PAUL MILLER, publisher of The Carmel Pine Cone, a native of El Paso, Tex., has been an award-winning journalist for more than 30 years. But he also knows a thing or two about heavy industry.
After high school, to help support himself through college, he spent his summers working the production line and quarry at Maryland Clay Products in Laurel, Md., where his duties included operating earth moving equipment and various types of hydraulic machinery that turned clay, sand and oil into millions of classic red bricks.
Saying goodbye to the world of hard hats and union cards, his first "real" job after studying political science at the University of Chicago was copy boy for CBS News at its headquarters on Manhattan's West 57th Street, working for broadcasting legends such as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Charles Osgood.
After nine months of tearing copy and running scripts, he was transferred to the CBS News foreign assignment desk, which oversaw an extensive network of bureaus around the world as they prepared packages for the Cronkite broadcast.
As assistant foreign editor, Miller played a role in arranging Cronkite's groundbreaking 1977 interviews with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin. He was also deeply involved in coverage of the March 1977 collision of two 747s in the Canary Islands (still the worst commercial aviation accident in history), the 444-day captivity of Americans in Tehran, and many other important international stories.
In 1981, he moved across town to 30 Rockefeller Center after he was hired by NBC News as foreign assignment editor for the Today Show and NBC Nightly News.
Just one year later, Miller was sent to the Middle East where, still in his 20s, he was the NBC News bureau chief in Israel. During those tumultuous years (1981-1985), he had on-the-scene responsibility for NBC’s coverage of the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, the war in Lebanon, the U.S. Marines’ disastrous peacekeeping mission in Beirut, the invention of the suicide bomb as a terrorist weapon, and Israel’s role in the massacres at the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps. He also covered numerous overseas trips by President Ronald Reagan, including an eventful visit to Tokyo in 1983, several NATO and Economic Summits, and the 40th Anniversary D-Day observances in Normandy, France. (To read more about his experiences in network news, click here.)
He then returned to the U.S. and for two years was a Los Angeles-based producer for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, traveling extensively in California, the Western United States, Hawaii, and the Far East for that broadcast.
During the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, Miller’s work earned him two national Emmys, including “Best Sports Journalism" and "Best Live TV Production."
After moving with his family to Pacific Grove, Calif., in 1989, Miller became founding news director for KCBA-TV, an affiliate of the then-fledgling Fox Network, creating a 45-person news department covering Santa Cruz, Monterey and Salinas, and writing and producing hundreds of live news broadcasts.
In 1997, he bought The Carmel Pine Cone, a weekly newspaper which has been published since 1915. Under his leadership, the newspaper has returned to its small-town roots while specializing in innovative news stories of vital interest to the people of Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. And some of those stories have had a much broader appeal.
In April 1998, Miller began a series of investigative reports into California’s lax voting laws. One of these reports, “Voter Fraud: Simple as 1, 2, 3,” involved registering a fictitious person to vote. That story was featured on the CBS News program, “60 Minutes,” on November 1, 1998. The series also won a First Place award for Public Service from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and helped motivate Congress to tighten voter registration requirements in 2003.
In September 2012, his interview with former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood caused a national sensation. The interview was Eastwood’s first since his empty-chair appearance at the Republican National Convention and drew attention from thousands of television, radio, print and internet news and commentary outlets. Miller also appeared live on CNN and MSNBC to elaborate on the interview.
Miller has also been one of California’s foremost reporters on the struggle between property rights and environmental regulations, the machinations of the California Coastal Commission, and on the epidemic of ADA lawsuits against small businesses.
In 2020, to enhance coverage of the coronavirus epidemic, he launched The Pine Cone’s news bulletins, which have been widely praised for keeping the community up-to-date about the impact of the virus on the people of the Monterey Peninsula.
Miller’s years as owner, publisher and editor of The Pine Cone have been marked by a strong emphasis on breaking news, investigative reports and in depth analysis with a minimum of fluff — but always with a small-town perspective, as well as respect for local traditions and values.
“Because Carmel is so beautiful and quaint, a lot of people think nothing happens here,” Miller says. “But it does. And because Pine Cone readers are so well educated and involved in the community, it takes a lot of effort and enterprise to keep them informed.”
Working with his very experienced reporting staff, Miller edits all the copy for each week’s issue and writes weekly editorials.
“I love The Pine Cone, and I love this community, and I like to think our readers can tell,” Miller says.
Paul Miller is president of Carmel Communications, Inc., parent company of The Pine Cone. To send him an email, click here.
Copyright, Carmel Communications, Inc.