Rick Bentley

‘0 to 5 in 30 Minutes!’ digs deeper with panels

The seventh season of the locally produced “0 to 5 in 30 Minutes!” — starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight on KVPT (Channel 18.1) — will feature a slight change.

Over the first six seasons, each episode has looked at multiple topics. The difference this season is that four of the 24 episodes will be devoted to a single topic discussed by an on-camera panel of experts.

“These half-hour panel shows will look at topics like body image, father involvement, early childhood mental health and postpartum depression,” says producer Claudia Solis-Alcala.

She says the panelists agree that something as simple as derogatory family nicknames — while they might sound funny — can become ingrained in youngsters and affect their development. This panel discussion will be broadcast April 8.

The series has looked, over six seasons, at a variety of topics about raising children in each show: childhood obesity, autism, the loss of a parent, school readiness, etc. The series is a great way for parents to get help dealing with the important job of raising their child.

Former TV anchor turned radio reporter Juanita Stevenson is the host.

Work on the current season started in September, and 10 episodes have been finished. Production will continue into June.

If you miss an episode, they can be seen in the KVPT video player at video.kvpt.org, and each episode repeats on KVPT at 10 a.m. Sunday.

In passing

Gene Chenault, who along with Bill Drake built KYNO (AM 1300) into a dominant radio station in the ’60s, died Feb. 23 from complications related to lymphoma. He was 90.

Central San Joaquin Valley residents of a certain age grew up listening to the “Boss Radio” format that had less talk and more music.

“As a radio broadcaster, Gene had a great sense for talent. He was relentless in his pursuit to hire Bill Drake as program director of KYNO. And a few years later, the two had a national reputation for developing ‘Boss Radio’ and the largest radio syndication company in the country,” says current KYNO owner John Ostlund. “As a community leader, Gene was equally committed, serving on a number of boards, including the Fresno Philharmonic. He will be remembered by many as one of the greatest radio broadcasters of all time.”

Some will remember him as a boss. Chenault hired former Fresno Bee writer and editor Lanny Larson as a news reporter while Larson was still in college.

“He guided with a firm but understanding hand, which was good because you make a lot of mistakes trying to learn. I remember he didn’t even get too upset when I damaged our VW Micro Bus remote studio trying to find a school where my job was to tape a choir singing Christmas music,” Larson says. “Gene gave a lot of us a start or encouraged our careers.”

Other news

Anchors away: Kathryn Herr is leaving the weekend anchor chair at KGPE (Channel 47.1) after nine years to become a weekday reporter for the local CBS affiliate. KGPE vice president and general manager Linda Dana says Herr asked to make the change, which she says she was happy to do because Herr is such a solid reporter.

Alicia Coates, who was hired in July, will take over as the weekend anchor starting Saturday.

* New radio show: “The Flavors of the Valley” launches at 10 a.m. Sunday on KFSR (FM 90.7). The show will showcase the diverse food culture and agricultural heritage of Central California. James Collier, founder and editor of TasteFresno.com, is the host.

* Special tribute: Local radio stations KKBZ (FM 105.1) and KHIT (FM 107.1) will stage a benefit concert for the families of Fresno County Deputy Sheriff Joel Wahlenmaier and Reedley police officer Javier Bejar. The concert will be noon-5 p.m. Sunday at the Sierra Vista Mall Community Park.

Six Ounce Gloves, Strange Vine and Damaged Goods are scheduled to perform. The event is free to the public, but donations will be collected for the families of the officers.

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