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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

County TV Has Big Plans for the New Year

County Television Network is gearing up to for what its management considers a new step in the station’s evolution , launching a couple of new programs and standardizing program time slots.

The progress on the new shows will depend on what the staff can handle, said Mike Workman, director of the county’s Media and Public Relations Department.

The programs have to be done without any increases in budget or staffing, he said.

“I have to be careful,” Workman said. He’s confident, however, that the first show , “San Diego County Chronicles” , will be on the air by the year’s end. “After that, if we can’t do the work with the people we have and the resources we currently have, we may not be able to take a lot of these on. It’ll be a plan in progress for a while.”

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Currently, about 13 staff members in the county’s media and PR department are involved with the station, he said.

“Chronicles” will be look at local interviews, and “hot” issues, Workman said. It will feature stories up to five- to eight-minute length.

& #711; Plans Under Way

For 3 Other Shows

New episodes will begin airing every other week, but Workman hopes to soon make it weekly.

After “Chronicles” is launched, Workman plans for three other shows , a senior “magazine,” a program on raising kids in San Diego and one that focuses on San Diego’s outdoor recreation.

CTN is funded through cable franchise fees, which generated more than $500,000 this year. The television station is a part of the county’s Media and Public Relations Department, which has a $1.7 million budget this year.

CTN will finance the new shows’ production costs by soliciting sponsors, Workman said.

The station’s programming plans reflect findings from recent informal audience surveys, he said. The survey consisted of Web site surveys and returned questionnaires from a foldout ad on the cover of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s weekly television magazine. Approximately 1,300 surveys were returned.

The results indicated that 60 percent of the respondents watched CTN, and more than 32 percent watched it three to five times a week.

& #711; Nielsen Ratings

Too Expensive

Viewership counts are difficult, Workman said. Participating in Nielsen ratings is too expensive, he said.

CTN is available in 800,000 homes countywide; in the city of San Diego, it’s available a couple of days a week, Workman said.

For Workman, who left the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas and joined the county’s media/PR department and CTN in June, ratings no longer have to be the priority, he said.

With new programming on the horizon, Workman’s anxious to make the time slots more regular. “It’s sort of a stabilization of when things will air,” he said. “If you look at it now, we’ve got some stuff that’s all over the place.” It had to be done because there wasn’t enough programming, he said. After “Chronicles” the next show is likely to be “San Diego Outdoors,” he said.

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Homecoming: NBC-TV recently announced the new president of local affiliate KNSD Channel 7/39 will be Phyllis Schwartz.

Schwartz’ new role is a homecoming of sorts , she graduated from SDSU in 1976 with a degree in radio-TV journalism and began her career in 1977 as a producer for KFMB-TV.

Since then, Schwartz has been in Chicago as a producer at WLS-TV, then assistant news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago. She returned to WLS as news director, where she remained until 1998. Since then, Schwartz moved over to NBC’s affiliate in that city, WMAQ-TV, where her most recent position was vice president, news and creative services.

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High Flying: Escondido-based Blue Sky Media recently began producing “North County Close-Up” a series of 60-second spots on News Channel 15’s commercial time that focuses on positive news in Escondido, Vista, San Marcos and Oceanside and other cities in North County.

According to independent producer Patrick Rea, who owns and runs the company, the segments cost about $350 to produce and then an additional $300 to air one week, $525 to air two weeks and $990 to air for a month, Rea said.

Currently, the segments run Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 7 a.m. and again at 9 p.m. They follow the local news, at the top of the commercial break.

The installments are sponsored by companies who get a mention at the beginning and ending of each segment, Rea said.

He got the idea to produce and market the segments from a similar project he does in Orange County. He says local television stations do not emphasize North County news because it’s not cost-effective.

Rea noted his company is not an investigative news group. It won’t do stories on anything negative or controversial, Rea said.

“It’s all about positive news being delivered in an entertaining format,” he said.

So far, sponsors have included the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, the city of Escondido and, recently, locally based SpinRecords.com.

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Status Chart: Locally based Cassle Communications signed Auctionomics.com. Cassle will develop and run a national campaign for the auction Web site, which is based in Los Angeles. Drasnin Communications in Del Mar will launch a nationwide PR campaign for 1-800-GOT-JUNK, a junk removal company in Vancouver, B.C. Drasnin was also retained by sports site RaceGate.com in La Jolla. Locally based Beck-Ellman Agency, recently promoted publicist Vince Heald to firm principal, and changed its name to Beck-Ellman-Heald. Locally based Olguin Co. recently renamed itself Formula.

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Sound Bites: Cox Communications San Diego launched five new channels of Latin music on Cox Digital Cable’s Music Choice this month. The new channels are Folklorican, Boleros, international love songs, Brazilian pop and Brazilian beat. Gail Stoorza-Gill, chair of Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger, Inc., was recently named one of the national PR industry’s 50 most powerful women, by industry pub PR Week.

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