Travis Dale

As a teenager growing up in Cherry Valley in Riverside County, Travis Dale became enamored with radio.

In his bedroom, away from family distractions, Dale would listen to “Pirate Radio,” a Los Angeles station, KQLZ 100.3-FM, that changed from an easy listening format to rock music after deejays had “taken over” and moved operations to an abandoned warehouse off Interstate 10 with a 200,000-watt transmitter. Or, so that was their claim.

“I’ve always wanted to be one of those guys on the air,” Dale told Times of San Diego. “I’ve kept trying and it hasn’t been easy.”

While raising a family — Dale and his wife Sarah, a school psychologist, have three children — he sold copiers, uniforms and did electrical work. For 14 years, he sold airtime for stations in Riverside, Fresno, Temecula and San Diego.

Then, one day in September 2019, he recorded himself delivering a pseudo traffic and weather report and submitted it as an audition tape. “I had the support and blessings from my wife and kids to reinvent myself and try again to be on the radio,” said Dale. “Finally, it worked.”

Dale was hired by iHeart Media San Diego. While still reporting on traffic and weather, the producer position become available to work with afternoon talk-show host Carl DeMaio. “I threw my name into the hat and I’ve been working with Carl since November 2019,” said Dale. “It’s a great job and a lot of fun. He (Carl) is very smart, he knows where he wants to go. I just try to stay-up with him.”

Beginning in May, the 42-year-old Dale was given the opportunity to host his own one-hour talk show from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays, on KGB 760-AM, one of eight San Diego stations operated by iHeart Media San Diego.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Dale. “I hope the audience finds it interesting and engaging. It’s an hour when news, politics and pop culture all collide. It’s a first step to a five-day-a-week gig sometime in the future. I’m very grateful to a lot of people who have believed in me and have opened doors for me.”

Dale titled his show “On The Daley.” “Hopefully, it’s a catchy name that people will remember since it’s similar to my last name,” he said. “I’m sure some people will say, `Hey, that guy can’t spell,’ which is okay with me. Just as long as they give the show a-listen.”

Horseracing Radio Host Felix Taverna Now on Mightier 1090

Southern California sports talk radio station XEPRS 1090-AM, The Mightier 1090, has added “The Race & Sports Radio Show with Felix Taverna” to its Saturday morning lineup. Hosted and produced by Taverna, a noted thoroughbred horse racing media personality, the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. show covers horse racing plus sports wagering.

For more than 25 years, Taverna has hosted horseracing radio shows beginning in 1995 in Las Vegas on KVEG 840-AM (call letters changed in 1997 to KXNT). Over the years, he has been heard on a half-dozen stations, including KWFN 97.3-FM The Fan and 1090-AM when the station was called XX (Double X) Sports Radio.

Felix Taverna (right) and Bob Baffert.

“The response to the show from 1090 listeners has been tremendous,” Taverna told Times of San Diego. “It’s a pleasure to be with a major-league station that covers so many counties in Southern California. Bill Hagen has done a terrific job at restoring 1090. I’ve driven 100 miles north of Escondido and the station is still crystal clear.”

Taverna is known for his smooth and professional broadcasting style and an extensive knowledge of thoroughbred horse racing, as well as sports wagering platforms.

Mightier 1090 station operator Bill Hagen said, “With Felix, we’ve added yet another local show to our ever-expanding lineup. We’re continuing to grow as we bring this historic radio station back to Southern California. About half of our listeners are from outside the San Diego metro area.”

Taverna has had plenty to talk about with the positive anti-inflammatory test on Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, followed by the suspension of winning trainer Bob Baffert. During a three-year stretch, from 2015 to 2018, Baffert-trained horses twice won the Triple Crown, including American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.

The Belmont Stakes, the third leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be held June 5 in Elmont, N.Y., and the New York Racing Association has asked the embattled Baffert, one of the sport’s more flamboyant personalities, not to attend.

“I think there was a rush to judgment to condemn Baffert even before the second blood test was administered, which I believe was from another lab,” Taverna said. “The people at Churchill Downs and in New York didn’t even follow their own protocol.”

Taverna said he’s taking a serious look at Hot Rod Charlie for the Belmont Stakes. The horse, owned by a Coachella Valley syndicate of 11 La Quinta Country Club members, was just one length from horseracing immortality, finishing third in the Kentucky Derby behind winner Median Spirit and second-place Mandaloun.

“At a mile and a half, the Belmont is the longest race in the Triple Crown, which is the longest most of these colts will ever run,” Taverna said. “I like Hot Rod Charlie a lot because he was flying in the home stretch in the Derby. Also, I like the jockey.”

Daily Racing Form reports that top jockey Flavien Prat has committed to ride Hot Rod Charlie in the Belmont Stakes, rather than staying aboard Preakness winner Rombauer, whom he rode for trainer Michael McCarthy.

Oceanside’s Public Access KOCT-TV Hosts Virtual Fundraiser

KOCT-TV, an Oceanside-based, public access TV station airing city, county and state government programming, will kick-off its 40th year with a live virtual tour and fundraising telecast from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1.

Eileen Loghner-Turk

The show will feature members of KOCT team. including C.J. DiMento, host of “Oceanside Spectrum” and Eileen Lohner-Turk, host of “On The Scene with Eileen,” along with KOCT board members, Oceanside city partners and other friends of KOCT. The show also will include a live acoustic performance of the song “The O” by Oceanside resident Shane Hall.

Viewing is available on Cox Cable in Oceanside on Channel 18 (The Community Channel) and Channel 19 (The Government Channel) or on the station’s webside, www.koct.org. Donations can be made at www.koct.org/donate.

“KOCT’s mission is to bring a spotlight on Oceanside and the North County community,” said Carly Starr, executive director, KOCT-TV. “Oceanside and North County are amazing places to live and KOCT Television is committed to increasing awareness for those in need and helping local small businesses and organizations thrive.”

Starr told Times of San Diego the station does not have a fundraising amount goal for the June 1 event.

Founded in 1984 as a nonprofit corporation, KOCT provides a voice in the North County for programming about nonprofit and community groups. It also serves as workforce development with volunteers and interns who have gone on to work in commercial broadcast, film and online entities.

Press Club Webinar Explains Writing for LGBTQ Audiences 

The San Diego Press Club’s next “Write Better Right Now” writing improvement webinar, scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 3, will focus on LGBTQ audiences. The free webinar, held over the Zoom video-conferencing platform, is open to the public. To register, visit www.sdpressclub.org.

Speakers will include: Neal Broverman, digital editor-in-chief, The Advocate; and Mey Rude, a transgender-sensitivity leader and staff writer, Out Magazine and The Advocate. Topics will include gender pronouns, taboo language and writing about transgender people of all ages, along with the latest concerns.

The “Write Better Right Now” webinar is part of an ongoing Press Club “Nuts and Bolts” series featuring veteran journalists sharing their favorite writing tips they’ve learned during their careers.

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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