Steve Cohen
KUSI News Director Steve Cohen in interviewed. Courtesy of the station

By Rick Griffin

News media outlets from Maine to Hawaii, including an estimated 300 newspapers, published editorials promoting freedom of the press last Thursday. The coordinated campaign, spearheaded by the Boston Globe and supported by many news media organizations, including the Radio Television Digital News Association, or RTDNA, was in response to President Trump’s criticism that news coverage was biased and dishonest.

The President has called the press “the enemy of the people,” “very dangerous and sick” and, of course, “fake news.”

Not everybody in the news media participated in what was described as an “anti-Trump collusion.” KUSI, San Diego’s independent TV station owned by McKinnon Broadcasting, issued the following statement:

“We will not participate in the campaign for press freedom. The way to champion the First Amendment is to put it to use with quality journalism. This politically correct campaign is another example of pack journalism, and the herd of anti-Trump editorialists rushing towards a precipice of their own creation. We do NOT fear the comments of the President, nor are we part of the prevailing anti-administrative narrative. It is our hope the RTDNA continues to encourage courageous reporting, powerful stories, and defining our culture in a balanced manner.”

KUSI News Director Steve Cohen was interviewed about the station’s position on its “Good Morning San Diego” news program. “We’re not going to join this stampede,” Cohen said in the interview.

Also not participating was the Los Angeles Times, which said, “The editorial board decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.”

NBC 7 Sports Anchor Leaving San Diego to Join NFL Network

Bilingual TV sports anchor M.J. Acosta is leaving KNSD-TV/NBC 7 San Diego and KUAN-TV/Telemundo 20 San Diego, both operated by NBC Universal. Her last day is Sunday, Aug. 26. She will relocate to the Bay Area to work as a reporter covering the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders for NFL Network.

M.J. Acosta

“This is a milestone in my career,” said Acosta. “To receive the opportunity to work on a national platform like the NFL is beyond anything I could have dreamed when I started in this business 10 years ago.”

A native of New York City, Acosta’s father was a former pro basketball player from the Dominican Republic. She began her career in TV as a sports reporter for a Spanish-language station in Miami. She worked for six years in Miami, including as a sports anchor at the ABC affiliate while, at the same time, she was a cheerleader for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“It was the best of times cheering on the sidelines, but I was already working in TV when I made the team so I couldn’t show my displeasure on the field when the ref made a bad call,” she said. “I just had to keep on smiling.”

Acosta arrived in San Diego in January 2016 and was part of the launch of Telemundo 20 in July 2017. “I will miss my friends in San Diego, but I am forever in debt to the station management here for their trust in me and their confidence in my skills,” she said.

Oster Adds Cannabis Drink Client

Branding agency Oster and Associates has been named the agency of record for Therapy Tonics & Provisions, a producer of cannabis-infused drinks and tinctures. Oster said it will expand the company’s brand recognition through a variety of marketing strategies, including PR, social media, creative and marketing support.

“Therapy Tonics is looking to change the way in which society views the cannabis industry,” said Bev Oster, agency founder and president. Therapy Tonics was founded in 2014 by Christopher Coggan, who also founded a cannabis coffee company in 2008.

Founded in 1986, Oster and Associates has clients in biotech, agriculture, hospitality, nonprofit, produce, retail, sports and travel industries.

Stalwart Communications Launches Crisis PR Training, Support

David Oates

Stalwart Communications, a public relations agency founded by David Oates, has partnered with Barrel O’Monkeyz, a digital marketing agency operated by Paul June, to offer crisis PR consulting, monitoring services and training program. The program is called “PR Security Service.”

“This service possesses two distinct value propositions,” said Oates. “First, we want to help organizations prevent or, if that’s not possible, get through a crisis PR situation as quickly as possible to resume normal operations. Second, we want to provide these same companies as well as other marketing and PR agencies expert training to be crisis PR proficient on their own.”

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.