KSEE’s ‘Buddy Check’ helping for two decades

Conan O’Brien will take his cable talk show to Armenia for one episode.
Conan O’Brien will take his cable talk show to Armenia for one episode.

Stefani Booroojian doesn’t wait for October – breast cancer awareness month – to push the importance of early detection. She has been prompting local viewers of KSEE24 for two decades to make sure they are regularly checking themselves for signs of the most common cancer that women may face in their lifetime.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of “Buddy Check” on the local NBC station. The goal is to encourage women to not only check themselves but to remind a friend to do a self-exam. The official “Buddy Check” day is the 24th of each month.

“I am so proud that this program has gone on this long,” Booroojian says. “We have so many changes at this station but this program continues to go on.”

The “Buddy Check” program was created in 1992 by Jeannie Blaylock, a weekday anchor at Jacksonville TV station WTLV. Fresno was one of many TV stations across the United States to pick up the program. Booroojian was the reporter assigned to introduce the concept to this market.

“Twenty years ago, people didn’t talk a lot about breast cancer. For three straight weeks, I did stories to introduce the concept,” Booroojian says. “This has definitely been the most gratifying project I have been associated with.”

Booroojian isn’t certain how many people participate in the program or how many women made early detection. She just knows that she’s constantly approached by women who say they made a discovery while doing the check.

The American Cancer Society suggests breast self-exams for women in their 20s, breast exam by a doctor or nurse every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and an annual mammogram starting at age 45, and then every other year starting at 55.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345 or go to www.cancer.org. You can also call the Kaweah Delta Breast Center, Breast Health Help Line at 559-624-3253.

For whom the Bell tolls

Art Bell’s new “Midnight in the Desert,” which started in late July, now can be heard locally on AM 1680 The Answer. The local talk radio station is broadcasting Bell’s show from 9 p.m. to midnight weekdays.

“Loyal fans in Central California have eagerly awaited Art Bell’s return to the airwaves for years and we’re very pleased to be able to once again offer the show which began a late-night radio listening phenomenon,” says Skip Essick, managing partner for Compass Broadcasting.

Bell has been on the air since the early ’70,s but began to build a very loyal following in the mid-90s when he began discussing the paranormal, UFOs and the occult. At 1997, he was the highest-rated late-night radio talk show host.

Since 2010, he has been on and off the radio.

Bell earned him the Lifetime Achievement Award from the trade publication Radio & Records in Los Angeles. In 2008, Bell was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In addition to Bell, AM 1680 The Answer has started airing the new Dana Show starting at 6 p.m. Host Dana Loesch is billed as The Conservative Alternative. The Missourian co-founded the tea party movement in St. Louis and speaks regularly on the subject of new media, gun control, anti-feminism and grassroots.

Running the show

KMPH’s “Great Day” co-anchor Kim Stephens will be in the Bay Area on Saturday, Oct. 24, to be the mistress of ceremonies for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences San Francisco/Northern California Chapter’s Gold & Silver Class of 2015 Induction Luncheon.” The honor is given to people who have made significant contributions to television in the region.

Along with six local honorees, Lee Mendelson will be recognized for his 50 years of work. Lee Mendelson Productions has been responsible for many of the “Peanuts” animated specials.

Heading south

Stephanie Stone, who joined ABC30 in 2012, has left the station to move to Southern California with her husband. She worked as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor.

The University of California, Santa Barbara, graduate started her career in Eureka.

A search has started for her replacement.

Headed to Armenia

“Conan,” the TBS late-night talk show, is on the road again as host Conan O’Brien will become the first American late-night host ever to do a broadcast from Armenia.

The episode will air at 11 p.m. Nov. 10 on the cable channel.

Joining Conan will be his longtime assistant, Sona Movsesian, who is of Armenian descent. She will make her first visit to the country.

“I think it’s every boss’s responsibility to take their assistant back to their ancestral land,” O’Brien says. “That’s why I’m going to make sure my next assistant was born in a five-star resort in Tuscany.”

This is not his first trip outside the country to host a show. He was the first American late-night host to shoot in Cuba in more than 50 years.

No zonks please

Fresno’s Sarah Owens will be on the Friday, Oct. 30, edition of the syndicated game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” To celebrate Halloween, contestants will be able to win more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.

“Let’s Make a Deal” airs locally at 2 p.m. weekdays on CBS47.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1