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KMJ’s Otstot Leaving Radio for Political Position

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Matt Otstot is leaving KMJ and taking a job in politics with Assemblyman Jim Patterson. He explains why. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Matt Otstot, the long-time news anchor for KMJ’s “Fresno Morning News,” did his last show today. He is leaving journalism to become the district coordinator for Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).

“It was just a deal too good to pass up,” Otstot told Media Man about the move.

Patterson is termed out at the end of 2024. Otstot isn’t concerned about the 15-month time limit of his new job, saying there is still a lot to accomplish and constituents to help.

One advantage of the new job for Otstot is sleeping in. Having to be on the air at 6 a.m. meant a 2 a.m. wake-up call.

“Now that I’m a father, now that my son is getting to the age where it’s all about life experiences, I was looking for an opportunity to get a more stable 9 to 5 position,” Otstot said. “Knowing the schedule was one of the perks, it made it really hard to say no.”

Back and Forth With Journalism

This is the third time Otstot has left a local media job. After TV news stints in Zanesville, Ohio, and Altoona, Pennsylvania, Otstot joined KSEE-24 in 2001.

He then left to become spokesman for then-Fresno Mayor Alan Autry in 2003, and returned to local TV news at CBS 47. He moved to KSEE-24 for a second time and left for Valley Children’s Hospital before joining KMJ in 2015.

In his years at KMJ, Otstot observed a troubling trend in local media.

“You’re doing more with less. News departments in both radio and television are shrinking, and the demand for local news has not shrunk at all. So, as you have fewer and fewer individuals that are there to gather news, to disseminate news, to cover events, a lot of things fall through the cracks … It’s just kind of heartbreaking to see,” Otstot said.

He has not ruled out a return to journalism when his time in Patterson’s office is up.

Gallon Also Has a New Job

Otstot replaces longtime district director Alisha Gallon, who is now the communications director for the Kings County Unified School District.

Just for comparison, Otstot’s predecessor in Patterson’s office earned $85,000 a year, according to state records. KMJ’s job listing for Otstot’s replacement pays up to $62,000 annually.

The station has not named a permanent replacement.

Still No ‘Sunday Morning Matters’

First, KSEE-24 management said its political affairs show “Sunday Morning Matters” may return from a summer hiatus in August. Then it was September.

The latest word is the show, hosted by anchor Alexan Balekian, will be back in October. There is no public reason why the show has been off the air from its hourlong 8 a.m. Sunday timeslot.

The Fresno NBC affiliate has filled the time with the Nexstar-produced statewide show “Inside California Politics.” NBC Sports programming also sometimes preempts the morning hour.

ABC 30 Goes Big on Local News

Gabe Ferris

ABC 30 debuts its 3 p.m. newscast Monday, with Vanessa Vasconcelos and Stephen Hicks anchoring. That will give the ABC-owned station a four-hour news block, with only “ABC World News Tonight,” providing a half-hour break from the local news.

Newcomer Gabe Ferris filed his first reports for the station two weeks ago. He comes from ABC News’s Washington bureau, covering the federal government. His local beat includes the courts and city hall.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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