The economic tide seems to have shifted for the recently merged KSEE24 and CBS47. After the loss of several staff members, including such well-known talents as Faith Sidlow and Mike Scott, new personnel are being hired.
New hires include:
Charlie Pfaff, who was the general manager at KMPH (Channel 26.1), until being replaced in 2009 after more than nine years with the local FOX affiliate, as the new local sales manager for KSEE (Channel 24.1). Most recently Pfaff had worked as a Realtor with Keller Williams.
Heidi Waggoner as the weekday morning meteorologist on KSEE. She comes to Fresno from KAMC, the ABC affiliate in Lubbock, Texas. Waggoner is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in meteorology.
Raquel Cervantes, a Sanger native who most recently worked at the NBC affiliate KYMA in Yuma, Ariz., as a new reporter for the KSEE and KGPE (Channel 47.1) joint news departments. While getting her master's in broadcast journalism at USC, she interned at "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
Fresno State graduate Devon Thrasher as a reporter for the KGPE/KSEE joint sports team.
Mom knows best
Sanger High School graduate Jill Simonian has landed a job as an expert on anything that has to do with motherhood on the Hallmark Channel daytime show "Home and Family." The program, hosted by Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines, airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on the cable channel.
Simonian will be on the show 2 to 3 times per week with segments focusing on motherhood, children's products, pregnancy, parenting and general family life.
"I'm particularly excited about this next phase because I realized that this is the only recurring 'Mom Personality' job on a nationwide talk show. I created my blog three years ago (when her first daughter was born) with the intention of spinning it into some kind of TV work and it worked," Simonian says.
Her website, TheFabMom.com, offers opinions from a mom's point of view on everything from food to fashion.
Three local film fans — Matt Sconce, James Nelson and Keith Walker — came to the rescue of the Met Cinemas movie theater when the Oakhurst facility was on the verge of shutting down. They came up with the unique plan of selling subscription memberships that raised enough money to keep the theater doors open.
They need your help again. They want to tell their story during the halftime of this year's Super Bowl telecast. "Small Business Big Game" is an online competition being held by Intuit to draw attention to the work by small businesses across the country. The Met team hopes their story will be moving enough to generate enough votes to win the contest.
The first round of voting runs through mid-October to select the top 20 stories. The winner will be named in November.
If you would like to help the theater team get one step closer to the Super Bowl, go to smallbusinessbiggame.com/CA/Movie-Heroes-Inc/387640 to vote.
Sounds good: The new "Saturday Morning With The Spin-Man" on KOKO (FM 94.3), Fresno's REAL Oldies but Goodies, is hosted by Mannie Massengale and airs 9-11 a.m. Saturdays from Spinners Records, 639 E. Olive Ave.
The two-hour programs features classic rock, rhythm and blues, British rock and blues. What makes this show different from other oldies programs is that all of the music presented is on vinyl.
Be a winner: The cable channel Turner Classic Movies has launched the "TCM's Ultimate Fan Contest." All you have to do is submit a video of yourself introducing a favorite movie, much in the same way TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz introduce films. One entrant will win a trip to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival and the chance to introduce a movie at the festival and co-host a film on-air.
Videos must be submitted through fancontest.tcm.com by Oct. 31. Complete rules and instructions regarding videos are on the website.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.