What will be the fate of the two KFMB radio stations?
In early January, Tegna sold San Diego’s KFMB-AM 760 and KFMB-FM100.7 to Local Media San Diego for $5 million, according to several radio trade publications. LMSD currently operates three Mexican-licensed FM radio stations in San Diego, including XHRM-FM Magic 92.5, XHTZ-FM Z-90.3 and XTRA-FM 91X.
Not included in the sale was the KFMB call letter, since Tegna operates two local TV properties with the same call letters, including KFMB CBS 8 and The CW San Diego. As part of the deal, LMSD was given 30 days to re-brand the two radio stations.
Sources have told the Times of San Diego that escrow is expected to close on the purchase by Feb. 7, and LMSD is likely to add the FM station to its existing cluster of stations but sell the AM station. If a buyer for 760-AM can’t be found in the near-term, then LMSD will continue the station’s longtime news-talk format with current on-air hosts. From a business standpoint, retaining on-air staff will provide continuity and identity for the frequency.
LMSD officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, local radio industry observers continue to marvel at the $5 million bargain price LMSD paid for the two radio stations. Tegna had reportedly been trying to spin-off the two radio stations since late 2017, when it paid Midwest Television $325 million in cash for the four-station KFMB group (two TV, two radio).
Another mysterious question is why Tegna management would disregard the cross-promotional value between the radio stations and TV stations, which had been effective for decades.
Starting The Day After Super Bowl, 675 Straight Days of Sporting Events
San Diego freelance sportswriter Joe Connor combined his passion for sports, travel and patriotism with a recently completed 675-day road trip and an epic streak that added more than 150,000 miles on two different cars.
For 675 consecutive days, starting Feb. 5, 2018 (the day after the Super Bowl) and ending Dec. 11, 2019, Connor traveled across the 48 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces attending a different sporting event every single day. Some days were professional games, others were college and high school sports, including volleyball and soccer.
His trip began with a Cal Baptist University men’s basketball game in Riverside and ended in San Diego at a Gulls hockey game against Grand Rapids at Penchanga Arena.
“I had to end my trip at some point, so what better way to wrap it up than in my adopted hometown,” said Connor, a native of Hartford, CT. A resident of San Diego since 1996, the Tierrasanta resident is single, has never married and has no children.
“After achieving the one-year mark after 365 days, I said, ‘Let’s take this as far as it can go,’” said Connor, who spent day Number 650 at a University of Notre Dame football game. “The toughest times were trying to find something to attend on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in September and October when not much was happening.”
Connor’s living expenses for the trip came from rental income — he owns two condos in Florida and two in Arizona, in addition to his condo in Tierrasanta. He stayed with friends, family members and at Airbnb properties.
He writes about college basketball and hockey for a couple of news outlets, so admission sometimes was covered with a media pass. He also generates income from a career coaching business that includes resume writing, interviewing preparation and career counseling.
The cross-country trip required two cars, including a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero that lasted until July 6, 2019, when a traffic accident led Connor to buy a 2012 Ford Fusion.
The cars, both draped in American flag colors, reflect Connor’s admiration for service members, veterans, first responders and their families. Connor’s late father, also named Joe, served in the U.S. Air Force and introduced his son to sports at a young age.
“My car is an expression of my feelings about this country and our freedom that we can’t take for granted,” he said. “We must never forget the sacrifices that have enabled us to live in a free nation.”
The next sports travel plan for the 47-year-old: “Years ago, I set a goal for myself. By the time I turn 50, I want to have watched a football, basketball, baseball and hockey game at every Division 1 school. And I’m on track to achieving my goal.” Connor has trips planned to Alaska for hockey and Hawaii for basketball and baseball games.
Grandesign Changes Name to GDX Studios
Grandesign Experiential, a San Diego marketing company, has announced it has changed its name to GDX Studios. The re-brand will showcase new offerings, the company said in an announcement.
In 2009, Aaron Gaeir founded Grandesign Experiential, a year after he founded Grandesign, specializing in out-of-home marketing. In March of last year, Grandesign was acquired by Talon, one of the United Kingdom’s largest out-of-home marketing firms. As part of last year’s deal, Gaeir retained ownership of Grandesign Experiential, now called GDX Studios.
“Clients want to partner with a team that understands their brand and the experiential landscape,” said Gaeir. “By expanding our offerings, we are able to integrate our existing knowledge and build off of our clients’ campaigns.”
GDX Studios, headquartered in the former Wonder Bread factory building in San Diego’s East Village, also operates offices in New York City and Los Angeles.
San Diego AMA to ‘Dominate the Decade’
The American Marketing Association’s San Diego chapter will host “Dominate the Decade: Inspiring the Next 10 Years of Your Marketing Career” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at National University’s Spectrum Center, 9388 Lightwave Ave., Room #150. Admission is $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers.
Speakers will include: Mary Noor, assistant VP, community relations manager, Bank of America; Kendra Williams, CEO, Innovate Marketing; and Erika DiProfio, VP of marketing, SeaWorld San Diego. For more event information, visit sdama.org.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.