Telemundo's Mike Gaytan
Telemundo’s Mike Gaytan

KUAN-TV Telemundo 20, the San Diego NBC-owned, Spanish-language station that shares studios with KNSD-TV NBC San Diego, has named Mike Gaytan as its vice president of news. His first day on the job will be Monday, Dec. 13, an NBC spokesperson said.

“Estamos Contigo, San Diego” (translation: “We are with you, San Diego”), Gaytan told Times of San Diego. “I grew up in the border town of Laredo, Texas, where I began my journalism career reporting on the issues and opportunities that affect both borders. I know I will feel at home and it will be a privilege to work with our fantastic team to continue delivering the best local coverage available to you in San Diego and Tijuana. We are committed to excellence in journalism to help you stay informed of facts that matter.”

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Gaytan will oversee all newsroom operations at KUAN, which currently airs 12 hours of live, locally produced newscasts per week. The news programs include local breaking news, weather forecasts, sports reports, international news and “Telemundo 20 Responde,” a consumer segment that answers inquiries from local consumers who believe they have been wronged.

“Immigration and border issues will always be an important topic within our coverage, as well as paying attention and investigating concerns that our San Diego community may have,” said. Gaytan. “At Telemundo 20, we will strive to question the powerful about their proposals and decisions that impact our viewers’ daily lives with comprehensive, in-depth breaking news coverage that is available on multiple platforms.”

Hispanics and Latinos make up roughly 18.5 percent of the total U.S. population, according to 2020 Census data. “We see an increase in Latino demographics and we feel that our Telemundo 20 and NBC 7 news teams are perfectly positioned in the market as the largest bilingual newsroom that allows us to keep today’s Latino audience informed,” Gaytan said.

Gaytan previously was part of the team that launched local news at the Telemundo affiliate in Nuevo, Mexico. He also spent five years as news director and later as VP of news at KTAZ-TV Telemundo Phoenix, where he launched a local consumer unit and directed stories about the impact of the pandemic on Arizona Latinos. KTAZ’s Spanish-language newscasts have been ratings leaders in key time periods and demo groups, according to a statement.

In 1996, Gaytan started his TV news career at KLDO-TV in Laredo, Texas, where he later served as the station’s news director (2000-2004). He managed a 25-employee staff and improved newscasts ratings to become the top-rated 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts with a 30 percent viewership share.  

From 2005 to 2014, he worked in several roles at KWEX-TV, a Univision affiliate in San Antonio, including as assignment editor, news executive producer and news director. He won several Emmy Awards and was one of the youngest news directors at the time among Univision affiliates.

Gaytan then worked for two years (2014-2016) at the Univision affiliate in Austin, Texas, before relocating to KTAZ in Phoenix. He served for two years as news director before his promotion to VP of news at KTAZ.

At Telemundo 20, Gaytan will report to Todd Mokhtari, president and GM for Telemundo 20 and NBC 7 San Diego.

“Mike is a proven leader who has the journalistic background to lead a news department and who is strategic about delivering viewers what they need and want in a newscast,” said Mokhtari. “Mike understands and respects the audience. He is deeply passionate about putting together newscasts that represent the community and takes that responsibility seriously. I am excited for him to join our San Diego team.”

Telemundo 20 has been airing newscasts in San Diego since 2017. NBCUniversal is home to 43 NBC/Telemundo stations, including 12 NBC-owned stations and 31 Telemundo-owned stations.

Gestalt Brand Lab Adds New Clients

Gestalt Brand Lab, a branding and marketing agency, has announced several new client signings that include new product redesigns and product launches.

The agency said its new rebranding and package design will be introduced in 2022 for two Carlsbad-based clients, including natural foods company Mamma Chia and the Gemological Institute of America.

In addition, the agency said it recently developed a new brand architecture for Thoughtfully Brands, a division of Modern Gourmet Foods. Hundreds of consumer and food products under the Thoughtfully Gifts name will be unified with common messaging, consistent logo and look and feel, the agency said. Thoughtfully brands include Thoughtfully Gourmet, Thoughtfully Cocktails, Thoughtfully Gifts and Thoughtfully Pets, as well as BomBombs, Smokehouse, and The Good Hurt Fuego.

The agency said it also completed a brand development project for ActivMend, a line of homeopathic healing patches for the reduction of pain, swelling and bruising. Starting with nothing more than a blank white box and product concept, the agency said it built a creative brand idea for San Diego-based ActivMend and its high potency patch that delivers recovery on contact.

Gestalt Brand Lab was founded in December 2019 by Chad Farmer and Brian Munce, two former employees of the Lambesis Agency, a high-profile San Diego advertising agency that opened in 1987 by husband-and-wife Nick and Vicki Lambesis. Lambesis closed its doors in 2019.

“When we launched Gestalt in 2019, we wanted to help brands find a bigger place to sit, a bigger purpose than just selling things,” said Munce, Gestalt managing director. “We carry that collective ‘we are all better together’ mantra through to all our client work and are thrilled to see that approach carried forward on our newest projects.”

“The ActivMend brand idea was built on the concept of innovative and active healing,” said Farmer, Gestalt creative director. “The clean, bold color palette, modern logo type and packaging design have a utilitarian aesthetic that focuses on the duality of healing by merging science with nature.”

Navy Public Affairs Officer Speaking at IABC Webinar

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego chapter will host “Public Affairs Leader Shares Communication Challenges,” an online presentation from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. Cost to attend is $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers and free for former or current U.S. military members. For more event information, visit

Julie Holland
Lt. Cmdr. Julie Holland

The speaker will be Lt. Cmdr. Julie Holland, an IABC member who is the officer in charge of Naval Public Affairs Support Element West. She will discuss her global career journey and challenges while directing executive communications, media relations, crisis management and employee engagement.

Holland oversees more than 80 officers and sailors and is responsible for preparing men and women for at-sea deployments. She also is involved with telling the Navy’s story in support of support short-notice missions around the world.

After her commission in May 2007, Holland started her career as a surface warfare officer, but later transitioned to public affairs to advise senior officer, lead junior sailors and develop strategic communications. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also has earned the Strategic Communication Management Professional certification from IABC.

SD Press Club Presents Podcasting Webinar over Zoom

The San Diego Press Club will present a webinar about podcasting over the Zoom video-conferencing platform from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. The webinar is open to the public. Admission is free for Press Club members and $15 per person for nonmembers and guests. To register, visit A Zoom link will be provided after registration.

Speakers will include Dr. Nathian Shae Rodriguez, associate professor of digital media in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University, and KPBS journalist Kinsee Morlan, who produces the “Port of Entry” podcast and manages the station’s additional podcasts. Topics will include how to create a podcast to tell story or highlight specific themes, topics or industries, recommendations on software and technology to improve podcast production and tips on effective podcast promotion and audience engagement.

The webinar will be recorded and a web link will appear on the Press Club website for viewing at a later date. The webinar is part of the Press Club’s Membership Masterclass series covering learning opportunities based on industry trends and survey feedback.

Podcasting’s reach grew 21% between 2020 and 2021, according to a recent Nielsen Scarborough Podcast Buying Power report. The most rapid growth for podcasting came among adults ages 35 to 64, where Nielsen reports a 28% year-over-year increase in the number of podcast listeners.

In addition, Westwood One’s latest “Everyone’s Listening” blog shows that the median age for podcast listeners is 34, compared to 48 for AM and FM radio and 54 for viewers of ABC, NBC and CBS.

Also, media researcher Borrell is predicting podcasting is posed for 17.8% increase in growth in 2022. That follows a 24.7% in 2021 compared to pandemic-plagued 2020.

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