'Hometown Heroes' radio show adds hometowns

The Fresno BeeJune 5, 2013 

Most of you probably know Paul Loeffler as the voice of the Fresno State football, basketball and baseball programs. But he also shines a spotlight on World War II veterans through his radio show "Hometown Heroes."

Until recently, the program only could be heard at 1 p.m. Saturdays on KMJ (AM 580 / FM 105.9). Now, the weekly program will air on Bakersfield's KNZR (AM 1560/FM 97.7) and KVEC (AM 920) in San Luis Obispo.

Loeffler's excited about the chance to share glimpses into history that he gets through talking to those who lived during the events.

"It's been a privilege to meet so many veterans with incredible stories of service and sacrifice, and share those stories with KMJ's audience. These great stations in Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo allow us to spread the word even wider," Loeffler says. "I get to talk to one veteran a week, but my hope has always been that 'Hometown Heroes' would encourage other veterans to share their stories, even if it's just with their immediate families.

"It's hard to fully understand the value of our freedom without knowing the price our veterans have paid for it."

Loeffler has such a passion for the radio program that in 2007 he left his job as sports director at KGPE (Channel 47.1) to spend more time on the program.

Having the locally produced program air in other markets is adding more work to Loeffler's already hectic schedule. He's looking for advertisers in the two new markets.

Let's make a deal

If you haven't made up your mind where to go on vacation this year, KVPT (Channel 18.1) is offering some help through its "Summer Sizzle Auction."

The fundraiser includes a long list of dining, concert and travel experiences that in many cases can be picked up at a reduced price. The online auction runs from 9 a.m. Friday to June 24.

Elizabeth Laval, KVPT chief development officer, says the local TV station is getting near the end of its fiscal year and any support that can be given through the online auction would be greatly appreciated.

Auction items also include canoeing, yoga lessons, doggy day care, karate, zip-line tours and speedway ticket packages. Some time-sensitive items — such as concert tickets — can be purchased immediately through a "buy it now" option. Bidding on other items won't end until June 24.

If you would like to bid on items, go to auction.valleypbs.org to register.

Inga Barks update

In case you missed the story last week, local conservative radio talk show host Inga Barks is no longer on the KMJ (AM 580) lineup as of on May 24. She's been replaced by the syndicated talk show program hosted by Mark Levin in the 6-9 p.m. weekday slot.

Regarding the end of the Fresno show, Barks says: "After nearly a decade I'm off nights now. I will miss the listeners, my producer Aaron, and the money, but I'm really looking forward to going to dinner with friends and hanging out with kids again."

Barks had been on KMJ since 2005, when she took over for evening on-air talk show host Jaz McKay when he resigned. Patty Hixson, vice president and general manager of Peak Broadcasting, owner of KMJ, had no comment.

Those of you who are fans of Barks can hear her new radio show on Bakersfield's KNZR (AM 1560 and FM 97.7) through live streaming, provided at the KNZR website.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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