Robert “Sully” Sullivan, a radio-TV financial journalist, TV talk-show host, band leader, business owner and real estate entrepreneur, has received the 2022 San Diego Man of the Year award from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Sullivan earned the award by raising the most donations in 10 weeks among a field of 11 individuals. The Rancho Santa Fe resident raised $418,459 citing stories about several people in his life impacted by cancer, as well as his commitment to blood cancer research, he said.
“What moved the needle was the community’s generosity and clarity of thought regarding cancer research,” Sullivan told Times of San Diego. “I was blown away.”
Admittedly, the 62-year-old’s high profile assisted his fundraising efforts from an extensive network of friends and professional contacts. The former investment banker has worked in radio and TV roles in San Diego for the past 28 years.
Currently, on weekday mornings, he delivers business reports on KOGO-AM News Radio 600 and KUSI-TV’s “Good Morning San Diego” program.
For the past 28 years, Sullivan also has hosted two nationally syndicated TV shows (also simulcasted on radio), including “The Big Biz Show” and “Sully’s Biz Brew.” The weekday Big Biz program airs nationally on more than 150 radio stations via iHeart Radio, BizTalk Radio Network and American Forces Network in 175 countries, as well as televised on the Youtoo America TV and Biz Television Network via Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-Verse, Cox Communications and other outlets. The shows have a reach of more than 110 million broadcast homes.
Also, since March 2020, Sullivan has hosted the Emmy Award winning “On The Air with Sully & Little Tommy,” an hour-long, TV talk show on KUSI-TV featuring local radio and TV media talent as guests.
Sully also is a frequent contributor to Fox Business, Newsmax and MSNBC.
In addition, Sullivan, founder and CEO of the Sully Entertainment Group, is the lead singer and guitarist for “The Sully Band,” which has played locally for the past two decades.
The 10-piece group released in March their first album that showcases vintage soul, blues, fun and R&B from the 1960s and 1970s. The album, titled “Let’s Straighten It Out,” debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Blues chart and, at one time, reached the No. 2 post above Eric Clapton and Joe Bonamassa. The album was produced by Chris Goldsmith, president of Belly Up Entertainment, and is nationally distributed by Blue Elan.
He also owns and operates Loft100 Studios, a full-service television, radio, video, audio and live-stream production company based in Carlsbad. Loft 100 recently expanded from a 3,000-square-foot space to an 11,000 square-foot space in nearby buildings that Sullivan recently purchased.
“We originally set our fundraising goal at $300,000,” Sullivan said. “But, after seeing all the generous donations pour in from KUSI viewers, KOGO radio listeners and On The Air fans, as well as The Sully Band faithful, we decided to increase our donation target to $400,000.
“Also, I was fortunate enough to have some close friends and family members donate and fundraise on my behalf, including my fiancé Trish Hunt and Tim and Courtney Presutti. Also, I was grateful for support from some of my public market intelligence clients in the biopharma industry specific to cancer, many of whom I have worked with for many years, including 22nd Century Corp., Northwest Biotherapeutics and Acurx Bio Pharma.”
Finishing behind Sullivan was Akbar Khan of Coronado, who raised $306,000. Natalie Sherod of Del Sur raised $274,531 to earn the 2022 LLS Woman of the Year award.
LLS said the 11 individuals raised $1,589,021, a new local record. Eight of the 11 candidates raised more than $50,000.
SDSU Journalism Senior Receives Scholarship from Sinclair TV
Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates dozens of TV stations across the country, has awarded scholarships to 17 university students as part of its diversity scholarship program. Among the scholarship recipients is Tairiq Marshall, a San Diego State University senior, who received a $2,500 scholarship.
“I’ll use the money to alleviate some of the tuition burden off my parents,” Marshall told Times of San Diego.
The Sacramento native, majoring in journalism with an emphasis in media studies, is on track to graduate this December. He is serving as vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists SDSU Chapter.
Marshall spent this summer as a public relations intern with the Los Angeles Sparks, a women’s professional basketball team that competes in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
“I see myself working more in public relations than journalism,” Marshall said. “There’s a lack of Black men in the PR profession, and I’d like to change that. I enjoy sharing stories and pushing for media attention.”
In a statement, Sinclair said its diversity scholarship program has provided more than $250,000 in tuition assistance since 2013. The scholarship program complements the company’s efforts to bring more diversity to news teams nationwide, including recruiting skilled and talented employees from historically Black college and universities as well as Hispanic-serving institutions, the company said.
“Through Sinclair’s annual scholarship program, we aim to develop and inspire the next generation of journalists and marketers and continue our commitment to increasing diversity in the broadcast industry to reflect the communities we serve,” said Chris Riley, Sinclair president and CEO. “We congratulate the 2022 winners and look forward to their future success.”
The Baltimore-based media company either owns or operates 21 regional sports network and 185 television stations in 86 markets. Sinclair also owns the Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus and Stadium, a digital television and internet sports network operated as a multi-platform sports network.
Ad Spending Dropped in June, First Time in 16 Months
Advertising spending dropped by 3% in June, which was the first decline since February 2021, reports Standard Media Index’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker.
The 4.9% drop in February 2021 marked the end of a year of pandemic-related monthly ad spending decreases. Perhaps the worst month was June 2020, when ad spending plunged 23.1%. Then, March 2021 began a year of double-digit monthly ad spending increases that ended in February of this year.
Contributing to downward trend in June 2022, said SMI, was a drop in ad spending with traditional media by 16.6%, when compared to June 2021. Meanwhile, digital media ad spending gained 8.6% and its share of all media spending grew from 56% a year ago to 62% in June 2022.
Insider Radio, an industry trade publication, said the ad spending decline may be a harbinger of recession. MediaPost headlined the ad economy’s receding as “The Expansion Is Over.”
Ovation TV Recognizes Mayor Todd Gloria for Arts Support
Ovation TV, a Los Angeles-based arts network, has recognized San Diego for its support of Stand For The Arts, an Ovation TV initiative that encourages community support for local artists and arts organizations.
In support of access to the arts, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria recently presented a $10,000 Stand for the Arts award to WorldBeat Cultural Center, a nonprofit multi-cultural arts organization that preserves and celebrates the African Diaspora and indigenous world cultures. WorldBeat Cultural Center is headquartered at a renovated one-million gallon water tower on the edge of Balboa Park at 2100 Park Boulevard.
“We’re excited to have Ovation shine a spotlight on San Diego as part of its Stand For The Arts initiative, and we’re especially proud to see our own WorldBeat Cultural Center celebrated nationally,” Gloria said in a statement. “WorldBeat has helped to bring a diverse and culturally dynamic experience to Balboa Park visitors for more than 35 years, and I’m delighted that Ovation has chosen to highlight their contributions to the arts in San Diego.”
In addition, Gloria has recorded a public service announcement that is airing on Ovation TV.
Ovation is available to about 50 million subscribers via cable, satellite and telco systems, including Comcast Cable Communications-Xfinity, Direct TV, AT&T U-verse, Spectrum and Verizon FiOS. Ovation NOW is its TV app that features both live TV and video-on-demand.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.