By Rick Griffin
KUSI-TV has named Tony Bernhardt Jr. as assistant news director, succeeding Lisa Burger who recently relocated to Denver to join KMGH-TV 7News as an executive producer. Burger joined KUSI in April 2014.
Bernhardt has 18 years of experience in TV news. Prior to joining KUSI, he was VP of news and news director for the past three years at WVLT-TV, the CBS affiliate in Knoxville, TN. Previously, he served for two years as assistant news director at WTNH-TV ABC 8 in Hartford, CT.
The native of Tampa also has worked at WOFL-TV in Orlando as a managing editor covering the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials. He also worked as a senior assignment editor at WTTG-TV in Washington, DC, and as an assistant manager for NBC News. He started his career at KKTV-TV CBS 11 in Colorado Springs, CO, as a reporter and anchor.
“I’ve worked my entire career for affiliates but I was attracted to KUSI because it’s truly an independent station where we have more freedom to run long-form news stories and different types of stories that are fresh and compelling in our own special way,” Bernhardt said.
Bernhardt said he was hired for his experience in digital media. “We’ll set the digital bar high and increase viewer involvement on all digital platforms,” he said.
Steve Cohen, KUSI news director, said, “We’re confident Tony will be bring his passion for news and digital to the team and will be a leader and mentor helping guide the future of KUSI-News.”
Bernhardt said he was offered news director job in Tampa and Denver, but chose San Diego because of Cohen, whose 40 years in TV journalism have included stints in New York and Los Angeles and helping to create Court TV. “There was no way I could pass up an opportunity to work with and learn from a legend like Steve,” Bernhardt said. “He’s been a news director since 1973. There are very few people left in TV news like Steve Cohen.”
SAFE Fundraiser Will Support Marketers in Crisis
The San Diego Advertising Fund for Emergencies will host its annual fundraising party from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, at the Karl Strauss Tasting Room and Beer Garden, 5985 Santa Fe Street. SAFE is a volunteer, non-profit organization providing confidential financial
assistance to local advertising and marketing professionals and their families facing a life crisis emergency.
SAFE’s major fundraiser of the year, now in its 16th year, will feature food, craft beer, networking, a cornhole tournament and raffle to benefit grant recipients. The public is invited to attend. About 225 people are expected to attend. Theme of this year’s party is “SAFE & Sound.” Live music will be performed by “The Young Wild.” Cost to attend is $25 per person, which includes your first drink and souvenir pint glass (while supplies last). The venue is an indoor-outdoor setting so the dress is casual.
Event sponsors include Cox Media, KSWB-TV Fox 5 San Diego, Univision San Diego, Casual Fridays, Clear Channel Outdoor, BrandSavants, Brown Marketing Strategies, MeadsDurket, Media Planning & Placement, MeringCarson and California Bank and Trust. For tickets and more information, visit www.SafeSanDiego.org. SAFE officials said the nonprofit has helped more than 100 people in the advertising and marketing industry with more than $260,000 in grants.
KFMB-FM Launches New Afternoon Show
KFMB 100.7-FM, which uses KFM-BFM as call letters, has announced afternoon programming changes, effective April 9. Mike Vasquez, host of the evening 7 p.m.-to-midnight show, will join afternoon host Mikey Esparza for “The Mikey & V. Show,” airing 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The station said the addition of Vasquez “will add an interactive dynamic to the show while keeping the heart of `The Mikey Show’ intact.”
“Getting to work with Mike V., who is a true professional, is going to be fun and he’s a blast to work with,” said Esparza. “Just a couple of dudes having fun on the radio.”
Vasquez said, “Mikey and I have become great friends and we’ve always felt like our off-air interactions would make for entertaining on-air content. We have natural chemistry, so I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.”
Vasquez has served as the station’s program director since April 2017. He joined the station in June 2016 as assistant PD. Esparza joined the station in July 2017 after stints in San Diego at KBZT-FM 94.9-FM and KIOZ-FM Rock 105.3. In January 2016, the FM station rebranded itself as 100.7 KFM-BFM. Over the years, the station also has called itself Star 100.7 and B-100.
91X Concert Will Benefit Music Education in Public Schools
XETRA 91.1-FM (91X), operated by Local Media San Diego, will present a fundraising concert on April 26 to benefit music education programs in local public schools. The station said $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to a grant program operated by the San Diego County Office of Education that provides music education as part of the curriculum.
The concert at the Music Box, a 700-seat concert venue at 1337 India Street, will feature SYML with Shane Hall. SYML is the solo project of Brian Fennel, lead singer of the indie rock band Barcelona. The concert is part of 91X’s “Inspired by Music” series, featuring up-and-coming artists, and is produced in collaboration with Belly Up Entertainment.
“91X has always been a passionate champion of new music discovery,” said Garett Michaels, 91X program director. “We’re excited to team up with the San Diego County Office Of Education and the Music Box and Belly Up teams to take our passion and transform it into an opportunity to support education that is inspired by music.”
“There are a lot of excellent teachers out there who are incorporating music into a variety of subject areas, from math to technology to science, because it’s such a powerful tool to engage students,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “The ‘Inspired By Music’ grants will allow even more teachers to bring music into the classroom, helping more San Diego County students find their identities and express themselves while learning.”
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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