KSRO has picked a fairly big name, and a surprising one, to anchor the morning news following the retirement of David Wesley Page.

Melanie Morgan goes on-air at the landmark Sonoma County AM on Monday.

She's best known as the conservative host of San Francisco's KSFO who mocked the science of man-caused global warming, played a leading role in the recall of Democratic governor Gray Davis and advocated that an ex-New York Times executive editor should have been tried for treason and, if convicted, executed for undermining national security by exposing government efforts to monitor international financial transactions for terrorist activity.

Once a just-the-facts reporter for KGO radio and TV, Morgan became a voice of the right and helped attract a large audience to the KSFO show she co-anchored with the late Lee Rodgers and later with Brian Sussman. But last July, the station declined to renew her contract.

She'll serve as KSRO's news director and co-anchor the a.m. show with the station's Tony Landucci.

Michael O'Shea, president of KSRO's parent company, Sonoma Media Group, counts on Morgan's "news savvy and ability to converse on topical matters" to "bring immediate sparkle to KSRO mornings."

Change is good, and we'll see how well this one plays in largely liberal Sonoma County. At least there will be no confusing Morgan in the morning with the afternoon's Steve Jaxon, our garrulous lord of the left.

NOW AND THEN: A long-dead Russian czar addressed and amused a class at SSU the other day.

Resplendent in a white military coat with a braid and epaulets of gold, Alexander III regaled a roomful of elders enrolled in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Channeling a late-in-life Alexander Romanov was instructor Alexis Melteff, a multi-lingual former SFPD officer who taught at San Francisco State and at Moscow's Pericles College.

At one point in the Q&A following his educational, in-character discourse, a silver-haired student inquired about the paramount lessons of Russia's Crimean War of the mid Nineteenth Century.

Believing the answer didn't go far enough, a second senior asked pointedly if there were aspects of that war that shed light on today's crisis in Crimea.

Alexander dismissed the question with a shake of his noble head.

"Today," he said, "is 1894."

WAIT FOR IT: Isaac Smith, who's 6 and dealing with a brain tumor, shared a joke with the Giants' Pablo Sandoval when they met one day at the UCSF hospital.

The Panda laughed hugely.

Isaac, who attends Santa Rosa's Olivet Elementary, also got the joke into a book of kids' humor. Sales of the <QA0>

"Little Book — Big Laughs" joke book, available on Amazon, help the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation to assist parents with the high cost of medical care.

So here's Isaac's joke: Why did Captain Hook cross the road?

To get to the 'second-hand' store!

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.)