Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fmr. Chron staffer Alan Bernstein joins mayor's office

Former Houston Chronicle reporter, columnist and editor Alan Bernstein is going to work for Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Here is his part of the press release:

Mayor Turner also selected strategic communications leader Alan Bernstein to lead the Communications team.

Bernstein is a highly recognized change management executive who is uniquely qualified to synthesize information from trends, culture, survey data, news reporting and other sources into advantage-producing insights.

He has experience in media relations, crisis communications, social media tools, policy and executive messaging. He will fill the vacancy left by Janice Evans and has been filled by Interim Director Darian Ward since mid-April.

“I am familiar with Alan’s work in media relations, strategic planning and team building. He will be a welcomed addition to lead our communications team,” said Mayor Turner. “We are counting on his ability to develop a comprehensive and effective communications strategy highlighting my administration’s efforts to move Houston forward.”

Bernstein comes to the city from the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office. He was special assistant to Constable Alan Rosen, attracting worldwide coverage of selected cases handled by the agency. Previously as the director of Public Affairs with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Bernstein was in charge of media and government relations for the agency.

Bernstein’s background also includes 29 years of experience as a reporter, columnist and editor with the Houston Chronicle, largely covering local and national political campaigns and elections.

He was honored by the 2009 Texas House of Representatives for “Integrity, thoroughness, objectivity and attention to detail, characterized by strict adherence to the facts and a sharp wit.” Bernstein earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism at Northwestern University.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FOX 26's Dr. Jim Siebert could be in the next 'Partridge Family' only with real talent #hymnselfie

FOX 26 Chief Meteorologist Dr. Jim Siebert and family getting praise for heavenly voices

I always knew FOX 26 Chief Meteorologist Dr. Jim Siebert could bust a groove, but now he has even gone up a few more notes in my opinion.

Seems Dr. Siebert and his family are quite the acapella hymn singers.

In fact, their YouTube performance videos are racking up the views and getting them written up by LDS Living:

“One of the most beautiful expressions of the soul is acapella singing,” says Debbie. “And our hymnbook is compiled exactly for this. With the exception of just a few hymns, they are arranged for voice part singing. The hymns are sophisticated and simply stunning in their most raw form, just as they are when sung acapella in parts.”

Music is an important part of Debbie and Jim’s relationship. “My husband and I were in BYU Singers, so we began our relationship with singing,” Debbie shared. Singing continues to play a significant role in their marriage and family life, and they often sing together with their children.

“We sing a song each night before we pray (in parts), and sing spontaneously all the time (in parts). We have a great time. I have a testimony and have witnessed that singing together prevents contention and builds strength.”

Now I referenced The Partridge Family in the title. Of course that fictional TV group played instruments.

That got me thinking.

I'd like to perform with the Siebert's. The only problem, I can't sing.

Do you think they'd let me in for one video playing tambourine just like Tracy Partridge?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Greg Hurst lands new TV anchor gig

Post KHOU 11, longtime Houston anchor Greg Hurst WREG News Channel 3 Memphis, TN

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Now I wasn't posting back in March when Greg Hurst left KHOU 11. However I did post the big news on my Facebook page.

It was shocking.

Good news to report, Hurst has a new gig with WREG News Channel 3 Memphis, TN:

WREG News Channel 3, the number one station in Memphis, welcomes one new face and adds anchor responsibilities to a familiar one. Veteran newsman Greg Hurst joins the prime time news lineup, and Meteorologist Todd Demers becomes the permanent anchor at Daybreak, a role he has been filling on an interim basis since December.

Greg Hurst joins Stephanie Scurlock on the 5, 6, and 10PM news starting in July. Before joining WREG, Greg spent 10 years as an anchor at WABC in New York, and was most recently the primary anchor at KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston, Texas. His broadcast career started in Little Rock, but Greg has deep roots in Memphis.

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Evening anchor team Stephanie Scurlock and Greg Hurst. Photo: WREG

“In many ways, this is a homecoming,” Hurst said. “My wife grew up and went to school here. We got married in Memphis at the Quince Road Church of Christ. Our oldest daughter went to the University of Memphis, and now she, her husband and their beautiful baby—my granddaughter—live here. So I’ve always felt at home in Memphis. I look forward to continuing News Channel 3’s proud legacy of being the voice of the voiceless—the eyes and the ears—of those who deserve a seat at the table.”

Greg has been recognized for work on and off the news set, and has taken viewers with him around the world to see the streets of Baghdad, Iraq; the Kremlin in Moscow; and ruins of war in Vietnam. He’s been on the scene of some of the biggest stories in recent history, and he brings that trusted storytelling ability to the anchor chair in Memphis.

Todd officially joins Markova Reed on the anchor desk from 4:30-7AM weekdays, where he’s been filling in since December. He will continue to pull double duty, working at the weather desk too. He is the longest-serving morning meteorologist in Memphis, joining News Channel 3 in 1986. Todd has helped viewers plan their day on Daybreak, the number one Memphis morning newscast, since WREG launched the show.

“I’ve always loved doing both, and I’ve gotten to fill in several times over the years,” Demers said. “But it wasn’t until recently that I considered doing both jobs permanently. This gives me the chance to help people in and around Memphis in a variety of ways.”

President and General Manager Ron Walter said, “We are delighted to announce these changes. We welcome Greg to both the WREG family and the Memphis community. We were impressed by his extensive journalistic experience, but found his commitment to community involvement equally remarkable. He will embrace the Memphis story fully, in the same way we have come to expect from Todd Demers, who is just as good at telling news stories as he is at predicting and explaining weather.”

“Change can be a good thing, added News Director Bruce Moore. “Greg is a great newsman, but more importantly, his history of community service shows how much he cares. He and Todd are both experienced and engaging, and committed to making Memphis a better place.”

Greg Hurst joins Stephanie Scurlock, meteorologists Tim Simpson and Jim Jaggers, and sports anchor Glenn Carver as a team on July 3rd at 5, 6, and 10PM.

Todd continues in his dual role as Anchor/Meteorologist without delay. You can watch Markova Reed and Todd Demers with Traffic Reporter Corie Ventura every weekday starting at 4:30AM.

WREG-TV News Channel 3 is owned by Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching more than 50 million households, national entertainment network WGN America, whose reach is approximately 80 million households, Tribune Studios, and a variety of digital applications and websites commanding 60 million monthly unique visitors online. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM and the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds a variety of investments, including a 32% interest in CareerBuilder, LLC and a 31% interest in Television Food Network, G.P., which operates Food Network and Cooking Channel. For more information please visit

Here is the release the station put out with the announcement:

"From the office of Susan McEldoon, KHOU 11 President and General Manager
It is with mixed feelings that I share with you that Greg Hurst is leaving KHOU 11.
During his 18 years at KHOU, Greg has consistently delivered a high level of professionalism, preparation and passion to his anchoring duties.

Greg’s commitment to quality journalism often took him outside of the news studio and into the field. He’s reported live from the Gulf war battle field of Iraq, from national political conventions and he’s interviewed former presidents and other high-profile news makers during his tenure at the station.

When it comes to covering breaking news, Greg is one of the best in the business. He’s the consummate professional who takes great pride in doing his homework and being as prepared as possible to cover any major event, whether it be a hurricane or a plant explosion. Greg provided our viewers with the context and backstory they needed to help them make sense of a breaking news story.
He’s also been very active in “Standing for Houston” through his community outreach efforts. He volunteers his time to support many non-profit organizations in our area.

Greg’s last day at KHOU will be this Friday. He is excited about starting this next chapter of his life and we want to wish him the very best with his next endeavor."

Houston TV anchor subject of art show

CW39 KIAH Morning Dose Houston anchor Maggie Flecknoe inspiration for art show

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In all my years of blogging, I cannot remember posting about a Houston anchor being the inspiration for an art show, but now I can add that to my writing bucket list.

CW39 KIAH Morning Dose Houston anchor Maggie Flecknoe is the muse I'm talking about. Imagine you and me wearing berets and deconstructing works like the Mona Maggie, Anchor with a Pearl IFB or Eye Opener Gothic.

Before we go sample some wine and cheese...let's find out how the heck this happened!

It all started when Flecknoe covered the artists at the Rockstar Gallery.

CW 39’s Eye Opener and Maggie Flecknoe came out to ROCKSTAR on St. Patricks day, bright and early! Maggie featured the gallery and our “Luck of the Irish” art show live on TV that morning! It was truly a great experience, and all of the artists in the gallery at that time, felt a connection with her! We all want to do a special art show just for her, so we asked her some questions, and she answered!

This past weekend, those artists displayed their Flecknoe based work.

"Each one of these artists used me as their muse & created masterpieces out of questions I answered," Flecknoe posted. "It was truly magical to walk in Rockstar Gallery and see my life in art! I'm so humbled and touched!"

No word on when the paintings will be available for auction. Artist Cherie Salinas tweeted to me that she is the one to contact if you are interested in buying any of the Maggie Flecknoe paintings.

Now I would be remiss if I didn't mention that at least one other Houston TV personality has been featured in paint form. Maring Zindler has been immortalized in HMD STUFF & THANGS's Saint Marvin works. I own the t-shirt version!

As for what the heck is this “morning dose.” stuff replacing "Eye Opener" - well here you go:


Dallas, June 15, 2017 – Tribune Broadcasting today announced the launch of “morning dose.,” a first of its kind, live social “wake-up” show, in partnership with Dose, a top digital media agency that specializes in data-driven, shareable content. Hosted by television personalities Melissa Rycroft and Brandon London, and news anchor Laila Muhammad, “morning dose.,” will launch on June 29th and will feature compelling and timely news stories powered by Dose’s social storytelling and scientific method to create and distribute content.

“morning dose.” will air weekdays syndicated in six Tribune markets: KDAF/Dallas, KIAH/Houston, WPHL/Philadelphia, WDCW/Washington DC, WSFL/Miami and KRCW/Portland, OR.

Host Melissa Rycroft captured America’s hearts as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” in season 8 and was crowned champion of its all-star season in the 15th cycle of the long- running ABC program. Rycroft can currently be seen on CMT’s reality series "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team" as a mentor as she herself is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Rycroft’s television debut however was as a contestant on the ABC’s beloved show, “The Bachelor.” Rycroft has hosted reality-TV competition shows such as ABC’s "Bachelor Pad" and CMT’s "Redneck Island” and is a frequent contributor to both “GMA” and “Access Hollywood.”

Host Brandon London is a former NFL and CFL football player and New York Giants Super Bowl champion. Most recently, London was on-air conducting interviews & segments for various “Giants TV” shows on the MSG Network. He's also been seen as a co-host on “The Maury Show” and Esquire TVs “Car Matchmaker” among others.

“morning dose.” news anchor Laila Muhammad, is a seasoned journalist, host and television personality with more than a decade of experience. Muhammad was most recently host of Tribune Broadcasting’s daily news program “Eye Opener” which “morning dose.” will replace. Muhammad previously served as an anchor at WTKR/WGNT, Tribune’s CBS/CW affiliate in Norfolk.

Creative Consultant Rick Joyce, an award-winning showrunner, was formerly the Co-executive Producer of “Entertainment Tonight” and was previously the Executive Producer of “The List,” a lifestyle news magazine. He also developed and launched the digital platform

“Working with our partners at Dose we’ve developed a morning program that will go beyond the traditional broadcast treatment of ‘trending’ social content,” said Bart Feder, Tribune’s Senior Vice President of News. “The goal of ‘morning dose.’ will be to set the morning agenda by showcasing the content and advancing the stories that will drive the day’s social conversation.”

“The future of broadcast is data-driven creative and we’re excited to partner with Tribune to create a morning news show unlike any other,” said Dose CEO Emerson Spartz. “Dose’s technology minimizes the guesswork of identifying which stories and angles will resonate. For years, we’ve planned to adapt our process to TV, and it’s thrilling to finally be opening up these new frontiers of innovation in storytelling.”

“morning dose.” will air in the following markets:

KDAF/Dallas 5a-8a
KIAH/Houston 5a-8a
PHL/Philadelphia 6a-8a
WDCW/Washington DC 6a-8a
WSFL/Miami 6a-8a
KRCW/Portland, OR 6a-8a
Local time periods

For more information, please visit

The Deplorables' Guide to Fake News + TV News Grapevine blog is back!

The book that will finally kill fake news: The Deplorables' Guide to Fake News

Randy Tatano (aka The Grape) has lots of experience in news, from local TV to the national network level. Back in the day I used to go through his blog and link his headlines right here.

TV staffers loved it.

With his varied perspective, he was laying stuff out on the table no one else dared talk about.

Good news. After a blog hiatus, he's back writing on the TV News Grapevine blog!

Why has his blog been MIA for years?

Because this grizzled journalist started writing books. I've featured them over the years too. Mostly he is a fiction guy, but the last election really got him going. His scary as it all non-fiction. Yep, he's tackling the fake news sensation.

You might call this Fifty Shades of Gray Pantsuits.

Nope, this isn't a racy novel. But it's filled with dirty tricks.

It's the playbook used by biased reporters to promote an agenda... or a certain political candidate.

Yes, fake news has become an epidemic. But there is a cure.

Being able to recognize it. Along with the media people who are more interested in creating a narrative than presenting the public with actual facts.

The Deplorables' Guide to Fake News reveals the tricks of the trade... which are basically dirty ones played on the public by a biased media.

Because fiction isn't just for novels anymore.

Randy Tatano is a 30 year veteran of the television news business, having worked as a reporter, anchor and network field producer. He writes political thrillers as Nick Harlow, and romantic comedies for HarperCollins writing as Nic Tatano. He is the co-author of Eyewitness Newsman with television news legend Al Primo and the author of Broadcast Journalism Street Smarts.

He is a native of Stamford, Connecticut and now lives on the Gulf Coast.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Paul Berlin, Houston radio legend, passes away

Paul Berlin will be remembered as one of Houston's greatest broadcasters

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Paul Berlin interviewed in Dan Lovett's Houston radio documentary
When you think of the greats in Houston radio history, one of the first names to enter your mind has to be Paul Berlin.

Unfortunately, the news has been spreading around social media that Berlin has passed away. I believe he would have been around 86.

"He was a gentleman with the sunniest personality," former 740 KTRH reporter Tracee Evans told "I looked forward to seeing him walk in the building when I was at Clear Channel. He was a walking smile."

Brent Clanton has told me this Saturday night from 6pm-8pm on KSEV 700, the last station Berlin still played songs from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s on the weekends, broadcasting greats Scott Arthur, Walter Hammock and Ronnie Renfrow will air a special tribute to the Houston radio legend. (LISTEN HERE: Archived Berlin KSEV broadcasts)

UPDATE: The Texas Radio Hall of Fame will be streaming the KSEV broadcast tonight on its Facebook Group.

Berlin played everything from early rock n roll to big band on Houston stations such as:
- 1230 AM KNUZ
- 102.9 KQUE
- 700 KSEV
- 790 KBME
- Then back to 700 KSEV

So many great articles have been written about Berlin's life through the years, I am linking to some of the best, so you can reminisce about this fantastic broadcaster:

Paul Berlin says goodbye to loyal listeners
December 17, 2004
Louis B. Parks

At one time Berlin was the highest-paid disc jockey in the Houston area. He was offered a job at New York station WABC at $50,000 a year, a $10,000 raise, with the chance of doing TV, but he turned it down.

"I said, 'I've got three little boys. I'm making $40,000 right now, and I'm promoting rock 'n' roll shows. But most of all, I'm happy.' What price do you put on happiness?"

Berlin and Nezzie, his wife of 52 years, had five sons in all.

He's been a nominee for radio's Marconi Award. His face and voice are seen and heard in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He's in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. He's proud of the accolades, sure, but adds, "I can take a kick in the butt, too, for screwing up. I've done that." READ MORE

Paul Berlin has entertained listeners for 65 years
March 22, 2013
By David Barron

He also promoted concerts, beginning with big bands at the Plantation Ballroom on South Main, and owned two nightclubs, the Dome Shadows near the Astrodome and a short-lived location on Richmond. His acts ranged from the Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and Artie Shaw big bands to Nat "King" Cole, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, the Dave Clark Five and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Perhaps the biggest one, alas, got away in 1964. Berlin said he had just booked a show for Sonny and Cher when he received a call asking if he was interested in bringing the Beatles to Houston on that same date.

"I said I couldn't do it, and I asked them please not to bring the Beatles in on that date, because they would kill Sonny and Cher," Berlin said. "So they booked them in Denver."

Berlin tried to get the Beatles a year later, but KNUZ management insisted that promoters guarantee the Fab Four would show up without sending replacements. The promoter refused, and the Beatles' Aug. 14, 1965, shows at the Sam Houston Coliseum were sponsored by KILT. READ THE REST


Michael Garfield KPRC 950
"Sad loss. A legend indeed. Story time: when I started at Clear Channel in 2002 the KPRC studio shared a window with KBME Oldies. Paul was always doing his thing on-air while I was on the other side of the glass just learning radio. Talk about intimidating...staring at the legend whilst he stared back at me. He couldn't have been nicer. Always said "Hey, baby, what's shakin'? You're doing a great job. A superstar!" His stories were amazing. Nevah gonna be anyone like him. RIP, Pablo."

'Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen' coming to Houston and Dallas TV

“Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” coming to Houston and Dallas TV FOX owned stations

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No doubt “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” has been a hit on cable, so now the Bravo show is going to have a summer run on FOX owned TV stations in Texas.

“I'm thrilled our show has the opportunity to reach a broader audience at all hours of the day,” said Andy Cohen, Host and Executive Producer in an announcement.

If you are in the Lone Star State, you can watch the talk show on Fox 26 KRIV Houston at 11:30pm and KDFI 27 Dallas-Fort Worth at 9:30pm weeknights starting June 26th.

I understand some of the biggest names that have appeared on the 30-minute show will be guests on this summer preview.

“Once again, we’re making it a priority to provide fresh options for our viewers during the summer," said FOX Television Stations SVP Frank Cicha in a statement.

The show will run for four weeks on OTA TV.

Here is a description of the show:

"Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" is Bravo's late-night, interactive talk show that features guests from the world of entertainment, politics and pop culture. Hosted by Andy Cohen, the series has become a nightly destination for A-listers including Meryl Streep, Cher, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Lawrence, Mariah Carey, Will Ferrell and Gwyneth Paltrow. Whether “Pleading the Fifth” or “Opening The Vault,” endless memorable moments have been revealed as host Andy Cohen continues to challenge some of the biggest celebrities and Bravolebrities on the only truly live, interactive series in late night television.

Michelle Choi joins KHOU 11

Michelle Choi joins KHOU as MMJ from KTEN Sherman-Denison, TX

Michelle Choi

KHOU 11 has hired KTEN Sherman-Denison, TX (DMA 162) reporter Michelle Choi as its latest multi-media journalist and she is no stranger to Houston.

"I'm very excited that I get to finally be with my family," Choi told the KTEN audience on her last broadcast. "It's been, gosh, three years since I've been to Houston to live."

The Stratford High School grad was born in South Korea, but was raised in Houston since age three.

She received a degree in Business Marketing at the University of Houston, but the call to television journalism sucked her away from the world of Excel and office buildings.

Choi joined KTEN in 2015. Before that she was an associate producer with FOX 23 KOKI in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Just yesterday, I played catch up and blogged that Rose-Ann Aragon joined KPRC 2. - No One Gets You Closer

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Texas media wins big in national 2017 RTDNA Murrow Awards

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.

Listed below are the national 2017 RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award Texas media recipients, organized by market size/entry division.

Houston Press Club 2017 Lone Star Award Winners

Large Market Radio

Excellence in Social Media

KUT Social Media
Austin, TX

Excellence in Video

One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a Life - Jennifer Anderson
Dallas, TX

News Documentary

Texas Standard: Out of the Blue: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting
KUT - Texas Standard
Austin, TX

Small Market Television

Feature Reporting

A Labor of Love
Temple, TX

News Documentary

From the Ashes of Vietnam
Waco, TX

Large Market Television

Overall excellence

Fort Worth, TX

Breaking News

Dallas Officer Ambush
Fort Worth, TX

Excellence in Social Media

Houston, TX

Excellence in Sound

The Mariachi
Fort Worth, TX

Investigative Reporting

Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Investigating DCS
Fort Worth, TX


News 8 at 10: Dallas Police Ambush
Dallas, TX

Small Digital News Organization

Overall excellence

The Texas Tribune
The Texas Tribune
Austin, TX

Continuing Coverage
Bordering on Insecurity
The Texas Tribune
Austin, TX

Excellence in Social Media

A Sniper On Campus
The Texas Tribune
Austin, TX

Investigative Reporting

Hell and High Water
The Texas Tribune / Pro Publica
Austin, TX

Large Digital News Organization

Breaking News

Eight Hours of Terror
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, TX

Rose-Ann Aragon joins KPRC 2

WHILE I WAS AWAY: Rose-Ann Aragon joined KPRC 2 from WCPO 9 Cincinnati, Ohio

Rose-Ann Aragon

Back in the dark days of spring when I was hardly posting here, Houston got a new on air staffer.

Rose-Ann Aragon joined KPRC 2 from WCPO 9 Cincinnati, Ohio as a multimedia journalist.

Before WCPO, Aragon did a bit of everything as a reporter/photographer/fill-in anchor/fill-in producer at WEEK/WHOI-TV NBC News 25 ABC HOI-19 News Peoria, IL. While doing all of those gigs, she also trained photographers as the Multimedia Director of IMPULSE Magazine.

And here's where her bio gets interesting.

I always joke most reporters/anchors in a Stepford Wives manner prosaically write they like to run and play tennis.

Not Aragon.

She apparently co-founded a Filipino-American young professional network and co-coordinated the largest leadership development/community building Filipino-interest conference in the Midwest.

But that's not all. She also speaks Italian, loves old school jazz and is only recently retiring as the starting fullback in an all-girls football league.

Aragon earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.