Evening news anchor Monty Torres will host “California Votes 2024,” airing weekly Sundays at 5 p.m. for 30 minutes. The show is scheduled to run through the November election.
“Our aim is to empower our viewers each and every week by cutting through the clutter, and bringing the audience important and in-depth information that will help prepare them to make informed voting decisions through the election year,” said KMPH FOX26 News Director Jim Jakobs.
When it debuts, “California Votes 2024” will be the only local politics show on the air.
Jakobs said in weeks that other programming (such as Fox Sports) airs at 5 p.m., the political show will air at a later timeslot.
“Sunday Morning Matters,” which last aired on KSEE-24 (NBC) in June, remains on hiatus. It could still return, but the fact that it is political season and the show is not on the air says something about its future.
Gearin Lands New Baseball Job
Former Visalia Rawhide broadcaster Jill Gearin announced she will call games for the Charleston Dirty Birds this season. The West Virginia teams plays in the Atlantic League, which is unaffiliated with the official Minor League Baseball system.
Gearin broadcast games for Visalia from 2019-2023, breaking the California League glass ceiling for announcers. She was also called up to the Big Leagues to broadcast a game for the Arizona Diamondbacks. She has several other baseball and softball assignments on her resume.
The Dirty Birds, in a news release, said Gearin will be “the first woman to be the main play-by-play announcer in the history of professional baseball in Charleston.”
She may be leaving Visalia at the right time. Recent media reports indicate a problem between Rawhide management and the city over who is responsible for renovating the stadium up to MLB standards. If the dispute isn’t settled, 2024 may be the last year of Visalia baseball.
Former Bee Writer Wins Second Sportswriter Award
Congratulations to Jeff Passan, who won the National Sports Media Association “Sportswriter of the Year” for the second time in three years.
Passan’s first full-time writing position came at The Fresno Bee, which hired him after he graduated from Syracuse. He covered Fresno State basketball.
His post-Fresno resume includes the Kansas City Star, Yahoo, and since 2019, ESPN.
Passan also won the award in 2021.
Jennifer Ortega Finishes at KSEE
Anchor/reporter Jennifer Ortega wrapped up at KSEE in December and is no longer on the air. She is headed for “parts unknown,” as she has not made any announcement about her future.
Ortega reported for about two years, after working in markets in Lincoln, Nebraska; Orlando, Florida; Jackson, Mississippi; and Columbus, Mississippi.