MarketInk: PBS Fundraiser Kathi Diamant Finishes Book About Zoo’s Unlikely Hero

Author Kathi Diamond
Author Kathi Diamond

TV personality Kathi Diamant, recognizable to PBS audiences while programming the Pledge Campaign, is excited about the recent release of “Heart of the Zoo,” a 314-page book she wrote about the five-decade career of Chuck Bieler, former executive director of the San Diego Zoo.

“It’s a wonderful true story of a man who did amazing things,” Diamant told The San Diego Times. “It was a joy to write and I’m thrilled to share Chuck’s story with the world.”

Longtime San Diegans may remember Diamant as the co-host of “Sun-Up San Diego”, a locally produced live morning talk show that aired on KFMB-TV/Channel 8 from 1983 to 1990. His co-host was the late Jerry B. Bishop.

“My involvement with the zoo started when I joined ‘Sun-Up’ and we hosted a weekly segment featuring an animal from the zoo,” Diamant said. “On live television, wild animals were often unpredictable. It was very exciting.

In the 1990s, Diamant began hosting pledge programs on KPBS. Today, she encourages viewership memberships and donations for PBS stations across the country. His pawn appearances have aired on such programs as the science series “Nova” and “Masterpiece.”

Before “Sun-Up” ended, she joined San Diego Writing Women, a networking support group for local writers. Diamant was invited to join the group by Georgeanne Irvine, a longtime zoo publicist and author of two dozen children’s books.

“Writing Women encouraged me, opened up opportunities for me to write for local publications, and helped me find an agent for my first book,” said Diamant, who wrote “Kafka’s Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant”, published in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2003. .

The book is a historical biography of the last love of Franz Kafka (1883-1923), a German-speaking bohemian novelist and short story writer considered a literary genius and one of the major figures of 20th century literature. Dora (1898-1952) kept Kafka’s papers until they were stolen by the Nazis in 1933.

“My book helped transform the common perception of Franz Kafka from a dark and sinister character into the loving, kind and humorous man he truly was,” Diamant said.

“Kafka’s Last Love” has been translated into nine languages ​​and won the Geisel Award, considered “Best of the Best”, at the San Diego Book Awards (2003). Diamant remains an Adjunct Instructor and Director of the Kafka Project at San Diego State University.

“Kathi was the perfect person to write Chuck Bieler’s biography because of his long involvement with the San Diego Zoo and his success with the Kafka book,” Irvine said. “She did an amazing job telling Chuck’s story and providing a behind-the-scenes look at her work with the zoo.

“Chuck has been at the forefront of a seismic shift in the evolution of zoos around the world that has catapulted zoos from their role as living museums to become centers of conservation that help save and protect people. and habitats of endangered wildlife species around the world.”

Diamant began interviews for the Bieler book in January 2019 and finished writing in the summer of 2020.

“Heart of the Zoo” includes stories of how Bieler rose from his first job in group sales in 1969 to become executive director and leader in the national and international world of zoos. During his career, this unlikely hero helped change the zoo’s landscape to create new habitats, launched the zoo’s international conservation efforts, and opened the Escondido Wild Animal Park, now called Safari Park.

A statement from the zoo said: “Chuck has connected with the local community and his zoo family, cemented relationships with significant donors, championed science and research, and established international partnerships that have ultimately brought wildlife like kolas and giant pandas in San Diego.”

Today, Bieler, 87, is director emeritus and advisor to Paul Baribault, president and CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Diamant’s first public book signing event will be at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, at Warwick’s Books, 7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla. For more information, visit

Investigative news service inewsource adds 3 journalists

inewsource, an online investigative news service in San Diego, has hired three reporters, including Jake Harper, Sofia Mejias-Pascoe and Anissa Durham.

Harper was previously an investigative reporter for WFYI, an Indiana public media station. He also co-hosted “Sick,” a podcast about what’s wrong with healthcare. As an investigative data reporter at inewsource, he will focus on accountability in healthcare.

Mejias-Pascoe, a former intern at inewsource, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2021. She has interned at San Diego CityBeat, Voice of San Diego, and the San Diego Union-Tribune . At inewsource, she will cover the rhythm of borders and immigration. She is a member of the San Diego-Tijuana chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Anissa Durham

Durham, a former intern at inewsource, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and LA Style Magazine, earned a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications from National University in September 2021. She has freelanced for Voice of San Diego, PBS SoCal, and The Objective and worked at J. Walcher Communications as a marketing and public relations assistant. She is a member of the San Diego chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. At inewsource, she will cover infrastructure that affects San Diego residents and neighborhoods.

Founded in 2009, inewsource is a non-profit association that produces content for the web, radio and television in partnership with KPBS and KFMB-TV CBS8. The news organization, whose legal name is Investigative Newsource, is funded by individual contributions and grants from foundations.

Havas Formula hires Bailey Hahn

Bailey Hahn has joined Havas Formula, a San Diego-based PR agency, as a junior publicist. She previously worked for Alternative Strategies, a San Diego marketing agency specializing in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

After graduating in 2020 from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, the San Clemente, Calif. native was also an entertainment journalist.

At SDSU, he joined KCR, the college radio station, and hosted a podcast on mental health and meditation. She also worked as a teaching assistant for SDSU’s Department of Rhetoric and Writing.

Weather Channel is the only media outlet trusted by a majority

Which national media do Americans trust the most? The answer might surprise you.

According to a recent poll of 1,500 Americans by YouGovAmerica, 52% of respondents trust the Weather Channel, followed by UK news outlet BBC (39%), national taxpayer-funded public broadcaster PBS (41%) and the Wall. StreetJournal. (37%).

In a comparison between Republicans and Democrats, the most politically polarizing outlet is CNN, YouGov said. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats (66%) consider CNN newsworthy, compared to 11% of Republicans, a gap of 55 points.

The second biggest partisan difference by 49 points is The New York Times, which is trusted by 63% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans. MSNBC, CNN’s closest rival, is trusted by 52% of Democrats and just 9% of Republicans.

The Weather Channel also scored the highest reliability agreement between Democrats (62%) and Republicans (50%).

The YouGov poll was conducted between March 26 and March 29.

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.

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