Early ratings numbers from Arbitron, a leading monitor of radio listening trends, show the loss of nationally syndicated talk shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others by KMJ (AM 580) has hurt ratings for the local talk/news radio station.
Preliminary numbers for the winter ratings reveal that in January, KMJ, a station that has long dominated this market when it comes to listener totals, dropped to seventh place with a 5.0 rating.
In December, the last month that KMJ had the syndicated talk lineup, it ranked second with a 7.0 rating, and it was the top-rated local radio station in November with an 8.6 rating.
It should be noted that these kind of early trend numbers -- measuring the listening habits of those 12 and older between 6 a.m. and midnight -- can change dramatically once the full ratings period of Jan. 3 through March 27 is released. But if this trend continues, KMJ has been hurt by the loss of the syndicated talkers.
The beneficiary is KALZ (FM 96.7), the local Clear Channel radio station that got Rush and Hannity when its parent company, Premiere Radio Networks, pulled them off of KMJ after a 25-year run.
The local station jumped from 11th place in December to third place in January with a 6.2 rating because of the new talk lineup.
It will be interesting to see if these ratings numbers hold up for the entire winter ratings period. The final totals for the winter will be released in the spring.
As if that wasn't enough trouble for KMJ, Bakersfield TV station KGET is reporting KMJ 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.
Neither Skip Essick, KMJ program director, nor Patty Hixson, vice president and general manager of Peak Broadcasting, could be reached for comment.
Is there a doctor in the house?
Nutrition researcher Dr. Neal Barnard will be at the KVPT (Channel 18.1) studios from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday (March 10). He will answer questions during an airing of his most recent special, "Protect Your Memory," about the role nutrition plays in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's, dementia and stroke.
The KVPT special in-house guest is a New York Times best-selling author who is an adjunct associate professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
Barnard will take questions from people when they call in to make a pledge to the local public TV station, or questions can be posted in advance at the ValleyPBS Facebook page.
Music event: KMGV (FM 97.9) -- better known as MEGA 97.9 -- will present Keith Sweat, Jo Jo (the original lead singer of The Mary Jane Girls) and GQ in concert at 6:30 p.m. May 4 at Woodward Park.
General admission tickets are $35 in advance and are on sale at the MEGA Studios, Fajita Fiesta, Ed Dena's Auto Center and the Rimco locations in Fresno and Visalia, or online at mega979.com.
Tickets will be $40 the day of the show.
Connect online: Sanger high graduate Jill Simonian, who co-hosted the Travel Channel series "America's Worst Driver," has revamped her online site thefabmom.com, where she offers opinions from a mom's point of view on everything from food to fashion.
When she's not working on the website, Simonian has appeared on "Showbiz Tonight," the KTLA "Morning News," "The Maury Show" and HuffPostLive.
Big winner: Fresno State student Zechariah Freeman of Porterville was a winner on "The Price Is Right." On the episode of the CBS game show that aired in late February, Freeman won two digital cameras and trips with a total value of $12,710.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559)441-6355, email@example.com
or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.