San Diego Gulls plays celebrate after their victory in the first round Calder Cup playoffs. Courtesy San Diego Gulls

By Rick Griffin

KSWB-TV/Fox 5 San Diego has announced it will air live six regular season home games featuring the San Diego Gulls and its American Hockey League opponents.

All televised games will be held on Fridays starting at 7 p.m. The first of six games during the 2017-2018 season will be the home opener on Oct. 13, when the Gulls host the Texas Stars. Other dates and Gulls’ opponents for televised games include Nov. 10 versus the Stockton Heat, Nov. 17 versus the Tucson Roadrunners, Dec. 22 versus the Ontario Reign, Jan. 19 versus the San Jose Barracudas and March 30 versus the Cleveland Monsters.

The radio broadcast on either XPRS 1090-AM The Mighty 1090 or XEPE-AM ESPN 1700-AM will be simulcast on TV, according to Steve Brown, Gulls communications manager. Both stations are operated by San Diego-based Broadcast Company of the Americas.

Announcers will include Craig Elsten and former Gulls player B.J. MacPherson. Elsten returns for his third season as the Gulls’ play-by-play voice, having called all 136 regular-season games since the AHL team began playing in 2015. MacPherson opens his third season as the Gulls’ color analyst, having called all 68 home games during the club’s first two seasons. MacPherson played on the Gulls (1996-2001) when the team was a member of the West Coast Hockey League. Josh Cooper, former editor for Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy website, will provide in-game reports throughout each telecast.

From the production truck, Mike Levy will produce each of the six televised games. Levy is the current producer for Los Angeles Dodgers telecasts on Spectrum SportsNet LA, and previously served as the producer for Anaheim Ducks games on Fox Sports West, KDOC and KCAL for 20 years from 1996-2016. He also produced NHL games on NBC Sports regional networks, in addition to producing or directing games with the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Clippers, LA Galaxy, Oakland Raiders and Pac-12 Network.

“We are thrilled to be going into year two of our partnership with the San Diego Gulls,” said Scott Heath, Fox 5 president and GM. “There is no better way to kick off the upcoming 2017-18 season than to once again bring the action and excitement of local hockey back to TV.”

Earlier this year, Fox 5 aired live a San Diego Gulls home game on Sunday evening, Feb. 12, one week after airing Super Bowl LI from Houston, Tex. It was be the AHL team’s first live home game telecast since their founding.

Health Care Communicators Seeking Award Entries

The Health Care Communicators of San Diego is seeking nominations for its 2017 Communicator of the Year award. The COTY award recognizes an outstanding and successful local health care professional. Nominations are open to all professionals at any level, working in a marketing-communications capacity in health care or other health-related field in San Diego and Imperial counties, including professionals from public relations, marketing, advertising, health care or media professions.

The COTY entry deadline is Sept. 1. There is no fee for nominations. Judges will include former COTY winners. Previous honorees included Mary Ball, Alzheimer’s San Diego, in 2015, and Dawn Anderson, AMN Healthcare, in 2016. The 2017 COTY recipient will be recognized on Oct. 5 at the Bali Hai restaurant. Also at the event, a scholarship will be presented to a college student perusing a career in health care.

In addition, now is the time for submittals for the organization’s 2017 Finest Awards. Entry deadline is Aug. 25. Work completed between April 30, 2016. and April 30, 2017. is eligible. First-, second- and third -place awards will be presented in about 30 categories, including advertising, PR, writing, collateral, video, special events, digital marketing and analytics. Entries will be judged by members of the Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Association of Orange County. For entry information for both COTY and the Finest Awards, visit

HCCSD is a professional networking group for communications professionals who work in the health care, wellness, biotech, medical device, health information technology and pharmaceutical industries.

IABC San Diego Hosts Summer Mixer

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego chapter will host its annual summer mixer from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the Fireside by the Patio at Liberty Station, 2855 Perry Road. The event will include a meet-and-greet with recently elected board members for the 2017-2018 term, including board president Kate Griffin, senior manager of employee communications at Qualcomm. Griffin previously served as IABC San Diego chapter president in 2014. Cost to attend is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Each ticket includes one drink and appetizers. For more information, visit

IABC San Diego is a 100-member trade association for business communicators who live or work in the San Diego area. IABC serves professionals in the field of business communication, bringing together the profession’s collective disciplines and offering education, certification, awards program, resource library, an online magazine and an annual World Conference.

The San Diego Zoo. File photo

Sponsorship Signed Between Toyota and San Diego Zoo

A summertime sponsorship agreement has been announced between the San Diego County Toyota Dealers and the San Diego Zoo. The 11 local Toyota dealers will be the presenting sponsor of the Nighttime Zoo, which runs through Sept. 4. The sponsorship, a first between Toyota and the aoo, includes on-site presence and three displays at the zoo. Financial terms of the agreement were not announced.

“As a leading destination for San Diego locals and tourists alike, our partnership with the San Diego Zoo is an extension of the work we’re doing in our community every single day,” said Bernie Perri, president of the dealers association.

Toyota’s existing local sponsorships include the San Diego Padres, San Diego County Fair, San Diego Lifeguards and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, as well as three universities, SDSU, USD and UCSD. This year’s Nighttime Zoo features the new Conrad Prebys African Rocks exhibit with African penguins, baboons and lemurs, along with surprise encounters and live music.

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.