At a recent ribbon-cutting event for the offices of KAIL – home of the Valley’s MyNetworkTV affiliate – general manager Joshua Castro described the move from the previous location as a way of making the work situation for KAIL employees “more professional.”
It’s more of everything.
The old facility north of Herndon Avenue, in an area shirpas couldn’t always find, was a mess. The castaways on “Gilligan’s Island” had better facilities and were only slightly more difficult to find.
The KAIL team managed to do good work despite the poor conditions. They have certainly earned the vastly improved location just east of First Street on Shaw.
The deal to take over the facility featured several parties, including Castro and his wife, Roxzan Castro (who is the KAIL business manager), working with local radio owners John Ostlund and Chris Pacheco.
The old facility was cramped for space, but the new office – and its 8,300 square feet – have so much room that there’s a pool table and a foosball table in the main meeting area. Halls are lined with sound-proof rooms that were once homes for all of the radio stations housed there.
The area being used for local production is four times larger than the team had before the move. Castro points out that means there’s enough room for two sets to be in place at the same time.
The fact that the building was once home to a group of local radio stations, including The Fox, was one of the selling points for Castro.
“There was a (signal) tower here already, so we didn’t have to go through all of the efforts to get permission to put a tower up,” Castro says.
KAIL was sold by Tel-America North Corporation to Aperio Communications LLC for $3 million in 2015. Castro is the grandson of Chester Smith, who owned several TV and radio stations in the central San Joaquin Valley. Smith died in August 2014.
KAIL went on the air in 1961, originally broadcasting on UHF channel 53. In 2009, KAIL moved to VHF Channel 7. The 7.1 slot is the home for MyNetworkTV, while 7.2 is Cozi TV and 7.3 is home to Heroes & Icons.
Most of KAIL’s broadcast history has been as an independent station, but it was a UPN affiliate from 1995-2006. KAIL became a MyNetworkTV affiliate after UPN and the WB Networks merged to become the CW Network.
Along with moving to the new facility, Castro added six employees to the station’s team. That’s a big move considering so many TV and radio stations have been cutting staffs in recent years.
Roxzan Castro says it has been great how she and her husband and the TV station have been so positively embraced by the community.
On the air
The documentary that San Joaquin Memorial High School graduate Peter Pardini✔ has made on the rock band Chicago will make its television debut at 5 p.m. Jan. 1 on CNN.
Pardini’s “Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago” will air with limited commercial interruption. The film premiered at the 2016 Sedona International Film Festival, where it won the Best of the Fest audience choice award.
“It’s gratifying to know that this many people will be watching for its premiere, especially on a day where most people are home. It makes me feel fortunate that I had a great crew and Chicago behind me to help make the best movie possible. I’m proud of it, and I think people are going to enjoy it,” Pardini says.
The filmmaker earned a degree in screen writing in 2010 from California State University, Northridge.
Originally, Peter Pardini was hired to shoot 11 days of behind-the-scenes footage in Nashville. He was later hired to travel with Chicago to 25 states, plus Rome, Paris and London.
Chicago has rocked the charts since 1967 with hits like “If You Leave Me Now,” “Saturday in the Park,” “25 Or 6 To 4” and “Make Me Smile.” The film begins with the band’s, which that included tours with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Performances are mixed with interviews with the band.