After reviewing more than 100 applications for a public information officer, Burbank hired Drew Sugars, a veteran television journalist and current PIO for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office, according to the city.
Sugars arrives with 17 years of broadcasting experience as an Emmy award-winning television news reporter, main anchor and newsroom manager, the city said in a statement. The California native spent the past four years working for the largest law enforcement agency in Santa Barbara County where he successfully merged the Public Information Office and Media Resources Unit.
Sugars joined the Sheriff’s Department following a broadcasting career that included nine years at KCOY in Santa Maria, where he co-anchored the news with his wife Nerissa, according to the Santa Maria Times.
He was originally hired to run the Sheriff’s video resources unit, but in October 2012, the county’s budget crisis led to the unit’s merger with the Public Information Office, the paper reported. As a result, Sugars became the first civilian PIO in the Sheriff’s Department’s 150-year history.
Sugars called his departure from Santa Barbara “bittersweet,” according to the paper. “I love this job and its mission, but Burbank is a fantastic opportunity for me and my family.”
In addition to serving as Burbank’s official spokesperson, Sugars’ duties will include implementing the City’s Strategic Communications Plan, overseeing The Burbank Channel, and the city’s Internet presence, as well as working closely with department heads and elected officials to provide public information to the media and residents of Burbank.
The job opening was announced at the beginning of 2012 with the departure of Keith Sterling, who left to become the Communications Director for the University of Utah.
“This was a long process,” said Deputy City Manager Joy Forbes, to whom Sugars will report. “It was very important that we pick the right person to build upon the success we’ve achieved in the Public Information Office. Drew came highly recommended and has the complete set of skills that this job requires.”
“It’s very exciting to work for a city that’s committed to using the latest technology to keep the public informed,” Sugars said. “This city is renowned for being cutting edge while maintaining its hometown charm. I am humbled to be chosen for this job, yet extremely proud to now call Burbank my home.”
Sugars is scheduled to start July 9.
-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News