Bentley: Greg Lane hurt by job ending at KISS Country

The Fresno BeeJanuary 7, 2014 

Greg Lane wishes he could be angry about his 23-year tenure at KISS Country coming to such an unceremonious end on Friday. All those years of service came down to his evening time slot being filled by the new syndicated program "Nash Nights Live" hosted by Shawn Parr.

"It would be better if I could be mad because I could get past that. Right now, I'm just hurt. It feels like someone called and said that my best friend had died. I'm in shock. It hurts to the very core of my existence," Lane says.

On-air talent sent packing is nothing new for radio. It's actually more of an anomaly that someone could stay at the same radio station for more than two decades. Lane was there when the country format launched on KSKS (FM 93.7), which means he survived ownership changes, new station managers and a variety of program directors.

He did that by being one of the primary connections between the country music world and Fresno. Whether it was chatting to the biggest and best the music genre has to offer when they came to town or through trips to Nashville, Lane was a dynamo when it came to keeping local listeners informed. He was one of the first on-air personalities to give country superstar Taylor Swift publicity.

It should come as no shock that Lane loved his job and that's a big reason he is feeling so hurt. Even with the pain he is feeling, Lane has taken the high road when it comes to his former employers at Cumulus Media.

"I don't blame Cumulus. I was told that the syndicated show was starting and there was no room for me," Lane says. "I bleed KISS Country and my heart and soul will always be with the people there. I hold no grudges and wish them well. I consider it a huge privilege to have had this job."

In regards to Lane being let go, general manager Patty Hixson only would confirm that the nationally syndicated program had taken over Lane's time slot.

Lane started at KISS Country in August 1991 after working 10 years in Sacramento. During his time at the local country station, Lane worked in almost every time slot from mornings to the "Valley Nights" weeknights program that launched in September 2012. The show featured artist interviews, countdowns, local country music news, regional concert information and new country releases.

This won't be the end of Lane's on-air career. He is going to take a little time to heal emotionally and then look at other job possibilities.

Lineup changes

Two changes went into effect Monday on AM 1680 Conservative Talk. Dennis Prager replaced Mike Huckabee from 9 a.m. to noon and Mike Gallagher took over the 6-9 p.m. slot held by Andrea Tanteros. The changes had nothing to do with ratings or listeners, but simply were a business matter.

"Mike Huckabee has left the network he was affiliated with so we had to replace him. And Andrea got into a contract dispute with her national syndication network so we had to terminate the agreement to carry her," Al Perez, KGED (AM 1680) general manager, says. "Both Dennis and Mike are a great fit for our conservative talk lineup."

The station lineup continues to include Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt. Perez has been approached about adding other syndicated talk radio shows. He is looking at all possibilities, but the current lineup will be in place for at least six months.

Other news

Last hurrah: The last episode of the online series "Broken at Love," created by and starring Sanger native and Clovis West graduate Karolina Sivas, will be available for viewing starting at 8 p.m. Jan. 18 at www.youtube.com/BrokenAtLove or www.brokenatlovethe series.com.

"Broken At Love" is the story of college senior Vivienne "Vivie" Taylor (Sivas), who gets to meet her celebrity crush, professional tennis player Holden Gregory. Season two began in September.

Sivas got involved with acting when at 11 she enrolled in Alan Autry's actors workshop at Dirt Road Productions. Her interest in acting continued through her studies at the University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts.

Special guests: KFCF (FM 88.1), the local "Free Speech Radio" station, has two fundraising events planned for January.

Author Bruce Neuberger will be featured in a talk about his new book, Lettuce Wars, at 4 p.m. Sunday at Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness. A $10 donation is suggested.

Also, Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, hosts of "Project Censored" that airs 8 a.m. Fridays on KFCF, will be in town for a talk about the radio program and their new 2014 edition of the book, "Project Censored: The Move — How to get corporate off their diet of junk food news." The event starts at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the San Joaquin College of Law, Room 213, 901 Fifth St. in Clovis. A $10 donation is suggested.

Huff is on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation and currently is professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College in the San Francisco Bay Area. Phillips is a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and president of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored.

New home: Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. — owners of KGPE (Channel 47.1) and KSEE (Channel 24.1) — have moved into new headquarters in Irving, Texas.

Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc., says in the announcement of the move that the new headquarters "reflects Nexstar's rapid growth and expansion."

Since July 2012, Nexstar has completed or announced more than $855 million in transactions, adding 55 television stations, including the two in Fresno.

Scary stuff: Destination America's "Monsters and Mysteries in America," airing at 10 p.m. Sunday, will feature accounts of Bigfoot sightings and evil gnomes in Fresno and Porterville.

The segment includes interviews with local residents who believe they've experienced monster encounters first hand.

Tune in: CMAC, the community access television station for Fresno and Clovis, will broadcast the Fresno State vs. Colorado State women's basketball game starting at 2 p.m. Saturday on Comcast channel 94 and AT&T U-verse channel 99. It also can be seen online at www.cmac.tv.

 

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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