Former Daily Pilot publisher Bob Weed dies

The Minnesota native spent a lifetime in the newspaper business, starting as a reporter. He was 92.

August 23, 2011|By Britney Barnes,
  • Bob Weed
Bob Weed (Daily Pilot )

COSTA MESA — Bob Weed, who served as Daily Pilot publisher during a 20-year span that resulted in several newspaper awards, has died.

Weed died Saturday of natural causes in San Luis Obispo County, family members said. He was 92.

A newspaperman from the beginning, Weed had a long career in journalism that ended with a two-decade stretch at the helm of the Daily Pilot.

"He always had the ink in his blood," said his wife, Marjorie Weed, 91, in a phone interview.

Weed worked at the Pilot from 1964 to 1984, when it was an afternoon daily with more than half a dozen editions ranging from San Clemente and Irvine to Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.

During Weed's time, the paper covered the founding of UC Irvine, a controversial California Department of Transportation proposal to build a freeway on Coast Highway, and the battle to unify the local school districts, said former Managing Editor Chuck Loos.


Weed made sure stories were covered from all angles, fairly and objectively, said Loos, who worked at the Pilot for 20 years.

"He was probably one of the best bosses they've ever had — if not the best," he said.

Weed was born in Minnesota on March 10, 1919.

He got into journalism in high school, where he was editor of his school paper while helping out at the local weekly in Alexandria, Minn., his hometown. At the University of Minnesota, he graduated from its journalism program and served on the campus paper.

Weed started out as a reporter at the Minnesota Star-Tribune in 1940, but left to serve inWorld War II.

Weed returned to the Star-Tribune when his military service ended, first as a reporter and then in sales and promotions.

He worked there for 20 years until he was sent to the San Fernando Valley as the publisher of the Valley Times Today newspaper. The family moved again to Newport Beach when Weed took the top job at the Pilot.

"All Bob could ever say was how proud he was of his staff at the Daily Pilot," Marjorie Weed said. "It was his joy to work in that community."

While serving as publisher, Weed was tough but personable — a great guy and boss, Loos said.

He also encouraged editorial independence.

"He supported the editorial side and encouraged us to excel and be aggressive in our reporting," he said. "And we did that. We were winning a lot of awards in that day."

Weed never dropped his habit of reading several newspapers, newsletters and news magazines, said his daughter, Margo Weed Smith.

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