Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in National City. Photo by Chris Stone

By Rick Griffin

Don’t expect a deluge of TV and radio commercials advocating for Democratic Party presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the remaining days before California’s June 7 primary election.

Local broadcast execs may have been hoping for additional advertising revenue. However, any windfall is unlikely because the Sanders campaign is short on cash while Clinton is saving her war chest for ads criticizing GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

However, media watchers have noticed a few Bernie and Hillary ads running the past few days only in the Los Angeles, Fresno and Sacramento markets.

Instead, San Diego viewers and listeners may see more ads this week from a few local candidates seeking a 50 percent-plus-one margin of victory to avoid a runoff in November.

“Candidate advertising will remain constant through the remaining days leading up to the election,” said Mike Stafford of Cerasoli Stafford Media Management. “From my viewpoint, local political advertising has fallen short of expectations.”

Radio Trade Group Announces `EAR’ winners 

The San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association, a local industry trade group of 25 radio stations that promotes the use of radio for advertising, has announced winners of its 2016 EAR (Effective Advertising on Radio) awards. Five English-language and two Spanish-language commercials were recognized.

Winners included Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers (The A-Team Media, Inc.), First 5 San Diego (MJE Marketing Services), Hazard Center (J. Walcher Communications), Hoehn Motors (MeadsDurket), and The Super Dentists (LMA Marketing & Advertising). Spanish-language winners included the San Diego Immigration Attorney (Univision Radio) and Soapy Joe’s (Uniradio).

Entries for the 19th annual awards were evaluated for measurable results and, secondarily, for creative, writing and production values, said 2016 Board President Melissa Forrest of iHeartMedia San Diego. Any commercial that aired on a San Diego radio station or was written or produced locally between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015 was eligible to enter the competition.

“Radio is the most personal of all mediums because it has the capacity to create an intimate one-on-one relationship between the advertiser and the listener,” said Forrest. “And when extended across digital, social and mobile, radio has the ability to reach millions of listeners in unique ways like no other medium. What is apparent from each of these EAR Award recipients is how they were able to coordinate the radio campaign with digital platforms to reach potential customers.”

The broadcasters association, founded in 1983, exists to promote the use of radio as a primary advertising medium. It also works towards creating cooperation, professionalism and integrity within the entire radio market and supports civic and charitable causes that benefit the San Diego community.

Radio and TV personality Mark Larson

He Holds the Local On-Air Longevity Record

Radio and TV personality Mark Larson begins next month the start of his 41st year of continuous on-air presence in the San Diego market. That makes Larson the current holder of the longevity record for local broadcast on-air work (Sam Bass has been heard on KyXy 96.5-FM since 1978; Hal Clement and Bill Griffith both had 39 years on TV before retiring in 2011 and 2015, respectively).

It was June 1976 when Larson arrived in San Diego from Rockford, IL, He worked at KFMB 760-AM (1976-1994), Salem Communications’ KPRZ 1210-AM and KCBQ 1170-AM (1994-2004), KOGO 600-AM (2004-2007) and XEPE-AM 1700-AM (2007-2008) before returning in 2009 to Salem’s KCBQ as host of the morning drive-time talk show.

In addition, his voice has been heard since the mid-1980s as host of “Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah,” which is aired on more than 2,200 stations. Also, under the umbrella of Mark Larson Media Services Inc., he’s hosting TV infomercials for a variety of nutritional supplements offered by Purity Products of New York. Plus, he’s a frequent guest on TV discussing politics on Fox News Channel and KUSI-TV/Channel 9. In his spare time, Larson will begin in July his fifth term as board chair of the Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park (he has served on the board since 2003).

He’s also busy as a keynote speaker and emcee at various community events, including grand openings and political rallies with presidential candidates, including Donald Trump’s rally Friday at the Convention Center. Larson also emceed the recent U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame event at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“I’ve been blessed in my career, but the best has yet to come,” Larson said. “I’m always busy, but it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy being in the community and making connections with people. I believe I have a responsibility to use my time effectively and maximize opportunities. I don’t see anything as coincidental or accidental.”

Health Care Communicators Offer 2 Luncheon Marketing Programs

Health Care Communicators of San Diego will host two luncheon programs on mobile and social marketing in June.

“The Mobile Customer Journey” on Tuesday, June 7 will cover mobile case studies, ROI and methods to grow through multiple channels. Speakers will be John Lincoln of Ignite Visibility, Nancy Sasaki of Alliance Health Foundation, Rob Basham of Scripps Health, and Ron Hadler of Red Door Interactive. Moderator will be Carol Johnson of AMN Healthcare.

“Reaching Social Savvy Consumers” on Tuesday, June 21 will discuss social advertising, measuring success and how to manage reputation by responses to both negative and positive comments. Speakers will be Cassandra Gucwa of iProspect, Alisa Bartholomew of i.d.e.a., and Heather Gjerde of Scripps Health. Moderator will be Christina Campo or Scripps Health and 2016 president of the communicators group.

Both luncheon programs will be held at Sharp Healthcare, 8695 Spectrum Center Boulevard in San Diego. Cost is $50 to attend both programs (same price for members and nonmembers). Cost to attend one program is $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. More information is available at

Health Care Communicators of San Diego is a professional networking group for communications professionals who work in the health care, wellness, biotech, medical device, health information technology and pharmaceutical industries.

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.

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