Ron James is a native Californian raised in San Diego. He is a nationally recognized pioneer in online, broadcast and print journalism. Throughout his career Ron earned dozens of national and local journalism awards including the Online Journalism Association’s first place award for breaking news in 2004 for The San Diego Union-Tribune’s website, besting The Washington Post and New York Times. For the last decade he has focused on his journalism efforts on his passion for great food, wine and travel.
After serving in the U.S Navy for four years during Vietnam he attended Shasta College in Redding, Ca where he graduated with honors and served as Student Body President and Vice President. He earned his BA degree in communications at Cal State University at Fullerton.
Along with his four brothers, Rich, Greg, Mike and Pat, Ron founded the iconic James Gang graphics company and action sportswear retail chain in Ocean Beach where it is still in operation today. In 1989, Ron began creating multimedia CDROMs out of his San Diego beach bungalow. He wrote about the fledgling multimedia industry for local and national publications.
Ron and his soon to be wife Mary wrote The Multimedia Casebook published by Van Nostrand Reinhold, that was used as a textbook at universities around the world. It included the first cross-platform CDROM hypertext version of a book that included video and audio that was programmed and produced by Ron.
In 1994 he worked with San Diego Magazine’s publisher Jim Fitzpatrick to found San Diego Magazine’s online site San Diego Online. The site plowed new ground by offering content from nearly two dozen online columnist who were essentially the nets first bloggers. It won a Webbie in 1996.
At Time Warner he was the first online editor for its Road Runner service. Road Runner’s innovative Discover San Diego website, was one of the first showcases for video. He produced one of the first long-form Webcasts using professional talent exclusively for the Web with 22 hours of live programming at Street Scene. He produced some of the first TV series for both broadcast and the web.
As Director of Broadband for Blue Torch he pioneered streaming video programming including live week-long sports Webcasts on both coasts. He led a small team to Fiji for a championship surfing event streaming live video on a platform three miles offshore of Fiji using a gas generator, and satellite dish.
For nine years he led the pioneering editorial efforts of The San Diego Union-Tribune’s website, SignOnSanDiego.com which has won many local and national honors for excellence and innovation. For two years, while at the Union-Tribune, Ron wrote a weekly nationally syndicated food and wine column for CNS called “Perfect Pairings,” which was published in magazines and newspapers around the world. At this time 2003-2004 he served as President of the San Diego Press Club.
He founded and developed the San Diego News Network, a unprecedented network of local media companies positioned to be a major news contender.
He was the first GM and Editor in Chief for the award-winning San Diego Uptown News.
Today Ron is the CEO of Wine Country Interactive, a digital media company and publisher and editor of Wine Dine & Travel Magazine, print and digital. Ron and his wife Mary also researched and wrote the current restaurant guide for San Diego for FODOR’S Travel Guide. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Society of Professional Journalists, and The San Diego Press Club. He lives in San Diego with his wife Mary, who also is a veteran journalist and his very clever cat Shadow. When he’s not traveling or writing Ron creates acrylic mixed-media abstracts and digital paintings which hang in galleries, homes and offices around the world.