AUDIO: While I'm away from blogging and posting Houston media news on my Facebook page, go listen to an interview I did on Black Coffee Radio about Houston TV and the Rock 101 KLOL Documentary!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dave Ward to sign off KTRK abc13 6pm news, May 2nd

Tuesday, May 2nd, Dave Ward will appear on channel 13's 6pm newscast for the last time

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It's been said the final goodbye is the hardest one to say. That notion will soon be put to the test as Dave Ward is about to officially sign off from the abc13 KTRK anchor desk for the last time a source has told me.

You heard it here first...Tuesday, May 2nd, Ward will appear on channel 13's 6pm newscast for the last time. He has been preparing his goodbyes to his loyal channel 13 viewers.

This goodbye was supposed to happen last December, but Ward was hospitalized just a week before his 13 goodbye.

After his recovery, Ward has certainly not slowed down. He has been making appearances around town for charities and of course being honored for his esteemed TV career.

In fact the day after he signs off from the KTRK newsdesk, Ward will be honored by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. His ceremony will take place in front of Houston City Hall (May 3, 11am). The public is welcome to show up and show support for their favorite news anchor.

And notice that I have never used the word "retire." That idea is not in Ward's mind. I've been following his Dave Ward's Houston Facebook page and can foresee a new chapter ahead for this TV free agent. I mean come one, after 50 years at KTRK, I think he has this TV thing figured out!

Dave Ward full coverage

Now back to my documentary work...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

New KPRC 2 set and newsroom photos and video #TVnews

New KPRC 2 building is open for business with first broadcast from studio this week!

It's not everyday that a Houston TV station gets a brand new building (including an ultra modern studio set and newsroom) so I'm back with this one post during my blog hiatus. My Facebook page and Twitter followers saw the above video first on Monday, and now I'm posting the photos here.

KPRC 2, the station we're talking about, invited me in last Friday to document the process as crews put the final touches on the studio and a few of the news personnel were moving into the new newsroom.

In fact, as you will see in the video, I caught main anchor Bill Balleza in the act of unpacking his belongings. I learned we both share a love of Dr Pepper 10.

"This is the fourth building that I've worked in in 46 years and the first brand new one," Balleza told

PHOTOS: See pictures from inside the new KPRC building

The building sure has come along way since I gave you a tour of KPRC's new home under construction at the time back in January. Back then, general manager Jerry Martin, news director Dave Strickland and I had to wear hard hats just to take a tour.

Michael Wright, owner and creative director of WrightSet, designed the new studio set and Houston-based 2020 Exhibits had the job of building it.

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The new set looks great in person, so I am excited about seeing it on TV. It's very futuristic with lots of giant monitors (including one that has an angle in the middle of it as it wraps around the wall), a movable monitor wall and lots of LED lighting.

"The statement that Graham's making and that Emily [Barr] (President & Chief Executive Officer of Graham Media Group) was making is Houston is a very important part of our station group," GM Martin told me in January. "And that they're investing in the future, and they believe in broadcasting."

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The thing you will notice in the rest of the building is the amount of space. I've seen my fair share of TV stations and this is one of the few that doesn't feel cramped. The huge windows and sunlight shining through certainly helps. The overall design of the station is modern with a retro vibe running through it. And speaking of retro, channel 2 has lots of history as you know, and that will be featured in shelves and wall decorations.

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The new studio should debut on the 4pm news this Thursday. The old building will eventually be torn down and become a parking lot.

"It was a great building, and I'm not trying to say anything about the architecture or this building, but it just doesn't lend itself to 2016 broadcasting," Martin admitted to me earlier this year. "So, normally I think what would've happened is we would've just rehabbed this building, done a serious rehab. And we looked at that. But at the end of the day, we ended up with, a better building, but not a great building. And when we looked at building one in our own parking lot and we did the math on it, the difference between rehabbing this one the correct way and a new building, it wasn't too much of a difference."

- FULL COVERAGE: New KPRC 2 studio building for 2017
- New KPRC building moves channel 2 into 21st century
- KPRC 2 to get a new station, plus secret of current building
- KPRC 2 new studio construction begins

Thanks for all the concern as to why I am not currently blogging. I appreciate the support. I'm taking a break to finish my Rock 101 KLOL documentary. My report on that is things are moving along. Gathering video to fill all the holes. Thanks to everyone who has helped out.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

On my quest to finish 101 #KLOL documentary

You can have a shirt like this at
I realized if I am ever going to finish my Rock 101 documentary, then I need to either stop writing this blog for a spell or ship my children off. Well, my children are heading to Hobby today at clearly I need to cut back on the old blog.

The Houston and Texas media party will still continue on my social media accounts. Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what's going on while I'm away from here.

And just because I'm not currently posting, doesn't mean you have to stop dropping by here. I have a Houston news page updating stories 24 hours a day, the same for a media news page, a page with Houston media member tweets and a Texas TV jobs page.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Samantha Ptashkin leaves KPRC

KPRC 2 multi-media journalist (MMJ) Samantha Ptashkin has left KPRC 2

KPRC 2 multi-media journalist (MMJ) Samantha Ptashkin has left the station after three years.

No word on a new job as of yet, but I hear from multiple sources she is moving to be closer to her family.

Hopefully she'll provide us with an update.

Ptashkin, which is pronounced P-tash-kin, arrived to Houston from KVOA News 4 Tucson.

According to her bio, she previously worked for Fox 11 KMSB-TV Tucson as a reporter and weekend anchor and a reporter and noon show anchor at WREX-TV in Rockford, IL.

She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Chita Craft baby update


Chita Craft's baby is here. From her Facebook page:

Welcome Les William Craft 💙 Born 3/3/17 9 pounds 15 ounces and 22.5" long. Delivery was HARD- no one prepared me!!!! But I would do it a million times to welcome him! We are both so in love!

PICS: Chita Johnson and Lane Craft wedding photos #ChitaGetsCrafted

KHOU 11 morning meteorologist Chita Craft announces maternity leave

Can you believe it's almost time for the Chita Craft to have her baby?

"Last day of work for 3 months and my hubby came in to surprise me," Craft wrote on Facebook. "Our baby coming soon!"

Looks like meteorologist Kailey Carey is filling in for Craft. She writes on Twitter, "Back in my hometown! Excited to help out @KHOUweather while @chitakhou is on mat leave! Tune into @KHOU tmrw morning 7am #Houston."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lily Jang to return to Houston TV

Former KHOU morning anchor Lily Jang to produce documentary for Houston Public Media TV 8 KUHT

Former KHOU morning anchor Lily Jang has announced she will be working with Houston Public Media (TV 8 KUHT) on producing a documentary about Vietnamese refugees that came to Houston after the Vietnam War.

Jang, who was born in Vietnam, and whose family made the journey to Houston themselves, will have a unique look on the subject.

She and a KUHT crew will travel to Vietnam to document her family's history.

This local look at Vietnam will be aired in tandem with THE VIETNAM WAR, a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS in September 2017.

Jang left KHOU last December where she had worked since 2012.

Houston Public Media sent me a synopsis of what Jang will be working on:

Lily will travel to Vietnam to show the vibrant culture of the country today. They will meet expats from Houston including a fashion designer who started “Project Runway Vietnam.” He’ll show the crew the youthful and edgy fashion scene in Vietnam. They will meet an advertising executive who lives a global existence: raised in the Texas Hill country, he now works in Vietnam, has a son in Norway and a home in Houston. Lily will also experience the street food scene from the back of a moped on a “Back of the Bike” foodie tour, where she’ll surely look for the best banh-mi and pho in Saigon. Lily will also journey back to the street where she was born and share the incredible trails that her family experienced making their way to America. It will be a personal journey full of joy and excitement.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rashi Vats has a baby

FOX 26 KRIV reporter Rashi Vats and KHOU 11 sports reporter Daniel Gotera have a baby boy

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I told you last October how FOX 26 KRIV reporter Rashi Vats and KHOU 11 sports reporter Daniel Gotera were expecting.

Well their baby boy has arrived. No word if he is already credentialed for Texans practice at White Sulpur Springs yet.

"Meet my new man," Vats wrote on Facebook. "Rian Lincoln Gotera was born 2/11/17! Daniel and I are so in love!!! Still can't believe I'm a MOM! What!"

"I'm proud to introduce you to my new pride and little Rian Lincoln Gotera," wrote Gotera on Facebook. "My wife Rashi (who is FANTASTIC) and I are beyond blessed. He was born yesterday, 7 pounds & 11 ounces...we haven't stopped smiling since. What an incredible feeling."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Dave Ward, Shara Fryer, Ed Brandon and Wayne Dolcefino to reunite is giving you a chance to hang out with Dave Ward, Shara Fryer, Ed Brandon and Wayne Dolcefino

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Legendary KTRK abc13 anchor team Dave Ward, Shara Fryer, weatherman Ed Brandon and investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino are reuniting for one night only and you get a chance to be there.

This is not a TV event, but a real life one in the name of charity.

You'll get a chance to meet and mingle with the iconic Houston news team. I'll be there hosting the event.



KENS 5 debuts new set in 2017

Thanks to Eric who let me know that KENS 5 in San Antonio debuted a new set. See the station's page on the big change.

TEGNA sister station KHOU 11 debuted a new set in 2016.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Houston Chronicle reporter Dale Lezon has died

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Not much information to go on, but longtime Houston Chronicle breaking news reporter Dale Lezon has died.

According to social media, Lezon died last Friday. He even had an article in that days paper.

There has been no mention of his death in the Chronicle that I could find.

Colleague Mike Glenn posted on Twitter there will be a celebration for Lezon February 18th (2-5pm) at 1919 Houston Ave 107 W. 12th.

Stay tuned as we get more info.

Here is his bio from the paper's website:

Dale has worked at the Houston Chronicle as a reporter since 2000, when he moved to Houston from New Mexico. As a General Assignment reporter, he has covered criminal and civil trials, City Hall matters, environmental issues and many other news stories. He also has written human-interest features. Among his stories are breaking news reports from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and from Galveston during Hurricane Ike. He also reported from east Texas during the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. Currently, he handles breaking news, including homicides, fires and other fast-breaking stories.

The Chronicle posted a story behind its paywall tonight about Dale Lezon's death. Here is the synopsis:

Dale Patrick Lezon, a veteran reporter for the Houston Chronicle whose love of writing began long before he set foot in a newsroom, died unexpectedly of an undiagnosed heart condition last week. He was 62.