Sandra Maas
Sandra Maas. Image from KUSI broadcast

During her final newscast on June 13, KUSI-TV news anchor Sandra Maas told viewers, “Although I won’t be delivering the news anymore from this anchor chair, I do hope to be making news, and making a difference for women in the workplace.”

She didn’t wait long “to be making news.” Less than two weeks later, Maas filed a lawsuit against her former employer seeking $10 million in damages.

Maas is suing under the California Equal Pay Act, which requires equal pay for employees who perform substantially similar work. She is claiming McKinnon Broadcasting, the parent company of KUSI-TV, failed to provide equal pay to women and discriminated against her due to age and gender.

“Women should get equal pay for equal work and performance,” Maas said in a statement to the Times of San Diego. “The generation of women before me had to endure wage disparity in the workplace. The generations behind me should not have to. I hope my action will empower other women to do the same, to stand up to this injustice.”

Maas’ attorney Joshua Gruenberg, said in a statement, “Sandra was the most dedicated of employees and we intend to seek full justice for her wrongful termination and for the years her employer violated the Equal Pay Act by paying her male co-anchor substantially more than she made.”

Maas, who has worked in TV news in San Diego since 1990, joined KUSI-TV in 2004 and was promoted to evening co-anchor in 2010. In May 2018, the station extended her contract for one year. When the extension ended, Maas was told her contract would not be renewed.

‘Coach’ John Kentera Named Midday host 97.3-FM The Fan

Radio station KWFN 97.3-FM The Fan, operated by Philadelphia-based Entercom Communications, has announced that “Coach” John Kentera will be the new midday (12 noon to 3 p.m.) talk show host effective Monday, July 1. Kentera is replacing a nationally syndicated Fox Sports Radio show featuring Doug Gottlieb.

“After over thirty years in the radio business, I look forward to being a full-time member of the 97.3 The Fan team,” said Kentera, 60, who grew up in San Diego. “It will be a pleasure to contribute to the continued success of this station alongside an extremely professional group that has the utmost desire to bring top notch sports talk to the beautiful city of San Diego and its loyal fans.”

John Kentera

The station said Kentera’s duties also will include hosting pre-game and post-game shows for San Diego Padres baseball games. KWFN-FM is the English-speaking flagship home of the Padres. He also will host “The Fan’s High School Football Show” on Thursday nights in the fall and serve as the color commentator on “The Fan’s Friday Night High School Football Game of the Week” broadcasts.

Kentera, nicknamed “Coach” because he has coached high school sports in the past, has been heard on San Diego radio stations since 1987. Over the years, Kentera has worked at several radio stations, including a 12-year stretch from 2003 to 2015 at XPRS 1090-AM, The Mighty 1090. In October 2015, Kentera took a break from radio to focus on working as general manager of the San Diego Sockers, which he did for six years (2010 to 2016).

Then, Kentera returned to the airwaves last year with the 2018 baseball season, hosting pre-game and post-game shows. When morning host Dan Sileo left KWFN-FM in April, Kentera filled-in as host for 5-to-9 a.m. timeslot until Ben Higgins and Steven Woods began their “Ben & Woods” show on June 10.

“We’re thrilled to add Coach Kentera to 97.3 The Fan’s weekday lineup,” said Bob Bolinger, senior VP and market manager, Entercom San Diego. “Coach has a rich history in San Diego and is truly beloved by the community, sports fans and advertising partners alike.”

Dr. Bey-Ling Sha Leaving SDSU for Cal State Fullerton

For the past 15 years at San Diego State University, she has been a mentor and role model for young people who are aspiring and just arriving in the public relations profession. Now, Dr. Bey-Ling Sha, acting associate dean, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, is relocating to Orange County to serve as dean of the College of Communications at California State University at Fullerton. Her first day on the job is July 1.

Bey-Ling Sha

“I felt the time was right for me personally to make a move,” Sha said. “I was impressed with Fullerton’s commitment to advance a democratic society by educating future media professionals so that everyone has the ability to exercise their voice.

“I will miss the San Diego community very much, but I am proud of my work in maintaining the excellent reputation of the school’s public relations program that was established by Glen Broom and David Dozier in the 1970s.”

In addition to teaching public relations courses for a decade at SDSU, Sha also served as the director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies from 2013 to 2018. She was recently honored with the 2018-2019 Distinguished Faculty Award from the SDSU Alumni Association. In 2012, she was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America. She received the Institute for Public Relations’ 2018 Pathfinder Award, a lifetime achievement award. She is currently serving as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Relations Research for the 2016 to 2021 term.

SDSU’s PR faculty also currently includes Dr. Kaye Sweetser and Dr. Hongmei Shen. They will be joined in August by Patrick Thelen from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. He will teach “Writing for Spanish-Language Media” and “Media in Latin America” among other classes.

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker Adds to Staff

Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, a San Diego PR firm, has hired Barbara Beran as an account executive and Natalie DeAngelo as account coordinator.

Beran, with five years of experience, was previously at Beck Ellman Heald in San Diego. She will assist in managing media relations for San Diego County McDonald’s restaurants and Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.

DeAngelo, with two years of experience, was previously a marketing coordinator for a marketing firm in New Jersey. She recently graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in digital communications and information. She will work on a variety of NST clients, including the Citrus Pest Disease and Prevention Program and Shift San Diego.

NST recently began its 45th year in business in San Diego.

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.