By Rick Griffin

After 33 years, the San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association (SDRBA) has merged with the Los Angeles-based Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA). SDRBA, founded in 1983, had 31 radio stations as members. SCBA has a similar focus to SDRBA, which is to promote the use of radio as a primary advertising medium.

San Diego Radio Broadcasters Association

“The San Diego radio community wanted to continue our growth in revenue and relevancy and the board agreed that merging with the SCBA would be our best path forward to expand our influence and that of Southern California radio,” said SDRBA chair Melissa Forrest, iHeart Media San Diego and Riverside region president.

SDRBA staff members Nikki Vilven and Cris Eide will continue to work with SCBA, Forrest said.

“We welcome San Diego as great new members of the SCBA and look forward to using our combined strength to advance AM/FM radio in Southern California,” said SCBA chair Dan Kearney, CBS Radio SVP and market manager.

SCBA is considered the longest continuously operating radio advocacy association in the United States. In 2017, it will celebrate 80 years of service. SCBA said its new combined membership of 168 radio stations now covers 56,000 square miles of Southern California and reaches 15.5 million radio listeners every week.

Huntley Paton Succeeds Armon Hills as Publisher of SDBJ

Huntley Paton of the San Diego Business Journal

Huntley Paton has been named president and publisher of the San Diego Business Journal, a local weekly business newspaper. He succeeds Armon Mills, who has served as SDBJ publisher since 2004 and now has the title of publisher emeritus.

Paton (pronounced PAY-ton) is a former publisher of the Dallas Business Journal and most recently was executive online editor for The Business Journals, a group of 40 business journals owned by American City Business Journals (ACBJ). Paton has worked for nearly 30 years for ACBJ, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I’m excited to join the San Diego Business Journal and be part of a publication that really helps businesses grow,” Paton said. “San Diego is such a dynamic business market, and I’m looking forward to diving in, getting to know people and understand what makes the market tick.”

Paton and his wife, Dawn, have been married for 31 years and have three children and two grandchildren.

“I have known Huntley since 1986 and have followed his career since then,” said Mills. “He’s absolutely perfect to succeed me as president and publisher.”

Mills, 76, plans to remain active in the local philanthropic and business community. He currently serves on several boards, including the Better Business Bureau, University Club, the San Diego Bowl Game Association and LEAD San Diego.

“I’m here to make sure the transition is smooth and assist Huntley with introductions in the community,” Mills said. “I never plan to retire because I like what I do. I feel good right now with plenty of energy.”

SDBJ is owned by California Business Journals, a private company that also publishes the Los Angeles Business Journal, Orange County Business Journal and San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

KPBS Receives National PBS Awards

Tom Karlo of KPBS

KPBS, the public broadcasting station owned and operated by San Diego State University, was recently presented two awards in the development category at the Public Broadcasting System’s (PBS) Public Media Development and Marketing Conference held in Boston.

KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo was presented the 2016 C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year award. Karlo, who was named KPBS GM in February 2009, began his career at KPBS in 1973 as a part-time assistant while attending SDSU. Years later and after fulfilling multiple other roles, Karlo was promoted to associate general manager in 2002, a position he held before becoming only the fifth GM in the station’s 49-year history.

“This award represents the highest levels of professional achievement in the public broadcasting development community, and is a mark of true distinction,” said Paula Kerger, PBS president/CEO. “Tom Karlo has brought new energy and vision to KPBS’ service to the greater San Diego community and has been an inspirational leader not only at KPBS but also for the entire public media system.”

In addition to Karlo’s honor, the KPBS Producers Club was recognized with the Philanthropy Award. Producers Club members include the station’s most generous contributors. KPBS has implemented a sophisticated engagement program with Producers Club members who experience KPBS with special benefits.

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Producers Club membership grew to 1,400 members who generated about $2.1 million, which was double the amount from five years ago. Producers Club leaders include Kitty Wolcott, Patti Nussbaum, Julie Hatch and Kathy Bettles.

“The Producers Club Committee has breathed new life into a program that had been around for nearly 30 years,” said Karlo. “These ladies are so passionate and dedicated to helping KPBS grow and thrive. Their insights and support are priceless and we couldn’t have grown as much as we have in the last five years without them.”

San Diego AMA to Host Mixer at Brew Project

San Diego’s American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter will host a mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at The Brew Project, 3683 Fifth Ave., San Diego. The mixer will feature introductions of AMA board members and information on upcoming events. Cost to attend is $20 for AMA members and $40 for guests. Appetizers and one drink ticket are included in the cost. To RSVP and for more information, call (619) 402-7825 or visit

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.