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Farewell Benett Kessler, Eastern Sierra journalist

January 5th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
Benett Kessler, 1949-2015. Photo courtesy of Sierra Wave Media.

Benett Kessler, 1949-2015. Photo courtesy of Sierra Wave Media.

Benett Kessler, founder and owner of Sierra Wave Media and a trusted and respected Eastern Sierra journalist, passed away on January 2 after a three-year battle with cancer. She was 65.

Benett began reporting in the Owens Valley in 1976, a drought year, and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) became one of her primary reporting subjects throughout her career. Never one to shy away from tough stories or intimidating subjects, she consistently delivered daily news reports and opinion pieces on some of the most controversial issues in the Eastern Sierra.

Benett’s coverage of DWP news and issues included the effort to save Mono Lake. When we were making The Mono Lake Story film several years ago, Benett provided us with historic footage of an early interview she conducted with Committee co-founder David Gaines, which you can see here. Update—this footage is from the spring of 1986, eight years after the Committee was founded.

Sierra Wave Media, which includes KSRW-FM, KSRW-TV and the online Sierra Wave news site, remain in operation as a legacy of the Eastern Sierra’s premier journalist, who will be greatly missed.

2 Responses to “Farewell Benett Kessler, Eastern Sierra journalist”

  1. avatar Scott Wallace Says:

    This is a very impressive interview! I have often wondered how the co-founder accomplished so much. Both Benett Kessler and David Gaines did an outstanding job. I wish I could have met them both!

  2. avatar Bruce Muirhead Says:

    I knew nothing of Benett Kessler, but did know about David Gaines. I’ve always supported and respected the Mono Lake Committee for it’s stand and efforts. This is just a classic piece!! I applaud their efforts working to save the East Side of the Sierra including Mono Lake! Thanks for sharing.

    Hearing the voice of David Gaines “in person” was like reliving history, and seeing what a force one man could be in making something happen.

    Thanks again for sharing.