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All you do is talk, talk, talk
Mike Briggs just wanted radio in his office.
People were doing that, listening to the radio at work, and being a news junkie he wanted in.
But there was something with the acoustics of the room that killed any reception. Plus, the stuff he wanted to listen to was dominated by guys like Rush Limbaugh and (locally) Ray Appleton. And yeah, Briggs counts himself on the right side of things (politically speaking), but he's all about choices, and local ones at that.
So, what's the guy do?
He starts his own station — puts it on the Internet and calls it Central Valley Talk.
To be fair, Brigg's kids were the techies that put it all together. They set up the computers and decided to bring in a video camera, because, if you're going to be an Internet broadcast station, you might as well go all in, right?
That was August of last year and since then the station has come into its own, with a full slate of programing — close to 20 show — broadcasting to almost 50,000 viewers.
That's not bad for what started with three shows, all done live inside of Brigg's office.
“If we could get up to 100 people watching at one time, we thought we were the shit,” says Chuck Leonard, who hosted one of those original shows. He now hosts “Central Valley Buzz,” from 4 to 6 p.m. each night.
The idea of Internet-based programming was a bit off putting at first, Leonard says. People didn't know what to do with it.
They thought cable access.
They thought “Wayne's World,” with the party-time and excellence and the woo-woo-woo.
But this is not that.
Well, not exactly.
It's not fancy. All of the shows are still done live, only the make-shift studio has been moved to a building behind Brigg's office. There's a desk and a couple microphones, two video cameras, a computer and not much else. The place is covered, wall to wall, with green sheets — which are removed digitally and replaced with all sorts of on-air backgrounds. Leonard uses a shot of the Tower Theater.
But it has a consistent schedule.
Two things that keep something like this going.
It also has some familiar faces.
* Duane Hansen — that Tower Bike guy — hosts the weekly “Tower TV,” which focuses on, yes, you guessed it, but keep reading anyway, the Tower District.
* Landon and Deon — famous as The Guys Who Like to Eat — host a not-so-late-night show, aptly titled, “The Not So Late Show.”
* Rebecca Caraveo — aka rockabilly Godess Cattie Ness — starts an arts and culture show tomorrow.
* Athena Matsikas — who's been a DJ on just about every radio station in Fresno — hosts a show on motherhood, even though she might be “the world's worst mother.” Those are Leonard's words, and we're pretty sure he's just kidding.
Eventually Briggs would like to have 24-hour-seven-days-a-week programming that could rival any station in town. It would all be live, and, more important, local.
“What we're about is Fresno.”