By Rick Griffin
His last day on the job was Friday, July 19. Since 2018, he had served as senior marketing and promotions director.
“I am very sad to be leaving KSON and Entercom San Diego due to the corporate restructuring. But, on the other hand, I have been the luckiest guy in radio to have worked for three great companies and too many wonderful people to mention,” said Turner. “I have made many great friends, and I have many great memories after 31 years. I’m very proud of everything I did to support the success of KSON. Plus, it’s been an honor to have been associated for this long with the radio industry’s best format.”
Turner started with the radio station at age 19, and survived ownership changes from Jefferson Pilot Communications to Lincoln Financial Media and then to Entercom, as well as format flips with several sister stations plus the acquisition of two former-CBS Radio stations (KWFN-FM and KYXY-FM).
“I am looking forward to turning my phone off at night for a while and trying to sleep past 5:30 a.m., but there’s a lot of steam left in this engine,” said Turner, 51, “so I’m excited to figure what my next adventure will be.”
The unplanned departure from KSON has been especially emotional for Turner because his father, Al Turner, began working for the station in 1974 when Chris was only six years old. “I’ve worked here for 31 years but I’ve been associated with KSON for over 45 years,” said Chris.
In the 1970s, Al Turner appeared at public events as the KSON cowboy mascot before he helped create the KSON Flatbed Band, a traveling music group. The chassis of a fifth wheeler was converted to a stage where musicians, including Al, performed in thousands of locations over more than 20 years. Al Turner passed away in 2015 from throat cancer.
Other Entercom staff to lose jobs due to the restructuring included on-air hosts Dave Mason at Sunny 98.1 and Mark Blackwell and KYXY-FM, along with engineer Steve Cilurzo.
Philadelphia-based Entercom operates five radio stations in San Diego, including KSON, KBZT 94.9-FM, KYXY 96.5-FM, KXSN Sunny 98.1-FM and KWFN 97.3-FM The Fan.
KFMB-FM Adds Karen ‘Cha Cha’ Harlow for Weekends
KFMB 100.7-FM has added Karen Harlow to the weekend on-air team, starting with the 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift on Saturdays. Programming Director Mike Vasquez said Harlow, who goes by the nickname “Cha Cha,” also will fill-in at other times as needed.
Harlow, who has worked in radio for about 40 years, was previously at XPRS 105.7 MAX-FM before that station went off the air in December 2018.
“It’s a thrill to join the family at the legendary KFMB,” said Harlow. “I’m ready to shake the sand out of my beach towel and get back to playing awesome music on the radio.”
The native San Diegan and SDSU graduate started her radio career in the 1980s with San Diego’s XHTZ-FM Z-90 for 12 years followed by KHTS-FM Channel 93.3 for 10 years. She then worked in Los Angeles as an anchor and reporter on KNX-AM 1070 Newsradio.
“I’ve been a fan of Cha Cha since first hearing her when I arrived in San Diego, so I’m thrilled to finally work with her,” said Vasquez. “Her energetic, positive vibes combined with her extensive connections in San Diego makes her an ideal fit for us. We are so fortunate to have her joining our 100.7 San Diego family.”
In June 2016, Harlow joined MAX-FM after applying for a disc jockey job in an unusual way. Instead of submitting an air check, she rented a scissor-lift that hoisted her 30 feet above Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, next to a billboard for MAX-FM. For seven hours, she stood next to a banner that said: “MAX, Need a Job. Hire Cha Cha.”
Fairmont Grand Del Mar Appoints Erin Brown as PR Manager
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has named Erin Brown as public relations manager. In her new role, Brown will be responsible for media and influencer relations, community involvement, online reputation management and social media.
Brown was previously with Crowe PR, a San Diego public relations agency. She joined Crowe in 2017 after working at another local PR firm handling media relations for hotels, restaurants and lifestyle brands. She also worked at KSWB-TV/Fox 5 San Diego as a news producer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and digital media from DePaul University.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Brown as the new Public Relations Manager,” said Tanya Matthews, regional director of sales & marketing for the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. “The combination of her media know-how, local expertise and hospitality experience will be key to the ongoing success of our property.”
J Public Relations Adds Sheraton Phoenix Downtown
The hotel, which opened in 2006, is currently under a renovation that began in May and is scheduled for completion in 2020. The remodeling is part of Marriott’s transformation of the Sheraton brand. In 2016, Marriott International acquired Sheraton’s parent company, Starwoods Hotel & Resorts.
Specializing in travel and hospitality clients, J Public Relations, with offices in California and New York, was founded in 2005.
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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