Alan Autry signs off the for the last time

FRESNO, Calif.

"To all the San Joaquin Valley and all of America and all of the world streaming live via -- welcome to the last Alan Autry Show."

With a studio filled with some of his favorite guests, Alan Autry bid farewell to his radio listeners Thursday morning. Many of his fans called in to reminisce and wish him well. "Wish you the best of luck and we're going to miss you on here."

Fresno's former two-time mayor never intended to stay on the air for two years. He says when he was initially offered the hosting job, he turned it down.

"The more I thought about it, the more I prayed about it," said Autry. "I realized this is probably where I need to be for about a year and keep releasing my voice out there in the political world."

A voice that was sometimes at odds with some of the valley's political and educational leaders.

Former Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Pete Mehas often clashed with Autry over his views on education reform. But says he eventually grew to admire him. "The thing I respected about Alan is he said we can defer in opinions but we can respect each other as human beings. And that is the only way we are going to get through these problems."

Autry will now to return to filmmaking, another platform that will allow him to continue advocating for the valley. He plans to build a movie studio in Fresno -- and his first film will focus on the area's homelessness.

"The cost of making films here is so much less, you get access to resources quicker faster here. I think we can be the faith and family based film capitol of the world."

As he signs off one last time, Autry says he'll miss hearing from listeners the most. "That was invigorating every day to hear back from people ..."

But he leaves the airwaves with no regrets, only more friends than he started off with. "Good lord willing and the creek don't rise, we'll see each other somewhere ... bye bye now."

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