Rick Bentley

Valley Public Radio moves into new Clovis broadcast center

This is the new home for Valley Public Radio.
This is the new home for Valley Public Radio. KVPR

The construction project for a new home for Valley Public Radio station KVPR (FM 89.3), which started with a groundbreaking in May 2015, was completed on time and under budget. Now, the staff is ready to show off the building with a ribbon-cutting-ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 2589 Alluvial Ave. in Clovis.

KVPR has moved from 3437 W. Shaw Ave., the location that has been the radio station’s home for 30 years. The new broadcast center is at the Research & Technology Park at Temperance Avenue and Highway 168 in Clovis.

Mariam Stepanian, Valley Public Radio president and general manager, says the new facility was a long time coming. The construction only took a year, but the work of planning and fundraising took a decade.

KVPR raised $1.6 million through donations from private and national donors for the building. The land was purchased in December 2013.

“It’s one of the longest campaigns ever,” Stepanian says with a laugh. “The fortunate thing is that we grew and evolved the business during that time.”

One of the biggest changes was the launch of a news team three years ago. In the old facility, there was no room for the news staff to work, so they often put together their stories in their cars or at a coffee shop. Now, they have a place to produce the news.

Stepanian has seen a boost to all of her staff working in the new facility.

“Everyone is so happy. It’s just incredible the energy that’s here. It’s a place that demands creativity,” Stepanian says.

The plan is to share that feeling with others. Tour groups have visited and local groups are scheduling their meetings there. The new facility also offers space for artists to perform.

On the road

Trevor Carey was hired in December by Power Talk 96.7 and AM 1400 to handle its 6 p.m. weeknight time slot. Now, Carey is ready to get up close with listeners with the “Trevor Nation World Tour.”

The word “world” might be a little grandiose, but the radio personality will certainly be hitting spots that make up the central San Joaquin Valley. He will stop at a different location each Friday.

“I hear the voices of callers, I read emails and social media posts, and I want to shake hands with all of my listeners,” Carey says in a news release announcing the tour.

The first stop was at the Elbow Room in Fig Garden Village on Friday, Sept. 9. Next up is Vino & Friends, 1560 E. Champlain Drive, 3-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16.

Carey fans are urged to listen to Powertalk 96.7 and AM 1400 for announcements on future stops of the tour.

The Fresno-based talk radio station’s lineup also includes nationally syndicated talkers Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Anchor update

KMPH FOX26’s Liz Gonzalez will be away from the weekend anchor chair for a while. The Sanger High graduate, who has been with the FOX affiliate for 10 years, is on maternity leave.

Filling in for Gonzalez will be Rich Rodriguez and Ashley Ritchie. Earlier this year, Ritchie opted not to return to the KMPH anchor desk after being off the air for several months on maternity leave. She decided that having three boys under the age of 4 was making it too difficult for her to continue the late-night shift for the station’s 10 p.m. weekday newscast. Ritchie left the anchor chair, but does special news reports for the Fox affiliate.

Technology

DirecTV and U-verse are making it easier to watch TV when you are not at home. The latest update to the DirecTV App gives you access to your live and recorded programming whether away from the living room or on the go. They will available anywhere you have either a mobile or Wi-Fi connection.

That includes shows on live channels – even locals – as well as just about all of your DVR recorded programs. You can also download most of your DVR recordings to your device to watch offline.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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