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George Mason, a host of FM89's Clearly Classical, is a longtime presence on the airwaves of Central California, in both radio and television. George has spent the last 29 years here in the Valley, though he says he’s still thawing out after 40 years of Michigan and Ohio winters. He got his start as a cue card boy at age 16. Soon after, he took on a midnight on-air shift for a Detroit FM station. George later served in Vietnam, in 1967, and in Thailand in 1968.
His years working in radio, including time in Detroit in the mid-1960’s, would lead to opportunities in television, as he soon was doing weather for stations in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. George came to the Valley in 1983, when he took a job at KSEE, channel 24 in Fresno. It was that year that he began listening to Valley Public Radio as well. In Fresno, George would meet his wife, Toom, who now works as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at VA Hospital in Fresno. “It is profoundly humbling what they know and do,” George shared.
George became a part of the FM89 team in 1990, when he began working as a night and weekend announcer. From 2000 until 2005, he was the station’s Morning Edition announcer, and since 2010 has been enjoying semi retirement, while doing some part-time announcing for the station. George says that when it comes to his past work in television news and weather, “I’m happy to put that identity behind me, with its requirement for suit and tie, makeup, anchor chit-chat, and having to smile at a camera when you sometimes don’t feel like it.” He enjoys the challenge of learning on the job, and feels that “you can never know enough about classical music composers and I find it impossible to understand how they could do what they did.”
Hear recorded broadcast performances of the Fresno Philharmonic from the stage of the William Saroyan Theatre. The broadcasts typically air on the second Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. following the Orchestra's Masterworks concerts. The station also regularly features interviews with Philharmonic guest artists and Maestro Theodore Kuchar.
2013/2014 Broadcast Schedule*
The world of classical music comes to you each weekday with Valley Public Radio's Clearly Classical. Hear selections from FM89's music library ranging from favorites like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to lesser known composers of the classical era. Hosted by Kristina Herrick, George Mason and Jason Scott. You can hear Clearly Classical on FM89 from Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. till 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m., except on Tuesdays, when Valley Edition airs from 9:00 a.m. till 10:00 a.m.
The San Joaquin Valley is home to some of the most talented young musicians you'll find anywhere. Young Artists Spotlight gives these musicians, ranging from junior high through college the opportunity to perform live on the radio, and share their passion for classical music with the FM89 audience. The live performances take place each Spring, direct from the Bonner Performing Arts Studio. The programs can be heard Wednesdays at 3:00 PM from February through April. Young Artists Spotlight is hosted by George Mason.
Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation; Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis.