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— Long a big financial backer of KPBS, the public broadcasting operation owned and operated by San Diego State University, the Union-Tribune seems to have switched horses. The newspaper currently has a push on to promote its in-house Internet radio station, called SignOn Radio. "No other radio station, public or otherwise, can come close to the kind of local coverage SignOn Radio can provide," brags the paper's website. "What other station can boast a half-dozen veteran radio personalities and nearly three hundred seasoned journalists?" The paper also promises to present "not only the newsmakers but the keen analysis of the journalists who cover them." Chief among the commentators is conservative editorial-page editor Bob Kittle, who for years has appeared regularly on KPBS-FM, dishing out the paper's party line on everything from public subsidies for sports stadiums to attacks on City Attorney Mike Aguirre. Kittle opens his call-in show with a burst of marshal music that sounds like a German anthem; his "premier edition" guest was Steve Francis, the former Rancho Santa Fe denizen and rent-a-nurse millionaire who is toying with running for San Diego mayor against incumbent Jerry Sanders, a fellow Republican. Besides Kittle, the U-T is also offering a challenge to KPBS-FM's Car Talk in the form of "Wheels" editor Mark Maynard, who is hosting a show called Maynard's Garage. With U-T circulation numbers continuing a relentless slide, it remains to be seen whether the paper's radio station can take a bite out of KPBS's audience -- let alone that of KOGO's Roger Hedgecock, the newspaper's longtime nemesis -- with its message to "turn off your old AM-FM and enjoy SignOn Radio -- 'the music, the news and the talk of San Diego.' " ... La Jolla's Audrey Geisel, widow of Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, has cut a deal with the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, to build an "interactive" ice sculpture of the Grinch, the Whos, and Who-ville from almost two million pounds of ice, the Wall Street Journal reports. Tickets are $21 for adults and $14 for children on weekends through January 2.

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