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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fres-Know: In your face, Fresno

OH SNAP: “Dunk of the year” last night at Save Mart Center. Against the ‘Dogs. [CBS Sports]

HOWEVER: Fresno State football an “early” top 20 for 2013. [USA Today]

GRRRRRR: Fresno fourth unhappiest city for workers. We’re pissed. [Career Bliss]

BALLIN’: Warren Buffet affiliate buys local real estate company. [The Bee]

NEWS: Man jumps to his death from California Hotel. [The Bee]

HEAD’S UP: Gonna be a cold weekend. Bundle up. [The Bee]

RYAN BEATTY FAME WATCH: Here he is performing for Billboard. [Billboard]

SPORTS: Tyler Bray — Kingsburgian and Tennessee QB —  declares for NFL draft. [The Bee]

WATNEY WATCH: Ex-KMPHer Heidi Watney debuted Wednesday on MLB Network. [MLB]

RADIO SCENE: New programming at Soft Rock 98.9 and KMJ. [The Bee]

GOOD READ: “The Grizzlies are ready for their close-up.” [MiLB]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: The Cured Ham on Iron Bird Cafe’s closure. [The Cured Ham]

Everything you need to know about Fresno’s recent radio shake-up

The Fresno radio airwaves are a-changin’ these days. From full-scale AM talk transformations to popular FM jocks leaving, the local radio landscape has seen some big moves in the last month. Since some people may have only heard bits and pieces, we thought it smart to collect it all in one place.

  • Popular B95 DJ/on-air personality John Magic, who also did a bunch of nightclub gigs locally, left the station. He’s also the tour DJ for comedian Jo Koy, so Magic decided to focus on that. It looks like weekend DJ and Homegrown host DJ Kay Rich slides into B95′s weeknight lineup now.
  • The move that’s caused the most outrage hasn’t even happened yet. Shows from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are being pulled from KMJ by their syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks. The common belief is that the shows will land on a talk station owned by Clear Channel, which owns Premiere. They’re leaving KMJ on Jan. 1. KMJ listeners have been quite upset about this, and the station has devoted entire programs to letting listeners know that it’s not the station’s decision. Here’s an FAQ from KMJ. Part of its plan, KMJ says, is to add more locally-focused programs. Also worth a listen is this podcast from KMJ’s Chris Daniel who puts the whole thing in perspective.

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Introducing: Ozmosis on New Rock 104.1

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I’m happy to announce that starting Sunday, I’m headed to a new platform — radio. I’m joining New Rock 104.1 for a weekly radio show that we’re calling Ozmosis. It’ll air Sundays at 9 p.m. as part of a block of speciality programs. I’m sandwiched between Homegrown (the local band show) and Love Line (whattup, Dr. Drew!).

My vision for the show is simple: I’m going to play local bands, bands who are coming to the Valley to perform and music I dig that you might not hear on the radio too often. All of it, mostly in the indie rock vein. What’s really cool — and New Rock 104.1 deserves props for this — is that I’m getting creative control to play what I want. That’s not very common in the mainstream landscape these days.

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‘Finally something to listen to in the morning in Fresno’

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Surely rock radio listeners remember when 105.1 The Blaze fired popular morning show host Jen Lipp in November — judging from the comments that are still coming our way, people remain pissed.

Well today, The Blaze introduced Lipp’s replacement, and not only that, but the new show has a liner that says, “Finally something to listen to in the morning in Fresno.” How’s that for a pot-stirrer? You have to imagine that’s going to make the Jen Lipp loyalists mad all over again.

The new show? The RAD Show — that stands for Rob, Arnie and Dawn — which originates in Sacramento, and is apparently quite popular there and in Reno, where it’s been on the air for a long time too.

The Blaze’s general manager Kevin O’Rorke says of the addition:

“Radio in Fresno and the Central San Joaquin Valley just got a lot more compelling. The addition of Rob, Arnie and Dawn to mornings on 105.1 The Blaze allows us to bring our audience a very entertaining, controversial and engaging show that fits perfectly with our Classic Rock that REALLY Rocks format the rest of the day. Expect to laugh, be enlightened, enraged and then laugh some more.”

Any early reviews, other than this one?

IN JEN LIPP NEWS: Lipp fans will be happy to hear that she’s landed a few fill-in gigs on KMJ’s 105.9 FM station (or, KMJr, as I like to call it). She’s sitting in for ex-KRZR cohort Chris Daniel this week, Wednesday-Friday from 1-3 p.m. We have to wonder if she’ll be doing “Freaks of the Iowa Caucus” or some such thing.

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The Blaze pulls the plug on Jen Lipp

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Local radio vet Jen Lipp’s morning show was extinguished by 105.1 The Blaze this morning. marking another change for local morning radio and another popular jock leaving the airwaves.

Word spread this morning about The Blaze’s decision. For her part, Lipp sent me the following:

The only thing I really want to say is that the people in the central valley are amazing. The outpouring of love and support from people who have already shared so much of their lives with me is incredible. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you! I hope Fresno radio has room for me once again, but until then, rock on!

Most local listeners remember Lipp from her days on KRZR – and the timing, at least here on The Beehive, seems unfortunate since we just posted yesterday about the upcoming documentary about KRZR’s rise and demise.

Local radio shake-up: Clear Channel thins staff; Davey D out at Q97

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National radio conglomerate Clear Channel continued its apparent mission to run as many Fresno radio stations with as few people as possible, thinning its staff once again on Wednesday. It fired Soft Rock 98.9′s longtime morning show co-hosts Mike Brady and Rose Ortega and (again) sending Koyote packing, this time from 103.7 The Wolf .

Then this morning Davey D — the morning host at Clear Channel competitor Q97 — announced it would be his last show. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he’d been fired or quit, but on the air this morning it sounded like a sudden development.

For Clear Channel — also the owner of B95, Alice 96.7 and various others — the move was part of a national “reduction in force” that hit a number of markets Wednesday. Clear Channel gave radio industry news site All Access a statement full of corporate speak:

“We’re launching a new strategy for our regional market radio stations that will improve local programming in smaller markets by using assets and resources in those markets that their competitors don’t have. It reflects new approaches to programming, talent, technology and other valuable resources — based on Clear Channel most effective and efficient stations.

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The Beehive Interview: Rick Roddam

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During his time in Fresno, Rick Roddam has been a radio personality, a comedian, a program director, an event host, a local advocate and the head of his own clothing line. On Monday, he bids Fresno farewell after 11 years. We couldn’t let him leave without one last exit interview — he insists he’s done plenty during his time here (that’s radio for ya), but was up for one more.

Radio listeners remember Roddam’s name from KRZR, Y-101 and The Blaze. Recently, however, he hasn’t been able to find a new radio gig, so he’s leaving for Denver. But not without his comedy pals sending him off in the best way they could — with a roast Sunday night at Heroes Sports Lounge.

What’s so awesome that it’s getting you to leave Fresno?
I had a Jules Winnfield style moment of clarity and I’ve decided to ‘wander the earth.’

Tell us a little background on how and when you came to Fresno. Did you think you’d be here this long?
I came to Fresno in 2000 because KRZR offered me a job. I planned on staying here for a few years and then moving on to someplace bigger and better. Little did I know that Fresno sucks you in … and you never really leave.

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Where are they now? KRZR edition

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The death of KRZR last year got people so worked up here on The Beehive, that I figured it’s worth sharing a few developments for ex-KRZR staffers.

As we’ve already covered, Skippy is now handling mornings at New Rock 104.1. Now, another ex-KRZRer is back on the air locally.

Koyote — he of the popular “beer run” — has returned to Clear Channel for a country gig. He’s on The Wolf (which is what they’re calling 102.7 FM these days) weekdays 3-7 p.m.

Meanwhile, Doug Ray — half of KRZR’s Doug & The Rev morning show — has reunited with another ex-Fresno jock and gone the podcast route. From Rick Bentley’s Bee column:

Doug Ray and Bob Cady, who handled morning duties at KJFX (FM 95.7) in the early ’90s, are together again. Cady left Fresno in 1994 to attend film school. Ray left the following year but returned and was on KRZR (FM 103.7) as the morning team of Doug Ray and The Rev until last year. Doug and Bob are now doing a weekly podcast on Radioexiles.com. New podcasts get posted on Thursdays.

New Rock 104.1′s new morning show is …

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We’ve been awaiting word on the new morning show on New Rock 104.1 for some time now.

Here it is: Former KRZR jock Skippy is taking over with “The Morning After,” which starts Monday, Dec. 13 and runs 6-10 a.m.

Skippy was a fixture on KRZR afternoons. When KRZR flipped to The Beat, she shifted over to sister station Alice 96.7 briefly under a different name.

New Rock 104.1, meanwhile, took its syndicated morning show, Kevin & Bean, off the air right after the KRZR flip. Many people anticipated a new morning — that might include an ex-KRZR personality. They were right.

Says Jason Squires (aka Hammer), New Rock’s program director and mid-day jock:

To be able to bring someone like Skippy on to the New Rock staff is just something I’m thrilled about. Her knowledge & passion for the music is like no other, plus, she said she would kick my ass if I didn’t bring her aboard immediately.

What the heck is going on at B95?

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Big changes have been going on at hip-hop/R & B radio station B95 with regards to its on-air talent. In the past few weeks, the station lost both afternoon jock Danny Salas (who also did Ruthless Radio on Sunday nights) and Mo’nique, who co-hosted their Juice Crew morning show and was on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Things got especially drama-filled on Friday, the day Mo was fired, because she appeared on rival Q97 later that night. It was reminiscent of the good ol’ WWF/WCW pro wrestling wars.

As Rick Bentley reports in his weekly column, B95 brass isn’t talking about what happened or what its plans are. And Q97 said they didn’t officially hire Mo’nique, just gave her a tryout. B95′s John Magic did announce via Twitter that he’s moved from nights to afternoons.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens on our local hip-hop airwaves in the coming weeks. Although, I hesitate to even call Q97 a hip-hop station anymore, as they’ve gone toward playing a lot more Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga lately.

B95, on the other hand, lost the closest thing resembling a real hip-hop show with Ruthless Radio, which at least switched up the playlist from what is an otherwise conservatively programmed mix of Pitbull, Jeremih, Drake and more Pitbull.

Playing a little Fresno catch-up …

Greetings! I’m back in Fresno and back at The Beehive after a week-long jaunt to Boston. As I’ve been catching up with what I missed here in The ‘No, I thought I’d share a few things I found interesting:

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  • “Hockey returns to Fresno” is the headline I’ve seen in a few places, talking about the announcement of a new Fresno hockey team — The Fresno Monsters. That name sure is more intimidating than Falcons. And the logo makes me think of energy drinks. Here’s hoping Modesto starts a team called The Aliens and the two play each other.
  • We haven’t talked about Cabo Wabo in a while — but here’s an update: The lawsuit between Fresno developer Milt Barbis and rocker Sammy Hagar has been settled. Unfortch for us, it’s “confidential,” so no new sordid details to laugh at.
  • You probably know this by now, but Fresno made it onto the front of the New York Times again. (People were talking about this even all the way out in Boston). It wasn’t exactly the best news — a look at Fresno homeless camps. FYI, today’s issue of The Bee has some more Fresno homelessness reading too.

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Yes, another conservative talk radio station is exactly what Fresno needs

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Daily listeners of Jack FM have probably already realized the local radio news of the day: Peak Broadcasting has flipped the format of its playing-what-we-want 105.9 FM station and made it into — surprise! — another KMJ.

I guess naming yours truly the dreamiest New Kid on the Block was the end of the line for Jack FM. There was no more credibility to be had.

But seriously, another conservative talk radio station? And furthermore, another KMJ?

KMJr. — that’s what I shall call it from now one — will replay some of the content on its AM version, plus add talk shows from the likes of Glenn Beck, Dave Ramsey and Michael Savage. (See the full program schedule below). On weekends, the station will flip back to music. There’s also a new Web site, kmjnow.com, being launched as part of the venture.

Sorry to be a humbug, but I think Fresno has all the KMJ it needs over on the AM dial.

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