There have been some major changes at KFTV (Channel 21.1) with two major cuts made to the news staff. The five employees who were laid off include longtime news director Sandy Sirias along with reporter and weekend anchor Francisco Mireles. The cuts also include one employee at the Fresno Univision radio station.
The local cuts are part of 100 positions eliminated from Univision stations across the country.
Jose Elgorriaga, KFTV vice president, general manager and director of sales for the station could not comment on the changes. A statement was released from Univision Communications Inc. that says:
“We recently took steps to realign key aspects of our local news, operations and sales organizations so that we can become more agile and better equipped to meet the needs of our community, audience and partners. The changes, which have resulted in some job eliminations also allow us to create new opportunities as our business and our audience’s needs evolve.”
Under the guidance of Sirias, a Fresno State graduate, KFTV picked up numerous regional Emmy Awards including the 2016 honor for Best Newscast-Evening-Medium Market among Spanish-language stations.
While with KFTV, Mireles won Emmys for his Investigative Report “Contaminados” and as part of the team in the Continuing Coverage-Within 24 Hours category for Terror en UC Merced.” Sirias was an executive producer for that story.
The reduction follows cuts made in November where more than 200 employees were laid off because of more than $30 million in revenue losses in the third quarter of 2016. More cuts and changes were made to Univision management in March including the combining of the programming and special events departments.
Monisha Mann has taken over the 7 p.m.-midnight weekdays time slot for B95, better known as Fresno’s Hip Hop and Hits station. It’s a bit of a homecoming as Mann began her radio career as an intern at B95.
“I am beyond excited and grateful for the opportunity to do nights in my hometown at B95,” Mann says in a press release. “I look forward to bringing new music to our listeners and I thank the team here in Fresno for believing in me to uphold the standards and ratings of this heritage station.”
Mann is a Central California native who returns to the Fresno market after working in Bakersfield.
Steve Weed, Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Fresno, calls Mann a “fierce competitor.”
In other iHeartMedia Fresno news, Teri Ann Schlesser has renewed her contract as co-host of the “Jason & Teri Ann Morning Show” that airs 5-10 a.m. weekdays on Soft Rock 89.9. She and co-host, Jason Hurst, talk about the latest trends in Hollywood and local news.
“I’m so excited to continue my journey with Soft Rock 98.9 and iHeartMedia,” Schlesser says. “The past eight years have been wonderful and challenging and I’ve never had so much fun doing what I love.”
Schlesser, a 30-year radio veteran, recently celebrated her eight-year anniversary with Soft Rock 98.9.
Clovis native Stephanie Harrison will be a contestant on GSN’s game show “Divided” airing at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13. She will be playing for a piece of the $85,000 potential jackpot.
She’s one of four contestants who must come to a consensus on the answers to each of the questions they are given. The trick is to come up with the answers as quickly as possible as the longer it takes, the more the jackpot is reduced. At the end, the last standing players have to agree who gets what part of the drastically unequal split of the money.