Flashes By Rick Griffin 8.28.2017

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Mindgruve of San Diego has signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement with Denver-based Marcarta, announced Chad Robley, CEO, Mindgruve. Marcarta is a strategy consultancy firm and outsourcing partner focused on helping brands and retailers optimize sales and grow revenue on Amazon. Robley said the partnership with Marcarta will provide Mindgruve clients with current and new tools and resources to increase ROI on Amazon. Robley said recent studies suggest more shoppers perform searches on Amazon than Google, and nine in 10 visit the online marketplace to research products. He said Amazon controls 60 percent of all ecommerce sales, while 69 percent of online shoppers turn to it along their paths to purchase.

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Public affairs firm Southwest Strategies LLC has announced it recently received seven Hermes Creative awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Southwest Strategies said it received awards in the categories of design, publications, website development and marketing collateral. The company was recognized for its work with its client the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), winning the platinum honor for the innovative State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project brochure, in addition to recognition in poster design for the LOSSAN Rail Corridor project. Southwest Strategies also took home awards in logo design for Campland on the Bay, infographic design for The Shops at La Jolla Village, newsletter development for Pacific Gas and Electric Company and website development for Pacific Highlands Ranch. Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media.

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The Orange County Business Journal has named Pete Weitzner as editor-in-chief. This is the first time that Weitzner, 55, has worked in print journalism. Previously, Weitzner spent 19 years teaching at Chapman University where he was director of broadcast journalism at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Before Chapman, he worked full-time in television news for 12 years and then moved to California to work for an Orange County news channel hosted by the Orange County Register for eight years.

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A former executive at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Corp. and Yahoo has been named publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Ross Levinsohn, 54, also served as president of Fox Interactive Media, where he oversaw a diverse group of digital properties, including MySpace, Fox Sports and Rotten Tomatoes. He also played an integral role in creating the online video streaming site Hulu. He also served as chief executive of Guggenheim Digital Media, where he managed such assets as the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek. Justin Dearborn, chief executive of Tronc, the parent company of the LA Times and eight other newspapers, including the San Diego Union-Tribune, said in news reports that The Times wasn’t reaching its full potential. Also, declining digital advertising revenue was cited for the executive level changes, which included the appointment of Jim Kirk, 52, a veteran Chicago news executive and former publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, as interim executive editor of The Times. Levinsohn and Kirk replaced Davan Maharaj, who served as both editor and publisher since March 2016. Maharaj was terminated on Aug. 21, along with three senior editors: Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Megan Garvey and Assistant Managing Editor of Investigations Matt Doig. The LA Times said Maharaj and Duvoisin were criticized for continuing to run numerous front-page stories about a former dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine who had partied with a prostitute and drug dealers, including on campus. Read more here, www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-los-angeles-times-20170821-story,amp.html.

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