Veteran Fresno TV, radio personality Karsner -- aka Dick Carr -- dies

The Fresno BeeMay 8, 2014 

Victor Alan Karsner -- who was known as Dick Carr when he was on local TV and radio -- died Monday in Pismo Beach after a long battle with respiratory problems. He was 79.

Mr. Karsner began his career in 1957 in Okmulgee, Okla., and worked at radio stations in Texas and Sacramento before coming to Fresno's KYNO in 1960, where he was part of the Boss radio format that featured less talk and more music. That was followed by stints at several Fresno TV stations.

Along with working on Fresno radio stations KYNO, KFRE, KARM and KMAK, Mr. Karsner hosted a "Dialing for Dollars" program on what was then KJEO (Channel 47.1) and also on KFSN (Channel 30.1). He became the Channel 47 sports director in 1969, plus was a weatherman and talk show host at the local CBS affiliate.

Abe Espinoza, who directed Mr. Karsner in a commercial for General Electric that was shot at Channel 47 and aired on TV stations across the country, recalls Mr. Karsner as being "a really easygoing guy."

Gary Hanson was the producer of a news segment at Channel 47 that Mr. Karsner hosted called "Carr on the Go." The thing he remembers most about Mr. Karsner was how bashful he was in public.

"When we went out, he was so shy that people thought he was stuck up," Hanson says.

Mr. Karsner took a job in Portland, Ore., in 1975 but returned to Fresno four years later to be the first news director at KMPH (Channel 26.1).

He returned to local radio in 1985, where he teamed with Jerry Lee, currently the Community Media Access Collaborative executive director, at KFRE. The pair worked together for more than 10 years.

"We were the morning team. He would do the news, and I would play the records," Lee says. "He had a great dry sense of humor. He was the kind of guy who would look to gig me about something. Once he found something to gig me about, it would be relentless."

KFRE was the last local on-air job for Mr. Karsner; he was fired in 1994. At the time, he was Fresno radio's longest-tenured morning personality with nearly 40 years in broadcasting.

No public services are planned for Mr. Karsner, but there will be a moment of silence for him during the Fresno Grizzlies game Friday night.

Victor Alan Karsner, aka Dick Carr

Born: Feb. 18, 1935

Died: May 5, 2014

Career: TV & radio personality

Survivors: Wife Ginny Karsner; son Victor "Buddy" Karsner; daughters Karen Karsner-Mabe, Deeana Karsner-Horner and Shalane Harrow; sisters Jeri Gildersleeve and Flora Castro; 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren

Services: No public service; moment of silence during Friday's Fresno Grizzlies game

Remembrances: Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250

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

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