Go, Dino, go

Dino Corbin, happily the general manager at KHSL-TV Channel 12 for two decades, is having a mid-life crisis. But it’s one of those good kinds of midlife crises, where he gets a cool, new job. (The Ferraris can come later). Corbin started work March 16 as general manager of local radio stations including KPAY, KHSL and KMIX. He replaces Dave Brower, who had his own epiphany in February and moved to Denver.

“They just kinda made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Corbin said of Clear Channel Communications. Plus, he said, he wanted “new challenges; new excitement.”

He started as a DJ for the radio version of KHSL back in 1972. “I’m kind of going back to my roots,” Corbin said. A few things have changed in radio since he’s been gone: “We had records when I worked there, and cartridges.” But he still likes the band Journey—we won’t analyze that one.A Chico State graduate is saying “Shame on you” to the university’s chapter of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), which he believes is supporting—by association—an approach to business that flies in the face of free enterprise.

Scott Smith, who runs the small-business public-relations firm Bizstarz out of Sacramento, was dismayed to learn that as part of last weekend’s annual SIFE Entrepreneur of the Year awards, the Chico chapter had invited the editorial director of Entrepreneur Magazine, Rieva Lasonsky, to speak.

You see, Smith—a 1986 psychology grad—has spent the last three years battling Entrepreneur Magazine. The magazine has successfully trademarked the word “entrepreneur” for use in “print and publications,” and Smith says he’s been picked on because he’s small. Rather than cease and desist use of his company’s former name, EntrepreneurPR, Smith went to court. He lost and was ordered to pay $337,000 in damages, which he is fighting. He said the legal side of the magazine was “extremely mean-spirited and arrogant” throughout. “They’re beyond hypocritical.”

Lasonsky, conversely, is tired of her 20-year-old magazine being wrongly portrayed as Smith successfully pitches his story to nationwide media. (The debate has been covered by the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune, among others.) It was no harmless name use Scott was found guilty of in court—he flat-out copied the magazine’s cover design and “tried to use our name to create confusion among potential customers,” Lasonsky said. “We asked him nicely not to,” she said, and when he rudely declined, “We took him to court. We won.”

Curt DeBerg, an accounting professor at Chico State and SIFE’s co-adviser, said Smith has gone way overboard in his legal quest. When DeBerg got Smith’s publication, “It looked exactly the same. It was indeed confusing to me.”

On a less-controversial note, DeBerg said the weekend’s events were a success, marked by the impressive attendance of 130 high school students from Oakland, who have partnered with college students to learn about—appropriately enough—entrepreneurship. Lasonsky herself called Chico State’s SIFE group "an amazing chapter. They are so great."