said. "If I was ever going to leave the Sentinel, Laura Richardson is the right person to leave it for. We would not be having this conversation if it was anybody else that we were talking about."  Miller is not closing the door on the relationship with the Sentinel,  he is simply creating new relationships in a similar arena.

 

Category: Local


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