Hank Sims / Tuesday, April 30 @ 3:48 p.m. / Economy
Your Lost Coast Outpost, for one, is startled. We pictured J Warren “Hold the Punctuation” Hockaday serving out his days happily in the Chamber’s inner chamber, surrounded by nymphs and humidors and other trappings of power.
It was not to be! Off J jumps into the rough-and-tumble world of small-town commercial television — an atmosphere in which a media conglomerate is buying up all the competition and quietly threatening to launch their own newscast, thereby going head-to-head with J Warren’s new team. Uncertain waters. What will the future hold?
Not that J is a complete stranger to the klieg lights. He was a TV newsman himself way, way back in the day — 1984, if he recalls correctly — before jettisoning that miserable life for capitalism’s squishy embrace. But the man has some of the old fight left, it seems! Congrats, J!
Press release from KIEM:
KIEM-TV, News Channel 3, today announced that J Warren Hockaday, President/CEO of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce, has been appointed General Manager of the television station replacing Roy Frostenson, who has resigned to take a journalism faculty position at the University of Mississippi.
In making the announcement KIEM owner Bill Pollack said, “We’re very excited to have J taking over at News Channel 3. He has deep roots in Humboldt County, knows the community well and is widely respected. I am confident he’ll do a great job for us.”
Hockaday has lead the Eureka Chamber for 14 years and previously worked as News Director at KVIQ-TV in Eureka. “I am honored and excited about the opportunity to move my career forward and to work with the highly professional staff and management at KIEM. I leave the Chamber with some regret as the Board and staff have made a significant contribution to the vibrancy of the local business community. I am proud to have played a part in that effort. I leave the organization in a strong position and in very capable hands.”
Hockaday replaces Roy Frostenson who has been GM at KIEM since July of 2008. “I want to thank Roy for his outstanding leadership over the past 5 years and we wish him all the best as he makes this career change” says station owner Pollack. Frostenson is leaving KIEM to take a position as Assistant Director of Student Media/Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Humboldt County and at News Channel 3 and have had the pleasure of working with a great staff but I am looking forward to making this transition to the world of academia and I leave knowing that the station is in great hands with J on board.”
Humboldt County Superior Court Calendar: Tomorrow
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Waiting for Whole Foods: Local Businessfolk Dreaming Big With Next Week’s Visit From Grocery Behemoth
Hank Sims / Friday, April 19 @ 3:24 p.m. / Economy
A couple of dozen Humboldt County small businesses are squeeeeeing themselves into a tizzy as we speak.
Why? Because some heavy hitters from Whole Foods are jetting into town Tuesday for a fabulous two-day whirlwind tour of the county’s chocolatiers, brewers, coffee roasters, hot sauceries — specialty foodies of all stripe. And word is that they’re arriving with checkbooks wide open.
“These people are coming to make deals,” says Angie Schwab, coordinator of the county’s Humboldt Made economic project. “They are buyers that can make a huge difference in our businesses’ ability to make a living at work they love.”
Humboldt Made has arranged for a tour bus to shuttle the three VIPs — one from Whole Foods proper, the other two from a distributor the grocery chain works closely with — from event to event all around town, accompanied by local food industry folk. There’ll be wining and dining and product showcases, along with visits to the operations of businesses like Dick Taylor Chocolates, Los Bagels, Rita’s and many more.
Schwab tells the Lost Coast Outpost that the visit was first proposed and arranged by two young local entrepreneurs — Daniel Bixler of Humboldt Hotsauce and Rosa Dixon of Natural Decadence. The county was able to come along and help out with logistics for the visit, leveraging an old $2,500 grant it had received from the Headwaters Fund for just such an occasion.
So it’s all pins and needles until Tuesday, when the marathon pitch to end all pitches gets fully underway. Whole Foods, it goes without saying, is the white whale of small natty foods manufacturers everywhere. Whoever they smile on next week is going to be hiring next month.
“We don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” Schwab said. “What I do expect is for several of these businesses to be able to scale up.”