By Rick Griffin
It’s the first change of address in 42 years for the San Diego Union-Tribune, the city’s largest media company. About 350 reporters, editors, designers, circulation staff, digital specialists and advertising sales people are now working in a downtown high-rise.
If you’re using snail mail, delete the 350 Camino de la Reina address and replace it with 600 B Street, San Diego, 92101.
This is the first full week for most newsroom personnel. Sales staff moved in last week. Robert York, Union-Tribune VP for strategy and operations, said, “The staff is settling in, enjoying the energy of downtown and being in an open floorplan concept.”
Matthew Hall, editorial and opinion director, posted on social media: “For weeks I’ve told myself it’s just a building, it’s dirty walls and dirtier floors and nothing to think twice about. That’s not true, of course, as I’m just now realizing. This building was where I spent most of my waking hours for 12 years, met my wife, missed too many dinner dates to count but returned, time and again, to do good work, best I could, in situations that became more trying with the industry’s travails. It was a good place for a good long time, and isn’t that, after all, what we seek in this life? Dear 350 Camino de la Reina: thanks for being a good place to me, to many, for a spell.”
The Union-Tribune is occupying four floors, comprising 59,164 square feet of office space on floors nine to 12 of a 24-story tower owned by Lincoln Property Co. The space previously housed the city’s public works department. York said the newspaper’s name will soon be installed at the top of the north and south sides of the building.
In November 2015, the newspaper, owned by Tribune Publishing Group, announced it had signed a 15-year lease valued at $40 million and would vacate the five-story Mission Valley building first occupied in 1973 and return downtown. In the newspaper’s 147-year history, it has occupied eight downtown locations with the most recent being 919 Second Avenue.
98.1-FM Is No Longer KIFM
Entercom Communications Corp., operators of three radio stations in San Diego, has changed call letters for its 98.1-FM frequency from KIFM to KXSN and launched “San Diego’s Sunny 98.1,” replacing the previous “Easy 98.1” name, which was introduced in 2013. The station’s new website is www.Sunny981SD.com.
Station officials describe the station’s format as “up tempo, bright and fun presentation” with fewer commercials and 10 songs in a row every hour. The music playlist features standout hits from the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and today.
“Sunny 98.1 is the right station for San Diego, fun and upbeat” said Bob Bolinger, Entercom San Diego VP and market manager. “It will feature music that engages listeners by evoking memories and connecting with fans. Sunny 98.1 will offer listeners and advertisers tremendous ways to connect with audiences on air, online and at events throughout San Diego.”
Brooks O’Brian, Entercom program director, said, “Sunny 98.1 is programmed in San Diego for San Diego.” She added the station will feature compelling on-air personalities and a commitment to social responsibility and cause marketing.
The KIFM call letters were introduced to San Diego radio listeners in 1975, said Entercom officials. The decision to change call letters was part of making a clean break from the former KIFM with a new name and image for Sunny 98.1, according to Christopher Turner, marketing director.
In addition to KXSN Sunny 98.1-FM, Entercom Communications Corp.’s two other stations in San Diego include KBZT 94.9-FM and KSON 97.3-FM and 92.1-FM.
Direct Marketers Aligning Marketing and Sales
SD Direct, formerly the San Diego Direct Marketing Association, will host “Make Your Leads Land and Revenues Fly,” a program on the importance of aligning marketing with sales, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, at UCSD Extension, Room #317, at 6256 Greenwich Drive. Topics will include creating workflows that increase conversions, leverage technology to collaborate and drive revenue and marketing automation in action.
The speaker will be Lars Helgeson, CEO and founder of Solana Beach-based GreenRope, a cloud-based integrated software provider offering a CRM and marketing automation platform. GreenRope provides technology solutions to more than 3,000 companies worldwide. Cost to attend is $20 for members, $40 for guests and $12 for students. Lunch is included. To RSVP, visit www.sddma.org/events.
Clark Marketing Solutions Wins AIVA Award
Neal Clark of Clark Marketing Solutions of San Diego reports his firm recently received a Communicator Award of Distinction for creative excellence from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, a 600-member international professional group that promotes creativity in media design, production and distribution.
The award was for the use of music in a commercial radio spot called “Ah Summer” produced for client Diamond Valley Honda of Hemet. It is Clark’s sixth AIVA award since 2011, and the third for Diamond Valley Honda. AIVA’s Communicator Awards draws more than 6,000 entries worldwide, Clark said. Clark, who opened his firm in 2004, serves clients in the automotive, finance, real estate development and hospitality industries.
IABC Members to Discuss Communicating Research
San Diego’s International Association of Business Communicators chapter will present “Communicating the Value of Research” from 8 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18, at UCSD Extension, 6256 Greenwich Drive. Cost to attend is $20 for members, $30 for non members. For event information, visit http://sandiego.iabc.com.
Topics will include how to choose the right researcher and getting your money’s worth by determining specific metrics, messaging and branding. Speaking will be John Nienstedt, president, CEO and co-founder of Competitive Edge Research & Communication of San Diego. Nienstedt and a partner founded the company in 1987, and he acquired sole ownership of the firm in 1991 and computerized the operation with predictive dialing in 1992.
His master’s degree thesis was titled, “A Practical Strategy for Predicting Voter Turnout in Pre-Election Polling.” In 2007, Competitive Edge partnered with the San Diego Institute for Policy Research to conduct regular surveys of county residents.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.