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Local Political Newspaper Closes Office in Artesia

Staff Report

The Gateway Guardian, the politically one-sided newspaper started by ex-real estate agent and self-appointed publisher Melinda Kimsey, has closed its office in Artesia, Hews Media Group Community News can confirm.

Sources are telling HMG-CN that Kimsey has cut circulation to 3,000 print newspapers contradicting her stated circulation to advertisers and cities of 10,000.

Kimsey closed the office after she learned of an impending 11/13/15 article published in HMG-CN outlining her cozy and lucrative relationship with Cerritos’ Mayor Carol Chen and former Mayor Bruce Barrows as related to the newspaper, its advertising and financing, and the misuse of Cerritos City funds by Chen.

See story click here.

HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews will ask the Los Angeles District Attorney to investigate Chens’ use of City funds in relation to Kimsey’s newspaper.

Kimsey occupied the office, owned by Artesia Councilman Tony Lima, for over a year, with sources telling HMG-CN that, “Kimsey was constantly late with the rent.”

“I’m surprised it took this long,” said HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews, “if it wasn’t for the city of Cerritos advertising in the paper, as ordered by Mayor Carol Chen, the paper would have scuttled long ago. By my calculations, and if they are printing the number of newspapers they claim to print, the paper loses $3,000-$4,000 per month, and that is with Cerritos’ advertising in it,” said Hews.

The paper was distributed to a small neighborhood in Cerritos and about 80% of Artesia, in the exact same place and locations as the 30 year-old Los Cerritos Community News, which covers 98% of Cerritos and Artesia, and eight other cities.

Yet, puzzlingly, the City of Cerritos somehow justified advertising in the paper.

This is an organization that did not have an office in Cerritos, did not have a published advertising rate card, and published its first edition two weeks prior to Cerritos placing advertising.

“That’s duplicating advertising dollars during tough times for the city,” said Hews, “the city can’t even afford to cut their trees, but Mayor Chen did not care, and ordered city personnel to place advertising in the newspaper. The publication catered to her in every edition, publishing 2-3 pictures and stories of Chen and her City Council buddies in every edition, it was her own newspaper financed by the city, it’s the Chen News.”

Disgruntled long time former HMG-CN reporter Randy Economy was seen inside Kimsey’s newspaper office a few days after he abruptly left HMG-CN last year.

Hews later discovered that a scheme was hatched to start their own paper, followed by a coordinated plan, with assistance from Carol Chen, Bruce Barrows, and many in the Cerritos Republican Club, to put HMG-CN out of business by spreading vicious rumors and lies about the publication.

Three years ago, Economy asked Hews to hire Kimsey as a sales representative. Hews agreed and hired Kimsey but during her tenure at the paper, she was apparently taking note of operations at HMG-CN.

Kimsey eventually left HMG-CN and took Editor Jerry Bernstein to establish her own newspaper, which took nine months to start. Kimsey and Bernstein also tried to hire away HMG-CN’s graphics designer and salespeople.

Economy stayed at HMG-CN for a few more months, quit his long-time job by phone, and immediately began spreading lies about Hews and HMG-CN, while appearing in every edition of Kimsey’s newspaper and asking long-time HMG-CN Sports Editor Loren Kopff to quit and work for the paper.

“He was vicious,” said Hews. “I was very disappointed, we worked side-by-side for over four years, after he quit he tried to put me out of business, spreading falsehoods about how I operated the paper while helping Kimsey in the process; and he is still spreading lies to this day.”

Emails into Kimsey and Bernstein for comment were unsuccessful.

  • Resident says:

    Gateway News Saga:

    …………..WOW…….All I can say, political suicide, when anyone quits job and startup new business in same SMALL city, where you live, PLUS work as teacher-realtor. Cerritos is too small city, to have a revenge start-up of any new endeavor’s. What were the former newspaper chief editors thinking of, when leaving one newspaper and start up with new vendor?

    Mega millionaire, Mr. George Ray, Cerritos Councilmember, owner of Lefiell, Sante Fe Springs, http://www.lefiell.com; appointee of Knabe Board of Supervisors, should be held responsible to public defamation of LCCN, during Cerritos council meeting, stating untrue statements about the said newspaper……..

    Please listen to the past videos by Council Person Ray…..
    http://www.cerritos.us/RESIDENTS/tv3/video_archive.php. How would Mr. Ray feel if rants were made publicly about his business, against his interracial relationships with his children or his non-purchasing of American made cars?

    City staffers should never publish news worthy articles or city advertising in non- judicated newspapers. OC Register does not run daily news stories anymore, nor does the LA Times and Press telegram write any reads. Times use to run half pg articles every other Wednesday, but has retired this. Press Telegram use to attend city meetings, but has aborted this, only prints stories submitted by Cerritos staff comments, hence reports only part of the city news.

    Frankly, tired about only reading stories on Cerritos-Artesia, when the ABCUSD composes: Long Beach, Cerritos, Artesia, Norwalk, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood. What about the neighboring cities of: La Palma, Bellflower, Cypress, Rossmoor, etc. We were once all apart of the vast Dairy Valley homelands.

    All Cerritos councilpersons and commissioners, including the FAC appointees, please note the continuous conflict of interest and breaches set forth in the publish Cerritos Protocol Manual” Public Figures are to serve ALL of the residents fairly and without prejudice bias”. Please see city charter and protocol handbook. http://www.cerritos.us/

    City is going through extreme ageism and urban menopause, this history of newspaper battles is not going to help the history of the city.

    Closing statement, Mr.B. Barrows and Mrs. C. Chen, what have you done today, to aid the declining residential real estate streetscape and improve the city landscape, outside the city parks? Seems like your only intentions are to raise your own Republican egos talkeover, nothing towards citywide deferred maintenance. Hoping in the near future, city council and commissioners are represented by district, so the elected are better connected with each district, then trying to racially or politically represent the city, as we all fail. Five (5) council persons are too disconnected to the voters and all of the 50,000 (+) residents.