Bentley: CMAC hits the road for Fresno sports telecasts

The Fresno BeeAugust 20, 2013 

One of the promises made when the Community Media Access Collaborative (CMAC) opened in downtown Fresno in April 2012 was the public-access TV channels would broadcast events of local interest.

So far, the programming seen on Comcast Channel 94 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99 has been more political in nature.

Now, the programming will include sports.

CMAC will televise the season opener of Fresno State's women's volleyball as they play host to Rice starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Save Mart Center. The Fresno State match is the first of a doubleheader, with the second game — Santa Clara vs. Cal State Northridge — starting between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

The live broadcast is possible because of the new HD Mobile Production Vehicle that went into service in June. This is the first sports broadcast by CMAC.

Bryan Harley, CMAC operations manager, wants the telecast to be the start of a larger sports schedule for the public-access channels.

"We are trying to establish a relationship of broadcasting other sports — lacrosse, soccer, women's basketball — at Fresno State that don't get a lot of coverage," Harley says. "We are also in discussions with Fresno Pacific to broadcast their football, volleyball, softball and baseball games."

Stephen Trembley, Fresno State's new media coordinator, will handle the play-by-play while Briana Cooksey will do color commentary.

Harley says there are plans to broadcast local high school sports, but telecasts of football games probably won't be until next year.

CMAC is located in the former Metropolitan Museum building where the 7,000-square-foot second floor has been converted into a studio, editing stations, control room, learning center and offices.

Talent update

Many of the telephone calls and emails I get are questions regarding local TV and radio personalities being off the air. Sometimes folks think the talent has been fired, kidnapped or abducted by aliens. In almost every case, they're simply not at work because of vacations, health issues or furloughs.

The absence of Ashley Ritchie from the co-anchor chair for the KMPH (Channel 26.1) weekday nightly news resulted in many suggestions of foul play. The simple answer is that Ashley is pregnant — as revealed in the station's Friday night newscast — and she is expected to be back to work in October.

Another reader wanted to know why Doug Collins hasn't been on KMJ (AM, 580) in recent weeks. In the case of Collins, he's taking a little R & R.

Just to head off anyone who believes there's something major going on at KMJ, there's a mundane reason having to do with rest and relaxation to explain why Ray Appleton is not on the air this week.

Other news

Tough enough: The Valley's representation in the NBC competition series "Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls," which airs 9 p.m. Mondays on KSEE (Channel 24.1), continues. Jim Vach, 61, of Fresno, and his son, Austin Vach, 24, have survived the weekly challenges of the reality competition series to be one of the three teams still in the running for the grand prize of $500,000.

The finale airs at 9 p.m. Monday.

Web work: Lucha Xtreme Wrestling Entertainment launched "Lucha Xtreme LIVE!" at on Aug. 14. The show is hosted by Lance Cardoza, president and CEO of Lucha Xtreme Wrestling Entertainment, and co-hosted by Lucha Xtreme personality Byron Rush. "Lucha Xtreme LIVE" is live so fans can call in and ask questions.

"Lucha Xtreme" airs 9 p.m. Saturdays on KAIL (Channel 7.1).

New hire: Liz Ray is the new marketing manager for the Buckley Radio California group of stations/markets. She will be based in Fresno at the KSEQ (FM, 97.1) offices but oversee sales and marketing efforts in Bakersfield, Merced and Monterey.

Before signing on with Buckley, Ray was the general sales manager at KJWL (FM, 99.3) and KYNO (AM, 940) plus was a local sales manager for The Fresno Bee.


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

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