Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Simone Eli is new KPRC 2 weekend sports anchor

Simone Eli leaves Fox 10 WALA Mobile, Alabama for KPRC 2 weekend sports anchor chair

Simone Eli
Simone Eli
Sports director, anchor and reporter Simone Eli, who just left Fox 10 WALA Mobile, Alabama, started today at KPRC 2 today as the station's new weekend sports anchor/reporter.

Eli tells me she is excited about being in Houston.

"We're really excited that we got her out of Mobile and we think she will be a great asset," KPRC senior executive producer Rick McFarland tells "Not only does she have great sportscasting experience, but I think people are going to be interested in watching her."

Previously Eli worked as a sports photographer/reporter for BCSN/WTOL 11 in Toledo, Ohio from August 2012 – May 2013 according to her LinkedIn.

She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2012. While a student, Eli played on the Women’s Division 1 basketball team. On her personal website, Eli wrote she played on teams that won three Mid-American Conference Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012, appeared in two NCAA Tournaments and made two WNIT Tournament appearances. In one of those WNIT appearances her team advanced to the Sweet-16.

Eli wrote she is currently finishing her Master’s of Education in Human Movement, Sports and Leisure Studies.

(Thanks Taylor)

KTRK and ABC stations to start central master control hub

Following the NBC stations lead, ABC will hub master control operations

Alleged MIA management aside, sources at KTRK abc13 tell me the station's master control department is going the way of outsourced automation.

The staff announcement yesterday noted KTRK and other Disney ABC Television Group owned stations (like WABC, KABC, WLS, WPVI...etc.), will outsource master control operations to Encompass Digital Media, Inc. in Atlanta.

The NBC owned and operated stations started doing the same with Encompass back in 2011.

The change is expected to start in September along with a rumored ABC O&O traffic department hub in Philadelphia.

No word on how many jobs will be cut at the local stations as a result.

Fox 26 meteorologist arrested in the studio?

Mike Iscovitz in hand cuffs with Melissa Wilson in shock

OK, Fox 26 KRIV meteorologist Mike Iscovitz was indeed cuffed in the studio by Fulshear Police Officer Jen Covillo, but luckily it was only a stunt for social media. Officer Covillo was there talking about her "Super Safe Sunday Sundae" initiative.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tracy Clemons heads to KTRK abc13

MMJ Tracy Clemons leaves KSDK St. Louis for KTRK abc13

Tracy Clemons
Tracy Clemons 
Multimedia Journalist Tracy Clemons is leaving St. Louis' KSDK for Houston's abc13 KTRK he announced on Facebook Monday.

I'm assuming he will be an MMJ at KTRK.

"Now that my pastor knows, I can say publicly on social media that my last day at KSDK is Friday," Clemons posted on Facebook Monday. "My family and I are relocating to Houston, Texas. I've accepted a position at the ABC affiliate, KTRK."

Clemons has been with the Gannett station since August 2012. According to his LinkedIn profile, he previously worked at KSLA Shreveport as a reporter/anchor for two years. He got his television start at the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, Virginia according to KSDK's website.

Clemons is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland where he earned a masters degree in broadcast journalism.

No word on a start date in Houston.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Houston Press Club winners, SA anchor breaks down, plus more

- Female TV anchors showing more skin?
- Howard Stern fan pranks MSNBC’s Malaysian plane crash coverage with crude joke
- Newsroom baby shower surprise for Traffic Authority Michelle Merhar
- I just swallowed a fly
- Snake in the sales office
- This was a news story?
- Suck my what?
- But Didn’t You Say You Had Breaking News?
- KWES (Midland) marriage proposal
- TV Live Truck Mast Collapse Captured on Video
- Spider Becomes Latest in String of Creature Assaults on Meteorologists
- Reporter takes a pie to the face at the circus
- News 8 says goodbye to Danny Manley
- This Is SportsCenter - Metallica
- Houston's Art Rascon reports from Central America on ABC's This Week
- Mike Douglas Show with Star Wars cast (1977)
- NBC News Overnight - June 25, 1983 (Part 1 of 4)
- KENS 5 Eyewitness News Image Promo
- Bill Talylor KENS 5 First Alert Weather Image Promo

Lone Star Awards
The Houston Press Club presents its 2014 Lone Star Award winners.

The News will shut down paid website
As newspapers try new ideas to attract more digital readers in a changing media world, some are destined to stick and others to fail.

Direct from Hollywood, FOX Television Stations to Air Fresh New Entertainment Show, Hollywood Today Live
FOX Television Stations will air Hollywood Today Live a daily one-hour entertainment magazine show that delivers the hottest celebrity, red carpet and pop culture headlines, social media and red carpet coverage. Hollywood Today Live began July 14, and will air on top FOX Television stations in several markets like Dallas on FOX 4 from 2-3 p.m. and in Houston on MyNet 20 from 9-10 a.m.

Mary Benton gets her own day
Congratulations to former KPRC reporter Mary Benton. She officially has her own day in the city of Houston.
- Watch her in the city chamber
- PICS: Mary Benton's KPRC goodbye party packed with Houston TV celebs

Houston Chronicle Live Tweeted the Stay Funeral
The Chron sent not one but two reporters who live tweeted the funeral, complete with photos.

HOUSTON-GALVESTON: The Song Remains The Same
Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive June PPM Analysis For Houston.

Sports Radio 610 misplayed Travis Johnson
Houston Media Watch puts money on former Texans first-round draft pick, Travis Johnson.

The Daily Craig
Odd Request From a Former Co-Worker

$100,000 in 10 weeks? No problem for one young fundraising femme
Former TV reporter Hasti Taghi raised $107,000 to win the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Woman of the Year" honors.

Radio host resolves legal dispute with AM station
The legal dispute between Houston radio host Michael Harris and his on-again-off-again boss, KCOH 1230 AM president Jesse Dunn, has been resolved.

Houston teen will compete on ‘Jeopardy!’ for $75K
William Golden, 13, is a 7th grade student at Harmony School of Excellence in Houston and will be participating in the tournament.

Get ready for Houston Restaurant Weeks
Brunch is on the menu for the highly anticipated annual food fest known as Houston Restaurant Weeks.

Barbizon Updates Houston’s Telemundo Lighting
For KTMD-TV Telemundo in Houston, TX the challenge was to take a brand new space with video walls, LCD displays and Chroma-key elements and design a daylight balanced, fully functioning studio that was easy to maintain without causing delay in the studio’s packed programming schedule.

Former KPRC reporter Brendan Keefe gets new gig
Brendan Keefe to Leave WCPO for WXIA and Gannett Teaching Gig

Popular KSAT anchor breaks down in tears over child injury reports
Who says journalists have no heart? An anchor for KSAT-TV Channel 12 in San Antonio was overcome with emotion during a newscast.

S.A. anchor’s TV swan song — and upcoming book
Jacqueline Ortiz is waving goodbye to 16 years of newscasting/reporting to devote more time to her family. As it turns out, however, her own children, ages 6 and 9, aren’t the only young people who will benefit from her newly freed-up energies.

Meteorologist who sued KXAN lands new job
A meteorologist who filed a racial discrimination suit against KXAN after she was let go by station management has landed a new job with a nationally televised cable network.

Gannett completes acquisition of six London Broadcasting Company TV stations from SunTx Capital Partners
Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of six of London Broadcasting Company's television stations in Texas for $215 million in an all-cash transaction.

Lazy TV anchors are just doing what the job description says
Nexstar owned KAMC and KLBK (Lubbock) have posted a job for main Anchors. Now, if you're thinking this is a job you can do, you better think again.

John Walton-Owned KFFX To Air Walton & Johnson Morning Show
yndicated Classic Rock and Talk morning show WALTON AND JOHNSON picks up KFFX/BEAUMONT-PORT ARTHUR, TX, which coincidentally is owned by show host JOHN WALTON.

Texas Cable Operator Fined $2.25 Million for Retrans Violation
A Texas cable operator has been fined $2.25 million for violating retransmission consent rules. The Federal Communications Commission issued the Forfeiture Order this week to TV Max of Houston for “willfully and repeatedly” violating Section 325 of the Communications Act “by retransmitting the signals of six Houston, Texas area full-power commercial television broadcast stations without ‘the express authority’ of the originating stations.”

Texas Monthly names new editor in chief
Texas Monthly has named Brian Sweany its next editor-in-chief.


Kuyk Logan
The Hobby family brought Kuyk Logan to Houston in 1969 as assistant managing editor of The Houston Post. He was named managing editor in 1976, a job he held until the paper was sold in 1983. From there, he became managing editor of news at the Houston CBS affiliate, KHOU-TV.

Charles "Chuck" Paul Pharris Sr.
Charles “Chuck” Paul Pharris Sr., 85, of Marietta died Friday, July 11, 2014. He joined KPRC-TV in Houston in 1956 as chief cameraman. He was later named Director of Newsfilm Operations, and became a member of NPPA. Chuck and the KPRC staff won several NPPA and AP awards for spot news and features, and in 1962 KPRC was named “Newsfilm Station of the Year.”

Young Telemundo employee killed in car wreck during holiday trip
A Houston family is mourning the loss of a young woman killed in a car crash out of state. Vanessa Morales was an employee at the Telemundo TV station in Houston.

Former KHOU 11 reporter Brad Woodard remembered
Friends gathered Saturday to remember the life of former KHOU 11 reporter Brad Woodard. Those in attendance included Jeff McShan, Carolyn Mungo, Greg Groogan, Chau Nguyen, former KHOU news director Keith Connors and wife Karla Barguiarena, Woodard's two sisters and many current and former KHOU employees.

- Courtney Zubowski leaving KHOU 11
- PICS: Mary Benton's KPRC goodbye party packed with Houston TV celebs
- Ashley Paredez anchored at FOX 7 KTBC Austin
- Darby Douglas' father dies hours before his KHOU return
- Rhonda Errer LaVelle is new KPRC 2 news director

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rhonda Errer LaVelle is new KPRC 2 news director

KPRC made it official: Rhonda Errer LaVelle is new KPRC 2 news director

Rhonda Errer LaVelle
Rhonda Errer LaVelle
Rhonda Errer LaVelle is the new KPRC 2 news director a station source has confirmed.

LaVelle came to the Post-Newsweek aka Graham Holdings station earlier this year as assistant news director.

Since May, LaVelle held the interim ND duties after former news director Deborah Collura bolted for the general manager gig at WCNC Charlotte.

Before Houston, LaVelle worked at sister station WDIV Detroit for 16 years. She left there as an executive producer.

According to her LinkedIn profile, LaVelle attended Central Michigan University.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Darby Douglas' father dies hours before his KHOU return

Darby Douglas' father dies after long illness

Darby Douglas
Darby Douglas
Just as Darby Douglas was set to return to the KHOU 11 morning traffic chair Monday morning after five years away, tragedy struck his family.

Hours before the morning news, Douglas' father passed away Sunday after a lengthy illness according to an internal KHOU 11 memo obtained by

As you saw, Douglas still made his debut and plans to be there the rest of the week.

"No one expects this kind of personal sacrifice, but we thank Darby for his commitment," wrote KHOU 11 Executive News Director Philip Bruce in the memo. "Please let him know that he and his family, including his mother, are in our thoughts and prayers."

I reached out to Douglas, but did not hear back from him which is totally understandable in this case. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ashley Paredez anchored at FOX 7 KTBC Austin

Ashley Paredez named new FOX 7 KTBC Austin weekend anchor

Ashley Paredez
Ashley Paredez
Ashley Paredez has been named weekend anchor for “FOX 7 News Edge,” announced Pam Vaught, the station’s Vice President and News Director. Effective immediately, Paredez will anchor the Saturday and Sunday newscasts at 5 and 9 p.m.

In making the announcement, Vaught stated, “During Ashley’s tenure filling in on the weekend newscasts, it was clear she was the best choice to be our weekend anchor. She connects with our viewers and is always looking for stories that will have an impact on our community.”

Most recently, Paredez has been reporting for KTBC on “FOX 7 News Edge.” Prior to that, she served as a morning anchor, reporter and executive producer for KFDA-TV in Amarillo, TX.

Added Paredez, "Since interning at FOX 7 Austin in 2008, I knew this is where I wanted to work. Becoming a reporter here was a dream come true. Becoming the weekend anchor is more than I could have ever imagined."

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Paredez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by the FOX Television Station group)

Monday, July 14, 2014

PICS: Mary Benton's KPRC goodbye party packed with Houston TV celebs

See all the Houston TV news stars who showed up to celebrate Mary Benton's KPRC 2 career

Mary Benton
Mary Benton
Saturday night at Cafe Adobe Marq*e Center, 20 year veteran KPRC 2 reporter Mary Benton said goodbye to a packed house of friends, Houston TV colleagues and competitors. There was even a surprise appearance by Houston rapper Bun B.

Benton announced she will be working as a public information officer for Harris County.

In early July, Benton announced she would be leaving channel 2 and TV. No doubt, she will be missed.

Above are my photos from the event in a slideshow. If you can't see that for some reason, click here to see them on flickr.

Isiah "Factor" Carey AKA The Insite showing his blogging prowess, got video (embedded below) and has been throwing multiple picture posts up on his blog. SEE THEM HERE

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Courtney Zubowski leaving KHOU 11 Exclusive: KHOU 11 I-Team reporter Courtney Zubowski will be investigating life outside of TV news

Courtney Zubowski
Courtney Zubowski
After six years, KHOU 11 I-Team investigative reporter Courtney Zubowski is leaving the CBS affiliate and the TV world.

"It has been a difficult decision, but after significant consideration, I have decided to leave my KHOU family to pursue new and exciting opportunities," Zubowski told "I am grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I've had at Channel 11."

Originally starting at KHOU as a general assignments reporter, Zubowski joined the 11 News I-Team in July of 2012.

The award winning reporter came to Houston from former Belo sister station KTVK in Phoenix. Before that she both anchored and reported at KFDM Beaumont.

She is graduate of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication, but is a Houston girl at heart. How do I know? We sat next to each other in second grade! According to Zubowski's bio, years later she got her broadcasting start by anchoring the news for fellow students at Bellaire High School!

Zubowski will be out the Gannett station's door later this month.

So what will Zubowski be up to now concerning those "new and exciting opportunities?" A source close to Zubowski tells me that starting a family might be in the cards. Zubowski was married to Dr. Eric Haas last year.

Here I thought it was going to be a slow summer concerning Houston media, but in the last week I've blogged that KPRC's Mary Benton is also leaving TV and Katherine Whaley first told me she's also leaving KHOU 11.

Here is the internal memo that went out to the KHOU 11 staff from KHOU 11 Executive News Director Philip Bruce:

She’s always been one of our go-to reporters, whether we needed someone to crack open a scandal or bounce on a trampoline for the debut of our brand-new 4pm newscast. Courtney Zubowski is a great team player, most recently as one of our I-Team reporters, where she did some EMMY award-winning investigative work. Now, Courtney tells me she wants to try something new for a while---life outside of TV news. And while I would love her to stay here forever, I totally understand her desire to shift gears and have a normal life for a change. Her last day at KHOU will be later this month. We’ve loved having her in our newsroom and on our air---Courtney’s a game changer. Very sorry to lose her day to day, and she knows this. But Courtney also knows she has all our support and best wishes for whatever comes next.