Photos courtesy of the candidates

By Rick Griffin

If it’s Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton in the fall presidential campaign, will that mean less advertising revenue for local TV stations?

Some media watchers are saying that with both candidates’ celebrity status already resulting in lots of free airtime from news programming, their respective media buyers will allocate fewer dollars for TV commercials on local stations. Chuck Dunning at Channel 6 says it’s too early to tell.

“Since 1988, California has been so reliably blue that Democrats don’t see the need to spend and Republicans don’t see the cost-benefit value,” said Dunning, vice president and general manager of XETV/CW6 San Diego. “If the Republicans field a candidate that can get crossover vote, or a huge majority of independents, that could change the game.”

However, before the November election, Dunning said local stations are hoping for a windfall from presidential campaign ad spending for the June primary.

“Historically, by June, the presidential nominees for both parties have pretty much been decided,” he said. “Obviously, this year that will not be the case, as we are expecting activity from any of the five current candidates.

“There is not a lot of time until June 7, and TV is still the fastest way to reach the most people in a short period.”

Clint August Hosting 14th Annual Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser

Clint August, weekday afternoon host on KGB-FM 101.5, will host his 14th annual May Ride, a motorcycle ride fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21, at Biggs Harley Davidson, 1040 Los Vallecitos Blvd. in San Marcos.

Clint August

All registration fees will be donated to Homefront San Diego. Cost to ride is $20 per rider plus $10 for passengers. Ride fee includes breakfast and lunch. The event will feature a stunt bike show, an appearance by UFC fighter Chris Leben and more than 80 vendors. Also, live bands will perform on two stages.

August said about 600 riders are expected, along with several thousand people attending the noon-to-4 p.m. after-party. “It’s a ride, music festival and party all rolled into one,” he said. “The music and kids zone at the after-party is for everyone, whether you ride or not. Families will love it. The link that holds all of us together is the love and appreciation that we have for our men and women in uniform, both past and present.” For more information, visit, or call (858) 442-2733.

August has worked in the local radio industry since April 1998. During the past 18 years he was worked with Channel 93.3, 91X, Rock 105.3 and KGB-FM. In February of this year, he added TV duties to his workday, serving co-host with Lynda Martin of XETV/CW6’s “San Diego Living” program, airing 9-10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 6.

San Diego Press Club to Discuss Drone-Based Newsgathering

The San Diego Press Club will host “Using Drones for Newsgathering,” a program on the issues and concerns of drone-based reporting, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, at the Press Club office at the Spreckels Theatre building, 121 Broadway, Suite 640, in downtown San Diego. Speaking will be Gary Buzel, a journalist and drone pilot for XETV/CW6 San Diego.

Buzel has a permit from the Federal Aviation Administration to use a drone, or as the agency calls them, unmanned aircraft systems. In February, CW6 used a drone to show wreckage of the SS Monte Carlo, an oil tanker that sank near Coronado shores in 1937 and is sometimes visible at low tide. The story reportedly received more than 3 million hits on the station’s website. Buzel also consults with other TV stations on how to start their own UAS operations.

Cost to attend the Press Club event is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. To RSVP, contact Terry Williams at (619) 231-4340 For more info, visit The program is part of the Press Club’s “Nuts & Bolts” series.

San Diego Blood Bank Names New Communications Manager

The San Diego Blood Bank has promoted Claudine Van Gonka from special projects manager to a new position of manager of communications. The announcement was made by Robert Baracz, vice president of marketing. He said Van Gonka will be responsible for developing and executing a strategic communications plan, overseeing social media and email marketing and serving as a spokesperson with the news media.

Prior to joining the blood bank in 2004, the native of Chicago worked for 12 years with Clear Channel Communications, now iHeart Media, including at Channel 93.3 and Star 94.1 as an on-air personality and in marketing and promotions. She relocated to San Diego in 1987 and worked for Kaiser Permanente before entering the radio industry in 1992.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.

Show comments