Jill Gearin announced she has left the Visalia Rawhide after five seasons as the team’s play-by-play broadcaster. She is headed to parts unknown, but with her resumé, finding a new job should not be an issue.
“The 2023 season was my last with the @VisaliaRawhide. It was a difficult decision to leave after 5 years, but with the position changing, it was time for a new adventure. My time in Visalia has helped me grow as a broadcaster & a person,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
The Orange County native parlayed her experience to the Big Leagues — calling a game as a fill-in for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022. She has also called softball games on the ESPN networks, and most recently called games in the Arizona Fall League.
Gearin broke new ground as the first female voice in the California League, and still one of a handful of female broadcasters. She used her voice not only to describe the action for the Diamondbacks Class A affiliate, but to advocate for women in baseball. She also talked openly as a sexual assault survivor.
A Fresno Return for New KMJ Morning Host
Randy James started earlier this month as the news anchor at Cumulus-owned KMJ radio (105.9 FM/580 AM). He joins co-host Christopher Gabriel for “Fresno’s Morning News.”
James comes from the Dallas-Fort Worth market, where he worked on the morning show at “Lonestar 92.5” KZPS, an iHeart-owned classic rock station.
For James, working at KMJ is a return home. A Clovis High School graduate, James worked in Fresno radio at KZZF (briefly a heavy metal station in the early 1990s at 107.5 FM; now Spanish-language La Jefa), 95.7 The Fox (KJFX-FM) and KKDJ, a former rock station on the 105.9 FM signal — the same frequency where he will now be heard.
He replaces Matt Otstot, who left radio to work for Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.
ABC 30 Has New Morning Weather Anchor
ABC 30 hired Christine Gregory to deliver weather updates during the morning shows. She started in October, moving west after reporting on the weather for three years at WROC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Rochester, New York.
Gregory is a Syracuse native, earning a bachelor’s degree in meteorology form SUNY Oswego.
She replaces Madeline Evans, who left the station in April. Self-described as a “Navy wife,” Evans moved to Fallon, Nevada, where her husband now instructs TOPGUN pilots.
New Reporter at KSEE
Karen Cruz-Ordoña is the latest reporter hired at KSEE-24/CBS 47 (KGPE-TV). She started with the Nexstar duopoly in September, coming from the Central Coast where she worked three years at News Channel 3-12 (the duopoly of KEYT, the ABC affiliate and KCOY, the CBS station).
She will handle weather duties on the weekends and report during the week.
Cruz-Ordoña is a Central Valley native, graduating from Madera South High School, where she was a cross country star. She graduated college from CSU Monterey Bay and earned a master’s degree at Cal State Northridge.
She started her career with KGET, the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield.
KVPR Reporter Leaves, But Staying in Town
Soreath Hok delivered her last report for Valley Public Radio (KVPR-89.3 FM) last month, but is not leaving the Central Valley.
Hok tells Media Man she left to help with her family business and is currently a first-year graduate student studying creative nonfiction in Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.
She reported at KVPR for three years, and often was featured statewide on the “California Report,” heard on several Golden State public radio stations.
Assemblyman Secures Funds for Public Radio Station
Nonprofit public radio network Radio Bilingüe, headquartered in Fresno, received a $2 million financial boost from the California state budget, thanks to the efforts of Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno.
“For several decades now, Radio Bilingüe has shown that it is much more than one radio station. Under the leadership of Co-Founder and Executive Director Hugo Morales, it is a trusted messenger to our Latino and Indigenous communities in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond, and this was especially vital during the COVID-19 pandemic when important information needed to be communicated in Spanish and Mexican Indigenous languages to the underserved,” Arambula said in a news release.
How did Arambula secure the funding during the budget process?
“Each member in the Assembly and in the Senate can make General Fund requests for district priorities, but there’s no guarantee requests will be funded. It depends on the state of the CA budget. The requests are done within each legislative house (the governor is not involved),” Arambula’s office said.
I was so happy to announce today that I secured $2 million in State funds for @radiobilingue, the #Fresno-based public radio network that is the voice for underserved & marginalized communities in the Valley and beyond. The funds will support its plans for a needed new facility. pic.twitter.com/dhLyg94O7R
— Dr. Joaquin Arambula (@AsmArambula) November 8, 2023