By Rick Griffin
Brett Winterble has left as afternoon talk-show host at KFMB 760-AM, a San Diego radio station with an uncertain future, and is now the afternoon drive-time host on WBT 1100-AM and 99.3-FM in Charlotte, NC.
Winterble told the Times of San Diego he has moved to Charlotte, but will continue to host a two-hour, weekday morning show (8-10 a.m. Pacific time) on Newsmax TV.
Following Winterble’s departure, Miles Himmel, Winterble’s producer, has been filling in. Himmel’s father was legendary San Diego TV personality Larry Himmel, who passed away in 2015. For the March primary election, Miles is running for a seat on the Republican Party Central Committee representing the 77th Assembly District.
“The Brett Winterble Show” launched in Charlotte on Monday, Feb. 17. WBT said the show will be a sounding board for the issues Charlotteans face today and will raise awareness for causes that Winterble and the community care about, including helping wounded military veterans find housing and employment and helping fight childhood hunger.
News Talk WBT, owned by Philadelphia-based Entercom Communications, has operated in Charlotte for 98 years. “WBT is an iconic station with a legendary history of serving Charlotte for almost a century,” said Winterble in a statement. “When I was offered the chance to take the WBT listener family and our sponsor partners with me into our next hundred years, I was excited beyond words.”
Winterble joined KFMB as afternoon host in September 2015. Previously, he was afternoon host and sportscaster on KFWB 980-AM in Los Angeles. In July 2017, KFMB announced Winterble had signed a three-year contract extension through July 2021.
During his 30-year radio career, Winterble also has worked as a producer on shows hosted by Roger Hedgecock, Michael Reagan and Rush Limbaugh.
Winterble fills an opening at WBT created by the October 2019 retirement of John Hancock, who was facing health issues. Hancock had been a constant in the Charlotte market since 1990, with two runs at WBT sandwiched by two years of mornings at WEND 106.5-FM from 1999 to 2001.
“Brett Winterble represents the future of audio,” said Matthew Hanlon, senior VP and market manager for Entercom Charlotte. “When John Hancock took this exact seat on WBT 30 years ago he was a progressive-minded voice in the market, placing an emphasis on issues that affected the community. Brett takes on a similar role in a new and meaningful way for our loyal audience. He cares about the listener and demonstrates a genuine interest in the community. We’re thrilled that Brett is joining our team.”
Meanwhile, the fate of the two KFMB stations, KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM 100.7, remains up in the air since last month’s $5 million sale by Tegna to Local Media San Diego.
Sources have told the Times of San Diego that escrow, expected to close by Feb. 7, has been delayed awaiting approval from the Federal Communications Commission.
After LMSD gets the FCC green light, it is likely to add the FM station to its existing cluster of FM stations but sell the KFMB AM station. 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.
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, although some local industry observers are predicting 760-AM will add sports to its talk-show programming lineup.
San Diego Business Journal Names Jay Harn as Editor-in-Chief
Jay Harn, a former owner and publisher of community newspapers, had been named editor-in-chief for the San Diego Business Journal, a local weekly business newspaper. He previously worked the past six years as general manager and adviser at The Daily Aztec, San Diego State University’s student newspaper, and two years as a consultant on newspaper acquisitions, mergers and sales with W.B. Grimes Co., based in Riverside.
Over his three decades of journalism experience, Harn has served as a publisher of several newspapers in Southern and Northern California, including the Santa Clarita Independent, Santa Clarita Signal and Red Bluff Daily News. In the 1990s, he owned eight community newspapers in San Diego’s East County region, which he sold in 2002.
After he graduated from California State University Northridge, Harn worked as a reporter with Hearst-owned newspapers in Tujunga, and as editor of the Newhall Signal in northern Los Angeles County. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
“It is both an honor and privilege to be joining the San Diego Business Journal,” said Harn. “I am looking forward to strengthening the organization’s outstanding history of quality journalism. This is an exciting time to be covering business in San Diego. This area is home to so many dynamic organizations and innovative people. We will make sure that the Business Journal reflects the energy of this diverse community.”
“Jay’s strong local market knowledge and his vast journalism experience will be an incredible asset in strengthening our commitment to the business community,” said San Diego Business Journal Publisher Barb Chodos. “His experience is unrivaled. Jay is the perfect choice to lead our editorial team and serve the San Diego community with timely, compelling and accurate business news through our successful print product and digital platforms. His local connections and knowledge will help us continue our goal to showcase great people, industries and companies that serve this region.”
Harn succeeds Vic Jolly, who left the SDBJ in June 2019 after only six months as editor-in-chief. While the position was vacant since then, Stephen Adamek served as interim editor-in-chief and managing editor. Adamek, who has worked at the SDBJ for the past eight years, is remaining as managing editor.
In addition to Harn, the SDBJ recently added Fred Gier as staff writer to cover startup and technology companies. Gier previously worked the past two years at Fresh Brewed Tech covering local tech startups, venture capital and local business accelerators. He is a recent college graduate of UC San Diego, Rady School of Management, where he majored in business psychology and entrepreneurship.
The San Diego Business Journal is owned by CBJ L.P., which also operates the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Fernando Valley business journals.
Southwest Strategies Adds Five New Employees
Public affairs firm Southwest Strategies has added five employees to its San Diego office. They include Dustin Lawrence, manager of public affairs; three account executives, Rashid Binnur, Daniela Gorrino and Stefanie Tellez; and, Eddie Villanueva, graphic designer.
Prior to joining Southwest, Lawrence worked in Los Angeles with SKDKnickerbocker, where he worked with political and public affairs clientele assisting in campaign strategy on congressional, state assembly, state superintendent and school board races. He also spearheaded public affairs strategy for People Assisting the Homeless, the largest homeless housing provider in California. At Southwest, Lawrence will work on transportation projects and infrastructure issues pertinent to the region’s continued economic growth and development.
Binnur returns to Southwest Strategies where he was previously an intern. Prior to his role at Southwest Strategies, Binnur interned at Englander Knabe & Allen, a lobbying firm in Los Angeles, where he assisted agency partners with research, drafting materials and updating databases. He was also a public relations intern for Hylink, a Chinese advertising agency, where he assisted the public relations team in research and managing the firm’s social media.
Gorrino was previously with the National City Chamber of Commerce, where she served on event committees, managed the 2019 Mariachi Festival, supervised the internship program and supported member relations, fund management and social media marketing. Prior to working at the National City Chamber, Daniela was a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador, where she created databases and communications for regional tradeshows.
Tellez joins Southwest Strategies from SDG&E, where she served as a customer outreach representative. Before SDG&E, she was a social media intern for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She also interned for KM Strategies, a political fundraising firm, where she provided support on a number of local campaigns.
Villanueva, previously a designer at the Competitor Group, has worked on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, VeloNews Magazine, Brooks Running, United Airlines and Westin Hotels.
Southwest Strategies has nearly 50 employees who work at offices in San Diego, Fresno and Sacramento. The firm provides communications strategy and outreach support to public sector and private companies across a broad range of industries, including energy, transportation, water, retail, housing, professional sports, maritime and real estate development.
PRSA Offering Free Advice to Nonprofits
The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter will host “Quality Times with PR Minds,” its annual outreach to help nonprofits with communication goals, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
The event will begin with a presentation by Alexis Parker, executive director of HomeAid San Diego, followed by PRSA members offering 60 minutes of free one-on-one advice to representatives of local nonprofits. For more information, visit www.prsasdic.org, or contact Staci Reidinger at firstname.lastname@example.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.
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