DOWNEY - The Downey Beat is back with a new owner - mayor Mario Guerra.Guerra confirmed this week that he purchased the site from Ben Baeder, who ran DowneyBeat.com until family obligations forced him to give it up in September. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The site's new editor is John Zander, a local photographer and videographer who operated Reel Reel Entertainment until a stroke two months ago forced him into a different career path. In a letter posted online Tuesday, Guerra said he will write a weekly blog "to sound off on the issues that I am concerned about" but political stories will be handled by Zander and Baeder, who is staying on "for a while" to help in the transition. The re-launched site isn't expected to carry the hard-hitting style the Beat was previously known for under Baeder's control. Instead, it will take a light-hearted approach, profiling local residents, students and business owners contributing to the Downey community. "If you are asking why I am doing this, the answer is simple. I love Downey and I love our community," Guerra wrote in his letter. "I have always said the more you know about our city and the people who make this a special place, the better we all are. With our 90-plus churches and 14 service organizations, we are a city of givers and a city of people who care. And this is what I want to showcase and highlight in the Downey Beat and help make Downey an even better place for all of us." Guerra also downplayed competition between the Beat and the Downey Patriot. "I love the Downey Patriot and look forward to it every week. That will not change," Guerra said. "The Downey Beat is a different community news and event outlet and it will continue to evolve based on the direction our community takes it."
********** Published: December 20, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 36