Rick Bentley

CBS47 looking for chief meteorologist; local TV survey underway

Fresno-born Bridgette Dunning talks to host Julie Chen on double eviction night on the CBS reality competition show “Big Brother.”
Fresno-born Bridgette Dunning talks to host Julie Chen on double eviction night on the CBS reality competition show “Big Brother.” CBS

After being out of the office for more than two weeks with the Television Critics Association summer press tour, it’s time to do a little catching up with local TV happenings.

CBS47 is searching for a replacement for chief meteorologist Scott Mace who said farewell to viewers at the end of May. Mace left the local TV station to purchase a small business in Northern California and is no longer working in television.

In a posting on its website, station owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group says it’s looking for a weather team leader with five years of experience.

Mace’s departure is just another reminder to all of you who see conspiracies at every turn: The fact a local anchor or reporter is not on the air during the summer months doesn’t always mean they have been fired. In fact, most of the time they are on vacation.

There are other reasons, too. For instance, ABC30’s Liz Harrison and FOX26’s Erik Rosales were each out a few days because of some minor health issues. Station management by law cannot discuss any details on such matters.

And then there’s Rich Rodriguez, who has been moved to a weekday role as political expert for KMPH.

Survey says …

Central San Joaquin Valley viewers are lucky that they have so many over-the-air TV options available free to anyone who has an antenna.

Now FreeTVFresno.Com is looking for some information on local viewing trends. The online site is asking local TV watchers to participate in the “Central Valley TV Viewership Survey” through Saturday, Sept. 10.

The survey will help content providers evaluate shifts in TV viewing habits here, says Mark Shirin, president/CEO of Ventura Broadcasting Company. You can fill out a survey at www.freetvfresno.com/survey.

Survey questions include how you watch your favorite programming, if you pay for both cable and a streaming service and whether cable users also have an antenna to watch free local TV.

Out of the house

The run for a $500,000 payday has ended for Fresno-born Bridgette Dunning on the CBS reality competition show “Big Brother.” After a couple of close calls, the traveling nurse was eliminated.

Just days before Dunning got voted out of the game, I ran into “Big Brother” host Julie Chen at a CBS party. She talked about how Dunning was different than any other player in 18 seasons of the show, and how she was concerned about Dunning’s future because she had been involved with so many different alliances.

Speaking of which, Chen says she’s always surprised that players are shocked when their alliance doesn’t back them and they get eliminated.

“Everyone in there is playing a game and they all want to win the money,” Chen says.

The reality show airs 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays and 9 p.m. Thursdays on CBS47.

On the road again

The search has started for contestants for a new reality show, “Parent Trip,” that offers those with “wild and fun personalities” the chance to go on the best trip of their life.

Here’s the catch: You have to bring your parents. The idea is to rip the parents from the routine of their daily lives and throw them into a massive adventure.

The production company says it’s looking for contestants ages 18-24 who are not afraid of anything. If this sounds like you, go to www.ParentTripCasting.com.

Other news

Salute: The National Park Service is 100 years old. The Smithsonian Channel will celebrate the centennial with “America’s National Parks at 100” debuting at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1