The word that a longtime newspaper guy — P. Scott McKibben, the former publisher of our sister papers in the East Bay, the Alameda Newspaper Group — has been named the new chief executive of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses might seem odd.
Actually, it’s the reverse — it’s par for the course.
The Rose Bowl stadium was so-named by a Star-News sports reporter after its completion in the early 1920s. We used for many years to do the official parade program — the covers were high camp and sometimes also approached high (commercial) art. There’s a framed copy in the foyer of Tournament House of the best one from the early ’20s, in which a bi-plane with the Star-News logo is flying over the Arroyo Seco and the Colorado Street Bridge, its pilot strewing roses on the town.
And before the retiring Mitch Dorger, the two most prominent parade bosses came out of Pasadena newspapers as well.
Jack French, still a big part of Pasadena — he and his wife Patti produce the annual 4th of July event in the Rose Bowl — was, before he became head of the Pasadena Red Cross and then for decades the top tournament guy, an advertising executive at the Star-News.
And Max Colwell, the former Pasadena Post City Hall reporter, went from being a White Suiter TofR volunteer to become the first full-time general manager of the parade and game when he was hired in 1952, a post he held into the 1970s.
Newspapers and parades just go together — ephemeral, colorful, daily miracles with tight deadlines.