BARSTOW A High Desert resident with an extensive background in the newspaper industry has been named the new editor of the Desert Dispatch.

Steve Hunt, former senior editor of the San Gabriel Valley News Group and managing editor/content center of the Los Angeles News Group, began his High Desert adventure on Monday, bringing nearly 40 years of experience to the editor's desk.

"I am excited about joining the paper and I look forward to helping our team continue to provide Barstow with the quality newspaper it deserves," said Hunt, 59, who has lived in Hesperia with his wife, Luanne, for more than 10 years.

Al Frattura, publisher of the Daily Press and Desert Dispatch, said Hunt will "no doubt bring a wealth of experience to the paper, and will continue where (former editor) David Keck left off."

"(Hunt's) management experience, understanding of working with a young staff and the importance of involvement in the community will be a welcome addition in leading the news team in Barstow going forward," Frattura wrote in an email.

With Hunt's arrival, Kris Reilly returns to his role as city editor after serving as interim editor for more than three months. Keck left in October to become the sports editor at The Times of Northwest Indiana.

In his farewell column in Saturday's San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Hunt said he leaves behind "some incredibly dedicated and talented friends and colleagues."

Andrew Landeros, 41, city editor for the Whittier Daily News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune, said Hunt brings extensive knowledge and mentorship skills to the Desert Dispatch.

"He's very attentive and knows what's going on in the newsroom and the community," Landeros said. "He has a great relationship with his reporters and staff, and has the skills to get the very best out of them."

With so much experience and hands in so many projects, Landeros said Hunt could never be replaced by one person.

"I think Steve is the perfect fit for our organization," Frattura said. "As the community continues to grow, it will be nice to have someone with his leadership and experience on board at the Desert Dispatch."