OsideNewsa North County community news website founded in 2013 by Oceanside resident Steve Marcotte, was acquired by Roman Koenig of Mercury Current LLC, publisher of the North Coast Currentan Encinitas-based community news website.
Marcotte, a longtime North County photojournalist, said he started OsideNews after he got frustrated looking up information about Oceanside on the North County Times newspaper website and finding the last story was three days old. . At that time, North County Times was owned by the San Diego Union-Tribune, which later merged the publication with UT.
“I thought it was ridiculous that North County news was being ignored, so I decided to do something about it,” Marcotte told The San Diego Times. “I learned WordPress software and OsideNews was born.”
Marcotte said OsideNews currently has a daily mailing list of about 10,000 subscribers who can view half a dozen news stories, many of whom have submitted press releases. About 1 million unique visitors viewed the website in 2020, Marcotte said.
In 1993, Marcotte moved to San Diego from Colorado, after working as a firefighter for the West Adams County Fire Department, north of Denver. While in his 40s, Marcotte enrolled in photography classes at Palomar College and spent several years as a photo reporter for the North County Times.
“My wife Shelly is retiring from UC San Diego soon and we will be moving in April to Utah to be closer to family,” Marcotte, 64, said. “I’m not a writer. It can take me three hours to write the first paragraph.
“It’s bittersweet that I pass the torch to Roman. I want to thank so many people for their support of this small business. Roman has strong ties to North County, having worked at the North County Times, where we we met for the first time. He will do a better job of telling stories than I. Oside News couldn’t be in better hands.
Koenig, who worked as associate editor of the North County Times (1995-2000) and the San Diego Union-Tribune (2000-2005), founded the North Coast Current in 2002 and launched the current online version in 2012 .
“I contacted Steve last year after posting a notice about finding a buyer for OsideNews,” Koenig told The San Diego Times. “North County doesn’t need the loss of another local media outlet.
“OsideNews has been a labor of love for nearly a decade, and I deeply appreciate Steve’s faith in me to continue. The Current turns 20 this month. It’s a timely combination.
In addition to harnessing the stream, Koenig is an adjunct professor and lecturer teaching courses in media writing and digital journalism at San Diego State University, as well as courses in film and mass media at San Diego. Diego City College.
In 2020, Koenig finished writing “Black Market News”, a thriller about an underground journalist who exposes a future United States dominated by a massive conglomerate. The book received a gold medal from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.
He is also an independent filmmaker. Koenig said he hopes to begin production this summer on a political drama about a white school board president who gets her reward for her intolerance.
Koenig said his planned changes for OsideNews will include a focus on Oceanside and shared content from the stream with limited postings of press releases from San Diego-area businesses and North County community groups. Under Marcotte, OsideNews featured stories from credit unions, commercial brokers, nonprofits and public services, as well as all sides of the political spectrum, including meeting announcements from political groups in the North County.
91X raises with alternate Roots format
Radio station XTRA-FM 91X announced that it has relaunched with a format that draws on variety from the station’s massive music library, embraces the discovery of new and old music, and strives to be anti-corporate and different.
Two weeks ago, on February 14, to mark the start of its 40th year on the air, the station began streaming songs from its library by title in alphabetical order. It took nine days to complete the promotion billed as “91X, from A to X…Y, Z”.
According to Garett Michaels, 91X Program Director, “After the incredible success of ’91X, From A to X…Y, Z’ and the overwhelmingly positive response from our listeners, we want to present 91X in a way that stays true to our independent roots and ideals.
“When the 91X was launched in 1983, it was a unique category, ignoring convention and breaking new ground. With this in mind, we are relaunching 91X in a new presentation that has no current industry definition, so we call the format what we are: 91X. 91X is 91X again, unlike any other station anywhere. And isn’t that what local radio should be? ?
Michaels said there will be no changes to on-air talent and several weekly shows will remain in their respective time slots. These shows include “Resurrection Sunday”, “Church of Bob”, “Project X”, and “91X Loudspeaker”.
Local Media San Diego operates 91X along with XHTZ-FM Z90.3, XHRM-FM Magic 92.5 and KFBG-FM 100.7 BIG-FM.
Civilian agency adds two new recruits
Civil agency recently hired new staffers Padma Nagappan and Joe Camero for communications and public relations roles.
Nagappan, senior director of public relations, previously served as a senior science and research communication strategist at San Diego State University and a health and environmental reporter for KPBS, The San Diego Union-Tribune, US News & World Report and Everyday Health. She holds a Masters degree in Marketing and International Business from Madurai Kamaraj University.
Camero, Senior Director of Public Relations, has over 20 years of corporate, agency and non-profit experience. He was previously an independent public relations consultant and communications specialist with Cox Communications in Lake Forest.
San Diego-based Civilian also has offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
PRSA will discuss “the future of public relations”
The Public Relations Society of America San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter will host a webinar on “The Future of PR” from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, March 4, on Zoom.
Panel members will include young professionals who have recently started working in public relations, including Mariah Hugo of Katz & Associates and Karissa Duran from Mixed Communications. Abril Sosa-Pineda, a student at San Diego State University, will also speak.
The cost to attend the webinar is free for members, $10 for non-members. For more information, visit www.prsasdic.org.
Rick Griffin is a public relations and marketing consultant based in San Diego. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in the Times of San Diego.