Noreen Ippolito
iHeart Media’s Noreen Ippolito

Noreen Ippolito, named in early August as market president for iHeartMedia’s cluster of eight radio stations in San Diego, didn’t wait too long to make changes.

Two local iHeart stations, 760-AM and 1360-AM, flipped frequencies, effective Sept. 1.

Sports-talk station KLSD-AM XTRA Sports 1360-AM has moved to 760-AM while retaining the KGB-AM call letters. 760-AM is now known as San Diego Sports 760.

An iHeart statement said, “The timing of San Diego Sports 760’s launch coincides with the start of football season.” The station is the radio broadcast partner of San Diego State University Athletics.

“We are committed to delivering an audio sports platform with massive reach for our listeners and partners,” Ippolito said in a statement. “Our goal is to reach fans wherever they are.”

In addition, 1360-AM, now called The Patriot 1360, features a weekday lineup of nationally syndicated conservative talk-show hosts, including Glenn Beck, Chad Benson, Dana Loesch, Jesse Kelly and Mark Levin.

Previously, 760-AM featured local talk show hosts Mark Larson and Mike Slater.

Now, Slater has been paired with Lou Penrose for “Slater & Lou,” a new weekday show airing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on iHeart’s KOGO 600-AM. Previously, Slater had been a solo host of his own show on 760-AM since January 2011. Penrose has been a host on KOGO since August 2019.

“Mike and Lou represent a fresh approach to talk radio,” said Brian Long, director of news and sports programming, iHeart Media San Diego.

“What a joy it’s been to raise my family in San Diego and spend the last 11 years connecting with an incredible audience on AM 760,” Slater said. “I am grateful for such loyal listeners and look forward to having them join me on KOGO. Partnering with Lou is a dream come true.”

“I have known Mike and have been a fan of his radio show for years,” said Penrose. “The opportunity to work with him in bringing San Diego our shared insight on the day’s top news stories is very exciting.”

Mark Larson

Meanwhile, Larson lost his two-hour morning talk show he had hosted on 760-AM since May 2017. His new schedule is hosting a one-hour show weekdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on 600-AM. Larson also is a fill-in, including this week on KOGO for host Carl DeMaio, who also has a new schedule. DeMaio’s three-hour afternoon show has been shaved to two hours, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Larson’s name was missing from iHeart press releases, which led some to wonder if he had been fired. “I don’t see your show in the lineup anymore,” wrote Tom G. on Facebook.

“They didn’t include me in there somewhere,” Larson told Times of San Diego in an email. “Lots of changes throughout iHeart nationally that impacts local. Lots of moving parts. I have many things to do, including my own marketing company. I’ll also be expanding the work I do with KUSI-TV as a contributor.”

Ippolito declined to respond to a request for additional comment for this article.

In addition to KGB-AM, KLSD-AM and KOGO-AM, the iHeartMedia stations in San Diego includes KGB-FM 101.5 (classic rock), KHTS-FM Channel 93.3 (Contemporary Hit Radio, or CHR), KIOZ-FM Rock 105.3 (active rock), KMYI-FM Star 94.1 (hot AC) and KSSX-FM JAM’N 95.7 (Rhythmic, CHR).

Alex Silverman Named News Director at KNX Los Angeles

Alex Silverman has been named director of news and programming at KNX News Radio, 1070-AM and 97.1-FM, a Los Angeles radio station that has on the air for 102 years.

A statement from station owner Audacy, a Philadelphia radio broadcast group, said Silverman will oversee the KNX editorial strategy and newsroom, including broadcast and digital operations, with an eye toward audience and revenue growth and engagement on all platforms. His first day on the job is Sept. 19.

Alex Silverman

Since 2018, Silverman previously served as brand manager of Audacy station KYW Newsradio, 1060-AM and 103.9-FM, in Philadelphia. Before that, beginning in 2011, he was at WCBS 880-AM in New York, where he led coverage of Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings and Pulse nightclub shooting.

“Alex has led two of our company’s leading news brands to newfound success and industry-wide recognition,” said Jeff Federman, regional president, Audacy Southern California. “We look forward to welcoming him to the team and further establishing KNX as the go-to news source for Southern Californians.”

“KNX News is iconic,” said Silverman. “I can’t wait to work with the amazing team to build the future of the brand and set the agenda for news coverage in Southern California.”

Silverman’s other career experiences have included working as a reporter and anchor at KIRO-FM in Seattle (2010-2011) and a reporter and morning anchor at WSYR-AM in Syracuse, NY (2008-2010). He graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of public Communications.

In 2018, Silverman received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the transportation crisis in New York.

Silverman succeeds Ken Charles, who served at KNX as VP of news and brand manager before leaving the company in July. Charles joined KNX in 2015 after spending two decades with iHeart Media working in Miami, Sacramento, Houston, Atlanta, Syracuse and Tampa. During Charles’ tenure, KNX won the first two national Edward R. Murrow awards in the station’s 54-year all-news history.

Mindgruve Named to Inc. 5000 List for Fourth Consecutive Year 

Mindgruve, a San Diego creative marketing agency, earned a spot on this year’s Inc. Magazine 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Company 2022 list. It’s the fifth consecutive time for Mindgruve to secure a spot in the Inc. 5000 lineup.   

Mindgruve was ranked at No. 4,239 with a three-year growth rate of 109 percent between 2018 and 2021, according to Inc.

Mindgruve’s Inc. 5000 ranking in previous years includes: 4,614 in 2021; 2,789 in 2020; 1,828 in 2019; 3,925 in 2018.

Chad Robley, Mindgruve CEO and founder, told Times of San Diego, “COVID brought new challenges for our industry and our clients. I’m beyond proud of how our team navigated uncertain times and remained focused on driving measurable and top-tier digital experiences for our clients.”

“The accomplishment of building one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., in light of recent economic roadblocks, cannot be overstated,” said Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Inc. is thrilled to honor the companies that have established themselves through innovation, hard work and rising to the challenges of today.”

“Since 2018, it continues to be an incredible honor to earn a spot on this list amongst so many highly-respected and innovative companies,” said Robley. “Our revenue growth is a direct result of our philosophy that if we grow our clients’ businesses, we’ll grow our own. Seeing Mindgruve receive this honor for the fifth year and placing No. 601 in the state of California is a testament to that.”

A San Diego-based, two-person shop at inception, Mindgruve has grown over the course of two decades to become a global, independent marketing agency with a staff of about 100 employees. The agency’s current client roster includes companies in consumer products, apparel, healthcare, technology and finance industries. Clients include Farmers & Merchants Bank, Mitek, Sony and Bay City Brewing. New clients include First Horizon Bank, Tivic Health and QuietKat.

SOCi Posts 120% Revenue Growth in First Half of 2022

SOCi a San Diego-based developer of social media and marketing tools that help multi-location brands, reports revenue growth of 120 percent during the first half of 2022, compared to the first six months of 2021.

The software as a service company said it has cemented partnerships with notable brands across various industries, continued to release future-focused integrations and product optimizations and secured business accolades in 2022.

SOCi said it inked partnerships with Ford Motor Company, Jersey’s Mike’s, Rent-A-Center, Smashburger and Taco John’s. Overall, 75 new multi-location brands, representing more than 100,000 locations, have joined SOCi’s customer portfolio since January 2022.

“SOCi works tirelessly to deliver innovative technologies and solutions for the complex needs of multi-location enterprises, and in so doing helps hundreds of thousands of local businesses and communities thrive and prosper,” said Afif Khoury, CEO of SOCi. “It is more important than ever for national and global brands that transact locally to effectively reach and engage with their customers in a local and authentic way.”

Recent recognition for SOCi includes ranking No. 2,119 on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list of fastest growing private companies, as well as inclusion on Forbes’ Best Startup Employers in America and The Financial Times List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies.

SOCi also said its six-month, year-over-year headcount has increased by 125%, compared to the first half of 2021. New employees include Pam Perry as chief people officer, Shoaib Zahoori as senior VP of strategy and revenue operations and Brandon Rhoten as a member of SOCI’s Industry Advisory Board, who will focus on the restaurant industry.

In early 2021, SOCi closed a Series D investment round of $80 million led by La Jolla-based JMPI Equity. The company has raised roughly $115 million since its founding in 2012.

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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Ellen Bullock