Uploaded and ready to stream it’s another episode of all-things Fresno podcast, Flowing with Famous. As always, I sit down with podcast guru Mike Seay to discuss the best (and worst) in Fresno news, entertainment and more. We hit on all our favorite topics, including:
Bakersfield TV station KGET is reporting KMJ (AM 580) talk show host Inga Barks, whose show originates from Bakersfield, was arrested a week ago on charges of public intoxication and delaying or obstructing a peace officer.
KMJ is owned by Peak Broadcasting. Patty Hixson, Peak Broadcasting’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, issued this statement:
“We have been made aware of an incident involving talk show host, Inga Barks, who was arrested last week by the Bakersfield Police Department on misdemeanor charges. As a result, Inga has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of a BPD criminal investigation and our own internal inquiry as to the facts in this case. Since this is a personnel matter, there will be no further statements until both are completed.”
Yes, we’re halfway into the first month of 2013 — but I realized I forgot to do one of these Beehive Year in Review posts. I swear it’s the last looking-back-at-2012 post I’ll write. If I didn’t do this post, though, how would you know which contests you entered the most and which commenters are still in our “top 10?” See. You’re welcome.
So without further ado — unless you want me to drag this out another 14 days — here are the most read and most commented Beehive posts of 2012, along with our most prolific commenters.
Whether you’re on the list or not, thanks to everyone who participates in the site, either by reading and responding, sharing links with your friends or even grumbling to yourself about what we write. You’re all appreciated.
You see, the day the news broke — that Premiere Radio Network (which owns all the shows) would sever its ties with top-rated KMJ and take its shows elsewhere — was the same day Justin Bieber came to Fresno. I was up to my bangs in Bieber Fever. KMJ, Limbaugh, etc. were just an afterthought. Well, until the next morning, when I woke up to way more e-mail responses to the KMJ story than my Bieber story.
Even then I still wasn’t prepared for what awaited me in the office Monday morning. Not just a full voicemail box, but quite a few doozies. I called people back, one by one, trying to help them understand the circumstances — that it wasn’t KMJ’s decision, that it wasn’t a conspiracy to silence conservative viewpoints, that Obama wasn’t behind it all.
Calls kept coming all day and by the time they stopped, I learned that the Bielebers and Limbaugh diehards had a few things in common: Undying fandom, a dose of delusion, regurgitated viewpoints and a knack for losing control of their emotions.
More than a week — and countless conversations — later, a few things stand out to me about the public response to this fiasco:
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.
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.”
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.
Because so many of you have asked about Ray Appleton, here’s a preview of my Thursday column that deals with the recent medical problems for the local veteran radio personality.
The KMJ (AM 580) midday talk show host was off the air two-and-a-half weeks because of being hospitalized for kidney failure and brain swelling. He returned to work on a limited basis Tuesday where he will continue to do is weekday talk show but will cut back on other projects.
Appleton says he had not felt well for a couple of months. It was during his participation in the Civil War reenactment at Kearney Park on Oct. 21 and 22 where he became so weak and delusional that he had to be hospitalized.
I just talked to him and Appleton’s optimistic that everything is OK now.
I could attempt to write something about what KRZR meant to the community. But I know I couldn’t do it half as good as some of the people whose voices guided the station through its good times. So I’ve asked a few people to offer up their eulogies for “The Wild Hare.” Some you’ll recognize as beloved once-KRZRers. Others just know the station well. All of them understand what it meant to Fresno.
When I saw Fresno Magazine post something on Facebook about its “controversial” July cover, I got excited. I thought it was going to be something outrageous. Like a rapper. Or a mural.
In fact, the cover (pictured at right) is pretty ho-hum, if you ask me. It’s Fresno’s king of right-wing radio gab Ray Appleton and his — gasp — tattoo sleeve.
It seems like a non-starter to me. But who knows, maybe people are holding anti-Fresno Mag rallies on the corner of Champlain and Shepherd because of this glorification of body art. Have I just not heard about them?
Or — this is more likely the case — is Fresno Mag just trying to invent its own controversy? (And am I just a sucker for buying into it with this blog post? Probably.)
I saw one person on Facebook who called the cover “classless” and blamed Fresno’s poor rep on images like this. That’s a huge overreaction. But I’ve also heard enough Ray Appleton stories that I’m not surprised to see his tattoos. I know he’s not as uptight and socially stuck-in-the-past as some of KMJ’s core demo. Still, I wonder if he’s gonna lose any conservative cred over this.
UPDATE: After 35 minutes of babbling and innuendo about running for Congress, Ray-Ray did what we all expected and said, “April Fools!” Shocker, right? Too bad too — I was looking forward to him not being on the radio for a few months.
ORIGINAL POST, 3/31: Before you ask: Yes, I am Facebook friends with Ray Appleton. But he requested me, OK? Anyhoo, Ray posted this status update yesterday and his KMJ-ites went into a tizzy.
Is he leaving radio? Signing an extension? Running for office? Moving to Costa Rica? Becoming a liberal? Or is this an April Fool’s Joke — after all, Thursday is April 1. Maybe it’s a stunt to counter competitor KYNO’s signal boost which happens on Thursday too.
Whatever it is, I figure you guys might have some good (read: hilarious) guesses as to what Ray-Ray has up his sleeve. The more absurd the better, please.
For you tax-paying working stiffs who can’t make it over to the Save Mart Center to party with the Glenn Beck mafiaKMJ, we at The Beehive have decided to throw our own Tea Party. Like the in-person event, ours is also dedicated to giving a voice to the right people.
So, teabaggers Beehive readers, we ask that you make yourselves heard in The Beehive’s Totally Tubular Tea Party. We’ve outlined below what we believe to be the most important issues facing us in these troubling times and encourage you to sound off.
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! — anotherKMJ.
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.