By Rick Griffin
The Ramona Sentinel, a 133-year-old, weekly newspaper covering the Ramona and surrounding back country communities, has a new editor and general manager.
Nikki Bridges, with a journalism background in travel, health and wellness, beauty, lifestyle and celebrity reporting, has been named to the newly created position, succeeding Maureen Robertson, who recently retired as editor. Robertson served as editor from 1986 to 1997 and from 2005 to 2019.
Bridges has lived in the community since 2013 and makes her home at Capability Ranch, a 10-acre 1950s-era ranch adjacent to the Ramona Grasslands, where she founded a nonprofit providing events and outings for special needs youth and young adults.
Her professional career in journalism spans more than 20 years in print, digital and broadcast, from being editor-in-chief of the national Working Mother magazine to current affairs producer at the BBC in her native England.
Bridges was head of content for Sharecare, one of the Dr. Oz’s media brands based in San Diego, and has held executive editorial roles at iVillage/NBC Universal, Rodale and RealAge. Her byline has appeared frequently in national publications, including Parade magazine, where her feature “The Healing Power of Horses” was a Folio 2019 Eddie Award finalist. Bridges has also been an adjunct professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of San Diego, teaching an upper division course in emerging media.
“As a horse and nature lover, I visited Ramona frequently and fell in love with its character, people and charm years before even moving to the community,” said Bridges. “I’ve seen and experienced Ramona grow these last six years, the goodness and challenges, and am thrilled to now bring my media experience to the Sentinel to cover its future.”
The Ramona Sentinel is one of 11 community newspapers published the U-T Community Press, a division of California Times, owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Nikki’s journalistic chops taking over the reins of the Ramona Sentinel,” said U-T Community Press president Phyllis Pfeiffer. The Sentinel’s staff includes reporter Julie Gallant and multimedia account executive Susan McCormick.
Robertson was recently honored by the Ramona Chamber of Commerce with its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. “Maureen is one of the hardest working, most dedicated and selfless people you will ever meet,” said Chamber president Karen Domnitz. Robertson did not respond to a request for comment.
Husband-and-Wife DJs moving to Sunny 98.1 in A.J. and Sara’s Timeslot
Husband-and-wife disc jockey couple Rob and Jocelyn Taylor, who relocated to San Diego a year ago to join Entercom San Diego’s KYXY-FM 96.5, will switch to KXSN-FM Sunny 98.1, another Entercom station, beginning Feb. 24. Entercom officials said the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekday show, called “Mornings with Rob and Joss,” will keep its same name and timeslot.
The Taylors are succeeding A.J. Machado and Sara Perry, co-hosts of the “A.J. and Sara Morning Show,” who were laid-off in January. Machado, who has worked in the market for 19 years, joined Sunny 98.1 two years ago. Since 2001, he has collected toys and donations for Rady Children’s Hospital annually by living in a crane above a parking lot until his listeners and supporters helped him reach his goal. Over the years, Machado said he has been responsible for collecting toys and cash valued at more than $1 million.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in San Diego over the past two decades,” Machado told the Times of San Diego. “Radio is a savage business and for whatever reasons they had for cutting us, it’s done. But I’m positive about the future. I’m having the right conversations with the right people. We’ll see what happens.”
In the meantime, Machado is collecting email addresses of fans through a recently- launched website, www.AJandSara.com. “When we figure out what’s next, we don’t want to rely solely on social media to get the word out,” Machado said. “So, we’re making a list of people who will be the first to know what’s next with A.J. and Sara. “
Before joining KYXY, Rob and Jocelyn co-hosted mornings for 13 years at KFGY 92.9-FM in Santa Rosa, Calif. “We look forward to embarking on a new journey down the hall at Sunny 98.1,” the couple said in a statement. “Sunny is a great station and we’re honored to soon be a part of it. KYXY listeners and partners have been so supportive and kind. We’ve had a great year on the air at KYXY 96.5 while working with the incredible crew at Entercom San Diego.”
“Rob and Joss possess an incredible work ethic and dedication to their show and the San Diego community,” said Karyn Cerulli, senior VP and market manager at Entercom San Diego. “Over the last year, they have built strong connections with their audience and we’re excited to continue to watch them grow. Their fun, upbeat personalities will shine on Sunny 98.1.”
Station officials did not disclose when the morning talent replacement for KYXY-FM will be announced. In addition to KYXY-FM and KXSN-FM, Philadelphia-based Entercom operates three other San Diego stations: KWFN 97.3-FM, KBZT 94.9-FM and KSON 103.7-FM.
One Club for Creativity San Diego to Host Coffee Mixer
The first public event in 2020 for The One Club for Creativity San Diego will be a morning coffee networking mixer at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Genteel Coffee, 403 13th Street. Admission is free. The public is invited to attend. Raffle prizes will include discounts to future events and a free entry to the 2020 The One Awards San Diego, a $150 value.
No public events were held in January for the organization, formerly known as SDX and the San Diego Advertising Club. Volunteers are now handling day-to-day business operations following the December departure of a lone staff employee. For a time in January, the One Club San Diego’s website was nonoperational.
Last year, SDX dropped its affiliation with the American Advertising Federation and switched to The One Club for Creativity, a New York-based organizer of an international advertising awards competition called The One Show.
Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club for Creativity in New York, said in a recent interview with the Times of San Diego that the national organization has committed additional resources to the new One Club chapter. “We are aware of the changes in San Diego and are looking to bolster our efforts to make them successful,” he said.
Crowe PR Marks 5-Year Anniversary
San Diego-based Crowe PR reports it has been in business for five years. In early 2015, Anna Crowe, CEO and founder of her agency, which now has 15 employees. Crowe PR specializes in consumer products, hospitality, health and wellness, outdoors and sustainable brands.
“It’s been an extraordinary and dynamic five years,” said Crowe, who spent 15 years working PR, marketing and finance campaigns at corporate brands and PR agencies prior to founding her firm. “While the company and the business have grown quickly, I’m immensely proud of our relentless commitment to excellence including creating an employee-first corporate culture and delivering industry-leading customer ROI. I’m grateful to our clients, hard-working team, partners and the San Diego community for putting their trust in us and I look forward to the next five years of high-quality work, innovation and growth.”
With offices in San Diego and New York City, Crowe PR describes itself as a bi-coastal public relations and influencer marketing agency.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: