Nuffer Smith Tucker principals
Nuffer Smith Tucker principals Price Adams (left), Teresa Siles and Mary Correia-Moreno

Nuffer Smith Tucker, considered San Diego’s oldest operating public relations agency, has changed hands.

Three long-time employees, including Teresa Siles, president, and Mary Correia-Moreno and Price Adams, both with the executive VP title, have purchased the agency from Nola Trumpfheller, widow of the late Bill Trumpfheller, who passed away from cardiac arrest on Dec. 29, 2016.

Trumpfheller joined NST as an intern in 1986 and became president in 2000. When he passed at age 53, he was NST’s president and CEO. More than 800 family and friends filled San Diego State University’s Montezuma Hall in January 2017 for a celebration of life service.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Soon to start its 46th year in business, NST currently has 20 employees and had 2019 billings of $3.9 million. Offices are located at 4045 Third Avenue in downtown San Diego.

Current clients include WD-40 Company, McDonald’s of San Diego County, Port of San Diego, SANDAG, California Citrus Pest & Disease Prevent Program (administered by California Department of Food Agriculture), San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce/LEAD San Diego and San Diego Housing Commission.

Since Trumpfheller’s passing, the agency announcement said that his widow relied on Siles, Correia-Moreno and Adams to run all aspects of the business, from client partnerships, community involvement and new business development to personnel and financial matters.

“Teresa, Mary and Price have been at the helm of NST for several years during a time of transition for the firm and they didn’t skip a beat,” said Nola Trumpfheller in a statement. “They have not only maintained strong relationships with their clients and team, and brought on new client partners, but have also served as good stewards of the Nuffer, Smith, Tucker brand in the San Diego region and I’m confident that will continue.”

“Our past and future success stems from our ability to stay firmly rooted in our values, while embracing a spirit of evolution and organizational agility,” said Siles, who joined NST in 2002. “These principles, and an unwavering commitment to client success, have always and will continue to guide us through the next 45 years.”

“We have a tenure at Nuffer, Smith, Tucker ranging from 15 to 18 years,” said Mary Correia-Moreno, who joined NST in 2002. “Together, we are intimately familiar with all aspects of the business and while times have changed since we first opened our doors, our commitment to pushing ourselves, our clients and our profession to explore, has not wavered.”

“While ownership has changed, our commitment to our team, community and client partners has not,” said Price Adams, who joined NST in 2005. “Together, we will continue our pioneering spirit as we work toward our vision to ‘redefine PR’ and continue to provide value to our clients and partners.”

Opened on April 1, 1974, NST, founded by Dave Nuffer and Bob Smith, both deceased, has a four-decade history of partnering and representing many of San Diego’s most notable brands and organizations locally, nationally and internationally, including WD-40 Company, Chicken of the Sea, Sony Electronics, McDonald’s, San Diego Zoo and San Diego State University. In 2015, NST merged with Gable PR, founded in 1976 by Tom Gable, and the combined firm operated under the NST name. Gable is still with the firm as vice chair.

iHeart Retaining On-Air Staff for its Newly Acquired KFMB 760-AM

After signing an agreement to purchase news-talk station KFMB 760-AM from Local Media San Diego, iHeart San Diego announced it is retaining several on-air talk-show hosts previously heard on KFMB-AM.

Mark Larson

They include local hosts Mark Larson (from 10 a.m. to noon) and Mike Slater (from noon to 3 p.m.), as well as syndicated shows featuring “Armstrong and Getty,” with Sacramento-based Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty (from 6 to 10 a.m.), and Washington D.C.-based Buck Sexon, a former Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officer (from 3 to 6 p.m.), and political commentator Mark Levin (from 6 to 10 p.m.).

“We are proud to add this iconic talk station to iHeartMedia San Diego’s portfolio of market-leading brands,” said Melissa Forrest, market president, iHeartMedia San Diego, in a statement. “We look forward to working with AM 760’s talented, well-respected hosts and their listeners.”

iHeart’s announcement said the transaction will be completed in approximately 60 days, after customary regulatory approvals are obtained from the Federal Communications Commission.

Industry trade publications reported iHeart paid between $1.2 million and $1.5 million for the AM station. iHeart Media San Diego officials did not return phone calls or emails for comment on the purchase price.

Earlier this year, Local Media San Diego reportedly paid $5 million to Tegna, for both KFMB-AM and adult rock station KFMB 100.7-FM. In February 2019, Tegna acquired the two KFMB radio stations plus two TV properties, including KFMB CBS 8 and The CW San Diego, for $325 million from Midwest Television, which had operated the San Diego broadcast outlets since the 1950s.

Both Local Media San Diego and iHeart are expected to file for new call letters for the two former KFMB stations. New call letters was reportedly a purchase requirement from Tegna in order to avoid confusion with its two San Diego television properties.

Local Media San Diego has added the former KFMB-FM station to its cluster of three Mexican-licensed FM stations, including XHRM-FM Magic 92.5, XHTZ-FM Z-90.3 and XTRA-FM 91X.

iHeart San Diego  now operates eight San Diego radio stations, including KFMB 760-AM, KGB 101.5-FM, KHTS 93.3-FM (Channel 93.3), KIOZ 105.3-FM (Rock 105), KLSD 1360-AM (XTRA Sports), KMYI 94.1 (Star 94.1), KOGO 600-AM (News Radio 600) and KSSX 95.7-FM (JAM’N 95.7).

91X Show Bringing Nightclub Vibes to Your Home

DJ Zach Van Lue. Photo credit: San Diego Local Media

Since nightclubs are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, alternative rock radio station 91X, XTRA 91.1-FM, has launched “Project X,” a two-hour, Saturday night show that promises to deliver the pulsating beat of the club vibe to your home.

The station’s announcement said, “Since you cannot go to the function, 91X is bringing the function to you, where anything goes as long as the beat grooves on.”

Hosting the electronic music mix weekly from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. is noted disc jockey Zach Van Lue, a frequent guest at Bumbershoot, a music festival held in Seattle over Labor Day weekend.

“Since everyone has to stay home, now seemed like a great time for 91X to bring the club experience home,” said Van Lue. “I’ll be playing mixes reminiscent of the cafes in Ibiza or maybe a ‘90s underground warehouse party. Play it loud and enjoy.”

Oster and Associates Adds Flower, Plant Provider to Client Roster

Oster and Associates, a San Diego branding agency with horticulture and produce clients, has been named the agency of record for Dümmen Orange, one of the world’s largest providers of flowers and plants.

Oster will provide marketing strategy, writing, media relations, social media content and communications support for the North American operations of Dümmen Orange of Columbus, Ohio. The floriculture company’s worldwide headquarters is in De Lier, Netherlands.

“As an agency that understands our industry, Oster has a strong tradition of working in horticulture to build brands worldwide,” said Chris Berg, director of marketing, Dümmen Orange North America. “They are great at telling a company’s story to targeted audiences that really help produce consistent results.”

“We are excited to be working with an international horticultural leader like Dümmen Orange,” said Bev Oster, president, Oster and Associates. “Our company cultures match up very well and we can’t wait to enhance their brand in North America and beyond.”

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.