Gene Cubbison interviewing a newsmaker.

A week ago on Saturday, veteran TV news reporter Gene Cubbison, now retired, spent part of his day collecting his personal belongings back at the KNSD-TV NBC 7 studios in Kearny Mesa. “I’ve been so busy since my final day of work earlier this month, I haven’t had a chance to clean-out my desk,” said Cubbison, 70, who spent more than 35 years reporting at NBC 7.

“I’ll miss the story telling and the people at the station, but I won’t miss the daily grind,” Cubbison said. “It’s unbelievable how quickly the 45 years in print and broadcast journalism have flown by.”

Cubbison was a newspaper reporter for the San Diego Independent (1972-73), San Diego Daily Transcript (1973-77) and San Diego Union (1977-79) before entering TV with KFMB-TV (1979-1983) followed by joining NBC 7 in 1983, when the call letters were KCST. His news coverage over the years focused on politics, government, civic issues, law and economics.

“Every morning I woke up with a smile on my face and wondered what’s going to happen today,” he said. “On any given day could be any given outcome. I’ve had so many dramatic experiences that retelling them sounds like they can’t be true, but they really are.”

His career highlights have included one-on-one interviews with Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Texas Gov. George W. Bush during his campaign for President, as well as four national political conventions, three major earthquakes, two jetliner crashes and two Super Bowls, along with wildfires, floods, shootings and countless murder and corruption trials. Among his more memorable stories were a week-long pursuit of a crooked, high-profile financier and political patron who fled San Diego to hide on the Caribbean island of Montserrat and a local transit bus hijacking that ended with the knife-wielding suspect surrendering at Gene’s feet.

During retirement, Cubbison plans to work on his golf game and do some guest lecturing to journalism students.

Alternative Strategies Announces New Hires and Promotions

Alternative Strategies, a San Diego marketing agency, has announced two new hires, including Molly Delmore as social media manager and Faisal Imami as media relations manager. Delmore has two years of experience after completing an internship at Alternative Strategies along with previous experience at Covet PR and as a social media coordinator for Nordstrom. Imami, with a degree in communications from SDSU, has 18 months of experience after previously working at Mixte Communications and Brown Marketing Strategies.

The agency also announced the promotions of Paige Nordeen and Casey Sorrell. Both were promoted from media relations manager to senior media relations manager. Sorrell has nine years of experience and Nordeen has seven years.

“We believe the quality of work we provide our clients relates back to our team members,” said William Lopez, president of Alternative Strategies. “Our team is driven and strives to represent our clients in creative and innovative ways.”

Radio Producer Tommy Sablan’s Christmas Giveaway in 22nd Year

Tommy Sablan
Tommy Sablan

Radio personality Tommy Sablan, who has been heard on San Diego radio stations for the past 30 years, is organizing his 22nd year of “Little Tommy’s Breaking and Entering Christmas,” a promotion that provides a Christmas tree plus presents for a needy San Diego family. Listeners to Jesse Lozano’s morning show on KMYI-FM Star 94.1 are invited to nominate families. Deadline for nominations is Sunday, Nov. 25. You can nominate by visiting Previous recipients have been surprised with a room full of gifts and, on occasion, new furniture and a car. This year’s recipient will be announced on Dec. 4.

Sablan, the first and only radio producer who has been inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, owns the trademark for the Breaking and Entering Christmas promotion, which he says was inspired from a childhood experience. He grew up in Chula Vista. At age 5, Sablan’s dad passed away and his single mom wasn’t sure how she would provide toys for her kids during the holiday season. A Good Samaritan left a box of toys at their doorstep. Sablan recalls thinking his dad must have told Santa Claus to bring them the toys.

Port of San Diego Earned Marketing Awards

The Port of San Diego’s marketing and communications department recently received eight awards in two international competitions for its marketing, communications and public outreach campaigns, as well as its website and overall brand.

MarCom Awards recognized the Port with seven awards in the Platinum, Gold and Honorable Mention categories. Separately, the WebAward competition honored the Port and its contractor FreshForm for outstanding achievement in web development for its redesigned website,

The MarCom Awards included recognition for the Port’s Maritime Trade-Cargo Marketing Campaign, “Discover Your Wonderfront” Destination Marketing Campaign, “Port of Land and See” Cruise Marketing Campaign, “#ThatsMyBay” Environment-Water Quality Campaign and Port of San Diego New Brand Campaign. MarCom Awards, an international creative competition, is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals.

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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