Flashes By Rick Griffin 1.14.19

After 44 years in the broadcasting industry, Richard Kelley has announced his retirement as president/GM of KNSD-TV NBC 7 San Diego and KUAN Telemundo 20 in San Diego. Kelley, 65, said he will retire at the end of March. “I have been doing this for 44 years in New York, San Francisco and San Diego, and I’m in a good spot,” Kelley told The Times of San Diego. “The last eight years with NBC 7 and now Telemundo 20 have been the most rewarding, fun and challenging. The current staff is the most capable group I’ve ever worked with. We’ve accomplished what I had hoped to, including transitioning to HD, adding 12 hours of local news a week to NBC 7’s schedule, moving the studios from Downtown San Diego to Kearny Mesa and launching Telemundo 20 with Spanish language local news. It’s all worked out pretty well. If I stayed any longer, I might mess-up my legacy.” Kelley has been in San Diego since September 2010. Previously, he was VP of sales for KNTV, the NBC-owned station in San Francisco. He succeeded Jackie Bradford, who was promoted to president/GM of WRC-TV, the NBC-owned station in Washington, D.C. in July 2010. Kelley said he plans to remain at his Point Loma home and stay active doing some consulting and volunteering in the local community. He’s currently vice chair for Make-a-Wish San Diego.

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Sandi Banister, who has worked in the San Diego broadcasting industry since 1978, has retired after 26 years as community and promotions manager at KSWB-TV/Fox 5 San Diego. Her last day was Dec. 28. The only other employee at KSWB with more longevity (33 years) is Scott Heath, who joined the station as a salesman and is now president/GM. In 1992, after eight years at KFMB Radio as promotions manager, Banister joined the TV station when its call letters were KTTY/Channel 69. The station first signed on the air on Oct. 1, 1984, as “San Diego’s Movie Channel.” Then, in August 1996, as an affiliate of the WB Network, the call letters changed to KSWB. “I’m proud to have survived through four general managers, four network affiliations changes (from independent to WB to CW to Fox), plus numerous logo changes, ownership changes and news programming launches, to name a few,” said Banister. She started her career in 1978 as music director at KPRI-FM. She also worked in promotions at KGB-FM before joining KFMB Radio in 1984, the same year the San Diego Padres baseball team played in its first World Series. KFMB aired Padres baseball games at the time. “Back then, I was a total rocker and wasn’t a big baseball fan, but I took a chance and joined this radio station that I was not familiar with and, of all things, the team ends up in the World Series my first year. It was crazy fun,” Banister said. Her retirement plans include traveling and enjoying life with husband Jim McInnes, a veteran local disc jockey who is currently heard weekends on KGB-FM.

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Chris Cantore has returned to the San Diego radio airwaves. He can be heard weekday mornings, from 6 to 10 a.m., on KFMB-FM 100.7. The station said Cantore had been filling in on the morning show the past several months and is now taking over the slot permanently. Cantore has worked in the San Diego radio market since the early 1990s with several rock stations including XTRA-FM, KPRI-FM and KBZT-FM. According to a press release, Cantore started his career as an assistant at 100.7 after graduating from San Diego State University in 1993. “I don’t believe in coincidences and it’s no coincidence that after a two-year hiatus, I am returning to the San Diego airwaves on the same frequency I started my broadcasting career, exactly 25 years ago,” Cantore said in a statement. “It honestly feels like home, or a comfortable hoodie. I am beyond thankful and humbled by this incredible opportunity and look forward to building something pretty special for San Diego in 2019 and beyond.”

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KUSI-TV in San Diego is reporting that CNN contacted KUSI’s newsroom last week and asked for KUSI to provide a report on a local view of the border wall debate. KUSI said its local reporter Dan Plante, who has reported dozens of times on immigration and border issues, was offered to CNN who declined “after we informed them about our past reports,” said KUSI in a tweet. In a statement posted on the KUSI website (http://bit.ly/2RqR7Dp), KUSI digital content manager Mike McKinnon III wrote, “We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work. We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it.” In a newscast, anchor Anna Laurel told viewers, “They didn’t like what they heard from us.” In response, a tweet from CNN PR said, “We called several local stations to book someone for a show. We didn’t end up booking any of them. That happens many times every single day. We did, however, book a reporter from KUSI for a story on immigration and the border wall in November. This is a non story.”

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