By Rick Griffin
National Public Radio and five California public radio stations have formed the California Newsroom in an effort to increase coverage of statewide issues and boost reporting in underserved regions.
The five radio stations include KPBS-FM 89.5 in San Diego, KQED-FM 88.5 in San Francisco, Capital Public Radio’s KXJZ-FM 90.9 in Sacramento, Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC-FM 89.3 and Santa Monica College’s KCRW-FM 89.9.
Leading the California Newsroom as managing editor will be veteran reporter and producer Joanne Griffith, who will be based in Pasadena.
“California is at the heart of so many stories of national interest, immigration, technology, the environment, housing,” Griffith said in a statement. “So, the opportunity to work collaboratively with stations across the state to tackle these themes and more is one I’m very much looking forward to, especially during an election year.”
Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior VP of news and editorial director, said, “We are thrilled to have such a strong news leader like Joanne serving as the managing editor of the California regional newsroom. Her appointment is a critical step in our effort to build out a national network that strengthens local news, covers our states from coast to coast and serves the public.”
NPR said the California Newsroom coalition is similar to the Texas Newsroom, formed in September 2019 by NPR and four public radio stations in the state.
San Diego’s Modi Marketing Merges with KWSM of Aliso Viejo
San Diego-based Modi Marketing has merged with KWSM, a digital marketing agency with offices in Aliso Viejo in Orange County, Atlanta and Las Vegas. The two companies will move forward under the KWSM brand. Financial terms of the merger were not announced.
Since its inception six years ago, Modi has served local clients under the leadership of owner Krystina Feucht. The agency provided small- to mid-sized companies with marketing strategies and ongoing support. Feucht will join the KWSM team as a marketing solutions manager.
KWSM is a full-service digital agency with services including social media management, digital advertising, influencer marketing, video production, website design and development, and search engine optimization.
“Combining our organizations gives KWSM more resources and a larger foothold in Southern California,” said Katie Wagner, president of KWSM. “The partnership also gives existing Modi clients an expanded range of services and a larger team providing outsourced marketing solutions. We look forward to continuing to provide Modi clients with the outstanding customer service and marketing results they have enjoyed under Krystina’s leadership. Bringing Modi under the KWSM brand gives the agency the opportunity to grow and expand into new markets, fulfilling our ultimate goal, which is to help more businesses grow.”
“The opportunity to join the KWSM team couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,” said Feucht. “As Modi Marketing’s business has grown, so has our continual need for expanded creative resources. The in-house team of journalistically trained storytellers at KWSM means that my clients, like me, now have a larger team of experts creating solutions for them. My new relationship with KWSM provides me greater efficiency and space to do the work I love most, building connections with business owners and helping them thrive through creative and thoughtful marketing.”
Del Taco Brings Back Hackbardt as Chief Marketing Officer
Del Taco, a Mexican-style, quick-service restaurant chain based in Lake Forest in Orange County, has appointed Tim Hackbardt as chief marketing officer. He most recently consulted for Del Taco on projects that included assessments onfmarketing technology and new store design. In an earlier stint at Del Taco, Hackbardt led marketing efforts from 1999 to 2003.
A 27-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Hackbardt also has worked in marketing roles at BJ’s Restaurants, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, Pieology Pizzeria and Stake ‘n Shake. His prior experience also includes working with Johnny Rockets, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Taco Time and Fosters Freeze.
“I am excited to be returning to Del Taco on a full-time basis and to be resuming my work with the company’s talented management team,” said Hackbardt. “We have an incredible opportunity to take our distinct platform of fresh food, value and convenience to build unique experiences that will drive strong consumer loyalty and increased visit frequency. I look forward to helping Del Taco reach new levels of growth and market share.”
“We are pleased that Tim has rejoined Del Taco permanently as our chief marketing officer,” said John D. Cappasola Jr., president and CEO of Del Taco. “Over the last three decades, he has successfully driven strategies and innovation to attain one of the best track records in the industry for consistent, long-term performance.”
Founded in 1964, Del Taco serves more than 3 million guests weekly at 580 restaurants across 15 states. Del Taco outlets in San Diego are located in downtown San Diego, Clairemont Drive., Sports Arena Blvd., Del Cerro Blvd., Santee, Lemon Grove, El Cajon and National City.
Hear from the Creators of San Diego’s Iconic Brands
San Diego Magazine will present its annual “Behind the Brands” program, featuring creators of San Diego’s innovative and iconic brands, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Music Box, an event venue at 1337 India Street in downtown San Diego.
Speakers participating in a Q&A will include: Ralph Rubio, founder of Rubio’s Coastal Grill restaurant chain; John Faris, president of Red Door Interactive; Aliza Carpio, principal tech evangelist for Intuit; and Cassandra Curtis, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Once Upon a Farm, an organic food manufacturer.
Cost to attend is $55 per person, but discounts are available through several communications networking group, including the American Marketing Association. The event also will include free resume review and a complimentary head shot from a professional photographer.
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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