Considering the furor Oprah Winfrey and her best bud Gayle King created in October 2010 when they made a stop at REI in the River Park shopping center in Fresno to pick up supplies for a camping trip, it seems like a good idea to talk early about another Winfrey connection coming to town.
Winfrey's longtime companion Stedman Graham will be the guest speaker at a benefit dinner for Valley Teen Ranch at 6:30 p.m. May 17 ay the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall. The event marks 25 years of the ranch helping more than 1,500 vulnerable children and youths in San Joaquin Valley.
Proceeds will be used to improve the vocational program at Valley Teen Ranch, where the mission is "to assist vulnerable young people and their families in rebuilding their lives through caring relationships and opportunities to grow mentally, physically, socially and living in a safe and healthy home."
Although best known for his connection to Winfrey, Graham has written 10 books, including two New York Times best-sellers, and is a former adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Tickets are $75 and can be reserved by calling (559) 437-1144 or at valleyteenranch.org.
Don't forget that Comcast is in the final phase of switching all of its customers to a fully digital service, which means some of you are going to have to pick up some extra equipment. The switch will be completed April 10.
Comcast wants to get rid of analog and add more digital channels at the end of April. That means that every TV in your home that is connected to cable will either have to have one of the Comcast boxes that allow you to watch the expanded digital and premium channels or a small converter box that changes analog signals to digital.
Here's how you will know if you need to pick up one of the free Digital Transport Adapters (DTA). If you have a cable line that comes out of the wall and goes directly into the back of your TV set, then you need the new equipment. If the cable line goes through any type of box, then you have no reason for concern.
There are three ways to get the free adapters: go to the local Comcast office; call (877) 634-4434; or go online to comcast.com/digitalnow.
Off the air: Monisha Mann announced on her Facebook page that she no longer is working at KSEQ (FM 97.1). She says "it is time for me to fly." If you are interested in her job, e-mail your résumé, a current aircheck, social networking info and a list of your skills to Bill Lynch at Job@q97.com or mail it to him at KSEQ, 617 West Tulare Ave., Visalia, 93277.
On the air: The episodes of the ABC Family series "Make It or Break It" featuring Clovis West graduate Amanda Ratzlaff, who works under the name Amanda Leighton, will begin airing at 9 p.m. Monday. The local actress will appear in seven of the eight episodes.
You can see a clip of her work at fblinks.com/makeit.
Farewell: Former KSKS (FM 93.7) radio personality John Garabo died last week at the age of 46. It's sad to hear about his passing. But I'm glad that at least he was back in Fresno where he had spent nine years with the local country music station. Garabo and I traded e-mails last year and he expressed his desire to move back here from New York.
He wrote: "I want to come home to Fresno. I miss the market and the best audience I've ever had. After 25 years doing mornings in country radio, my career has taken me all over the USA. Still, I've never been as connected to an audience the way I am to my KISS Country listeners."
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org
or on Twitter @RickBentley1. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.