Rick Bentley

Matt Johnson, Nick Papagni returning to 940 ESPN

Matt Johnson, left, and Nick Papagni will host the “Rise Show” from 3-6 p.m. Thursdays on 940 ESPN.
Matt Johnson, left, and Nick Papagni will host the “Rise Show” from 3-6 p.m. Thursdays on 940 ESPN. 940 ESPN

Edison High School football coach Matt Johnson and Nick Papagni , a member of the 1977 Bullard High baseball team that’s in the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame, have been hired by One Putt Broadcasting to host “The Rise Show,” a three-hour program to be broadcast 3-6 p.m. Thursdays on 940 ESPN.

The first broadcast is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1.

This is a return to the local sports station for the pair. In June 2013, 940 ESPN partner Chris Pacheco let Papagni and Johnson go after four years of reporting on local high school sports. Pacheco – owner of KFIG (AM 940) and KFPT (AM 790) at the time – said the change was made because of “irresponsible reporting.”

Pacheco says he is happy to get past events of the past and “rekindle a relationship” with Johnson and Papagni. He has great praise for their abilities and knowledge of local sports.

Bringing the team back means other changes at the station. Back when the pair was let go, Pacheco put together a new team to cover high school sports with Christian Lukens and Marc Q. Jones. The latter had been hosting a “Rise” show by himself noon-2 p.m. Thursdays.

Jones has been moved to join Paul Loeffler in covering Fresno State basketball starting in December. Jones has worked as a consultant to NBA teams and as a motivational speaker at high schools and universities for more than 20 years.

Johnson says “The Rise Show” will continue its focus on high school athletics through interviews with athletes, coaches, athletic directors and California Interscholastic Federation officials. It will be broadcast live from the 940 ESPN Zone inside Fashion Furniture.

The new show for Papagni and Johnson means the end of their weekly two-hour live call-in sports talk program, “The Nick and Matt Show,” on The Answer. The program launched in April on the local talk radio station.

One Putt Broadcasting is a local company that owns 940 and 790 ESPN, 95.7 The Fox, New Rock 104.1, Jewel FM, Rewind 105.5 and 1430 KYNO.

Travel time

The documentary “Fresno to Fiji,” produced by Fresno State mass communication and journalism professor Jes Therkelsen and four students who traveled to Fiji in 2015, was broadcast Sunday, Aug. 21 on Valley PBS.

If you would like to see the film, it’s available on demand on the PBS website.

The film documents an international service-learning study trip to Fiji in 2015. Twenty Fresno State students, including four from the Mass Communication and Journalism Department, made the trip.

The students aided development in Fiji and engaged in the community through village events, sports, games and educational opportunities. Participants experienced local food, local accommodation and daily life as they were immersed in the culture.


New episodes of “Powerpuff Girls” will begin airing on Cartoon Network starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. The episode “Odd Bubbles Out” has Bubbles becoming jealous of Donny’s new friend.

Clovis West High graduate Amanda Leighton is the voice of Blossom.

Other new episodes will air Sept. 8 plus Sept. 19-23.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1