Cal Walker, longtime San Diego traffic reporter on radio and TV, has retired after 30 years in the San Diego market. His final day on the job was Friday, Dec. 20.
Walker worked for Total Traffic and Weather Network, a company owned by iHeart Media. Most recently, he was heard on seven local radio stations operated by iHeart Media San Diego, but he also reported for KFMB-TV and KNSD-TV at various times over the years.
His first 10 years in radio starting in 1979 were spent in Vancouver and Calgary. He moved to San Diego in 1989, and got a job delivering helicopter traffic reports for Airwatch Traffic, a company that was later acquired by Jacor Communications, then sold to Clear Channel Communications, followed by iHeart Media’s acquisition. Over the years he has provided traffic updates while flying both a helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft.
“I came to San Diego to look for a radio job and took an available position doing traffic,” said Walker. “We have used both types of aircraft depending on weather and maintenance schedules. The listener never knew about TTWN or any of the others, they just thought it was the radio or TV station providing the traffic report.”
“It’s been a great career and a great city to raise our two daughters. After we got married in 1989, we decided to move to San Diego to enjoy the sunshine and the golf, which is what I will be doing during retirement.” Walker’s wife, Terri Stevenson, works as a corporate meeting planner.
The Walkers lives near Mount Helix in an unincorporated area of the county where he has raised chickens, goats and llamas. “We added the llamas because they prevented the coyotes from eating the chickens,” he said.
In Holiday Tradition, KOGO to Report Again on Baby Jesus
For the 35th consecutive year, KOGO-AM News Radio 600, an iHeart San Diego station, will air “The Bethlehem Report” from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The special program is the story of the first Christmas as told by a modern-day team of news reporters. On the broadcast, the KOGO news staff will investigate reports of a star in the sky as an unusual astronomical event, rumors of a new king born in Bethlehem and visits from wise men from the East.
“We will follow leads to discover the event that changed the world forever,” said Cliff Albert, KOGO news director. “It’s a San Diego radio tradition that began in 1984. We hope our annual broadcast is a blessing to all of our listeners.”
In related news from iHeart, all seven iHeart San Diego radio stations recently participated in a two-day “iHeart Rady Children’s San Diego Hospital Giveathon.” On Dec. 11 and 12, on-air talent from the seven stations broadcast remotely from Rady Children’s and featured interviews with brave patients and families. More than $458,000 was raised in donations benefiting the hospital.
Participating stations in the Giveathon included KMYI-FM Star 94.1, KHTS-FM Channel 933, KGB 101.5-FM, KIOZ-FM Rock 105.3, KSSX-FM Jam’n 95.7, KOGO-AM News Radio 600 and KLSD-AM Fox Sports 1360.
“I am grateful to our listeners for their support, we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Melissa Forrest, president of iHeart San Diego. “Our amazing on air talent did a great job in sharing the inspiring stories of the patients at Rady Children’s, and I loved watching everyone come together for a wonderful organization. Rady Children’s is such an important asset to our community, and the funds we raised will support the life-saving technology that makes it one of the top children’s hospitals in the country.”
KFMB Stations Raise $1.1 Million for Warrior Foundation
It was the 15th year of support by KFMB for Freedom Station, which sends injured soldiers, sailors and Marines home for the holidays, and also provides military personnel and their families with transitional housing during recovery.
“We are profoundly moved by the extraordinary kindness by the more than 5,700 people who donated during the radiothon,” said Sandy Lehmkuhler, founder and CEO and the Freedom Station. “Americans from across the country gave so generously to make Christmas miracles happen for our ill and injured warriors, who are now going home to their families for the holidays.”
“This gift will have an enormous impact on their morale during recovery and rehabilitation. We especially are grateful to the KFMB employees, sponsors and on-air personalities who have stood by our side for 15 years and have set a shining example of philanthropy and patriotism for others to follow,” Lehmkuhler added.
“It is a privilege for our talented on-air personalities to share the amazing story the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station,” said Dave Sniff, director of programming, KFMB-AM. “Our listeners hear these moving stories, they want to help and generously donate to this worthy cause.”
The KFMB stations are owned by McLean, VA-based Tegna.
San Diego AMA Mixer Planned in New Year
The American Marketing Association San Diego chapter will host an after-work, New Year’s mixer from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Cutwater Spirits, 9750 Distribution Ave. Admission is $15 for members, $25 for nonmembers, which includes appetizers and one drink ticket.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.