Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lily Jang joins KPRC 2

Former KHOU 11 morning anchor turned Realtor, Lily Jang, debuts "Lily's List" on KPRC 2


Realtor, and former KHOU 11 morning anchor, Lily Jang, announces a move to KPRC 2 weekend morning with new home segment called "Lily's List:"

"I have exciting news to share. I have joined the NBC station in Houston, KPRC Channel 2, and I'm launching a real estate segment. 'Lily's List' will air every Saturday and Sunday morning, highlighting open houses across the entire Houston region. I am so blessed to be able to merge my former TV life with my current career in real estate. It's the best of both worlds."
-Lily Jang

lilyjangrealestate.com

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Where has Ed Brandon been? Is he OK?

"Congratulations! You made it through another week"


So what's happening with former KTRK abc13 weatherman Ed Brandon? You might remember how Brandon retired from channel 13 in March 2007.

That was then, how about right now?

Friends and fans have been reaching out find out why he wasn't present at the Dave Ward leaving channel 13 celebrations.

I heard the reason he wasn't in attendance was because of his health. Brandon tells me the actual reason he didn't show up was because he wasn't even aware of the events in the first place.

So, while I had him, I took the time to catch us all up with the legendary Houston weatherman.

Mike McGuff: How has your health been?

Ed Brandon: I would say that my health is “stable.” I was diagnosed with chronic heart disease after a heart attack in 2002. With proper diet and medication, I am managing well. My heart medications adversely affect my kidneys, so I am also being treated for that. I won’t be climbing any mountains or running any marathons, but I can do most anything I want to.

MM: What have you been up to lately?

EB: Since retiring, I lead what most folks would consider a rather boring life. I bought house when I retired and enjoy puttering around with it. Pretty heavily involved in the “recovery” movement which is its own little sub-set of society. Still involved with the Cenikor recovery program. We had the 25th annual Ed Brandon/Cenikor Golf Tournament in April and it was a success. I travel occasionally. Usually to New York or Los Angeles or to my brother's place in Carmel, Ca. Also go to lots of plays and films.

MM: As a longtime former broadcaster, what have you been watching on TV lately?

EB: I rarely watch local television news. (I think the person who first came up with “news you can use” should be forced to sit down and watch it 24 hours a day). Most of my viewing is Netflix, Hulu, cable news channels and God forgive me, Bravo.

MM: Any words of congratulations for Dave Ward on the end of his anchoring career at KTRK?

EB: I think Dave Ward is getting the adulation and respect he rightly deserves. I consider myself fortunate beyond words to have appeared with him...and some other “legends"...on KTRK for such a large chunk of my career.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ken Hoffman leaves Houston Chronicle for CultureMap

Ken Hoffman reveals to mikemcguff.com where he is going after announcing Houston Chronicle departure


Here is a big update to my earlier post about Ken Hoffman quitting the Houston Chronicle.

The news that shocked Mother's Day in Houston. That's what my readers are certainly telling me at least.

Turns out Houston's most popular columnists is leaving the Chronicle for CultureMap. He will also make occasional appearances on ESPN 97.5 KFNC.

I reached out to Hoffman and here is the email I received from him updating us on the new gig:

I quit the Chronicle for a position with the Culture Map website, and I will pop in occasionally on ESPN 97.5 FM radio to promote Culture Map and yuk it up with the hosts.

While Culture Map obviously isn't as established as the Houston Chronicle, it can offer me different challenges and opportunities. I have history with Culture Map's new owner David Gow and that played a big role in my decision to leave the Chronicle.

I will pretty much bring my column intact to Culture Map, plus some ideas I have that fit Culture Map's personality better than the Chronicle's. If you read my column in the Chronicle, please continue to read me at culturemap.com. It's free. No paywall or subscription required. No limited number of views per month. Click away.

I spent 22 years with the Chronicle. It was the best job I ever had. I hope the Chron appreciated me as much as I enjoyed working there. I feel a little cheated, actually. I didn't get to fulfill the employee's fantasy of telling my bosses to shove this job. I liked my bosses.

I have mixed emotions about leaving, but it was time. Managing editor Vernon Loeb and I hugged it out at dinner at Union Kitchen. I had the meatloaf and mashed potatoes, while he had a shrimp and pasta dish. Best part of the meal? He paid. I should have ordered a dessert to go.



Ken Hoffman quits the Houston Chronicle

UPDATE 7PM
Ken Hoffman reveals his next job to mikemcguff.com

Houston Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman quits



I am in so much shock today that it is making me post on my blog.

Why?

Features columnist and fast food critic Ken Hoffman tweeted he is leaving the Houston Chronicle. Apparently for a new job.

"Whoa, not dying," Hoffman wrote to a reader on Twitter. "Just quit Chronicle for new job. Still writing food, baseball, etc. Loved Chronicle, time for new challenge."

Now what is a job that Hoffman would leave the Chronicle for?

Hoffman has been a newspaper dude in Houston for decades. First writing for the now defunct Houston Post for eight years and after that joining the Chronicle.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 7PM
Ken Hoffman reveals his next job to mikemcguff.com

RELATED
Ken Hoffman of the Houston Chronicle talks to Mike McGuff


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Dave Ward and his emotional goodbye from KTRK abc13

This is the end of a Houston TV era...

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It is only fitting that after receiving the key to the city from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett declaring May 3rd his day, that KTRK abc13 50 year anchor and Guinness World Records holder Dave Ward was apparently having enough of the adulation.

"I told Laura (Ward) I'm getting sick and tired of hearing crap about Dave Ward to tell you the truth," the legendary anchor told the throng of TV cameras and gathered crowd of loyal viewers in front of Houston City Hall (even competing TV stations showed up to cover Ward's honor).


Before his public words, Ward spent more than an hour signing autographs for a long line of fans. I'm sure it's not that the TV newsman wasn't thrilled after the last 48 hours of people celebrating his esteemed journalism career, but if you know Ward, it makes sense. While a larger than life presence in your television, in real life, he is a quiet and modest guy.

 photo daveward2017_cityhall_2_zpskrfw5woa.jpg
(Photo credit: Debbi Griffith‎) 
And the accolades were not over for Ward. After the public event was over, all of the KTRK staff and dignitaries, were ushered into the Houston City Hall Legacy room for a luncheon and video preview of a Dave Ward documentary to air on channel 13 this Sunday night (UPDATE: “Good Evening Friends, I’m Dave Ward” airs Sunday night at 10:35pm).

The day before had been an emotional whirlwind for Ward from what I am told. It all started with his big sendoff from KTRK. He addressed the newsroom staff in the afternoon for the last time in a very frank and honest way from what I hear. Then it was time to prepare for his official goodbye from the Disney ABC Television Group stations's 6pm newscast. The ratings were very good from what I'm told.

With the many of the staff in the studio, Ward said goodbye to his loyal newscast audience for the last time. Viewers like myself were not even alive when he started with the station in 1966. Ward has been like a member of the family telling us about the good, bad and the ugly. From the highs of Houston Rockets championships to the lows of wars and terrorist attacks, Houston tuned in to watch what Uncle Dave had to report. In the good times, we could celebrate with him, in the bad times, maybe in some way he could calm us down and reassure us things would get better.

And with Dave Ward, you know you were getting the story straight. In the era of fake news, we can appreciate a time when anchors like Ward just gave us the facts without the tabloid sensationalism other stations dabbled in.

I was recently talking with a professional media writer who said things won't be the same anymore without Ward in the anchor chair. The end of the era has come to a close.

It's often said in Houston media circles that if you had a Mount Rushmore for Houston TV news their would be three faces - Dave Ward, Steve Smith of KHOU 11 and Ron Stone of KPRC 2. Ward even brought up Stone in his television goodbye remarks saying he was one of the greatest in Houston TV history (READ MORE: Dave Ward's relationship with Ron Stone and Steve Smith, plus how Dave was all about Luv Ya Blue and the Oilers).

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After the news, the big names of KTRK headed over to Willie G's on Post Oak Blvd in Uptown to a private party thrown by CNBC Billion Dollar Buyer star and CEO of Landry's Inc., Tilman Fertitta.

KTRK past greats like Shara Fryer, Jan Carson, Tim Melton were also in attendance. I also saw Houston sports legends like Astros Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Oilers Hall of Fame defensive end Elvin Bethea.

Now us Dave Ward fans will have to stay tuned to see what's next for the anchor. Since he has the Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters named after him, I'm sure that organization will be in his future.

"I just can't tell you how much I appreciate your friendship, your loyalty over all these years," Ward told the crowd at city hall in his baritone voice. "This is the city I love and I love you all."

FULL COVERAGE: Hear Dave Ward's stories about his past


* added/corrected quotes and video after original publishing




Chrisdyann Uribe joins Fox 26 KRIV

Chrisdyann Uribe has joined FOX 26 as a traffic reporter from KEYE Austin

Chrisdyann Uribe
HOUSTON – Chrisdyann Uribe has joined FOX 26 as a traffic reporter, announced station Vice President and News Director, Susan Schiller.

Effective June 2017, Uribe will handle traffic on weekday morning newscasts, as well as report for various other newscasts.

In making the announcement, Schiller stated, “Between Chrisdyann’s many years reporting on Texas traffic, and strong presence on broadcast and social media, she is prepared to help Houston’s drivers better navigate their commutes and avoid construction projects or delays.”

Most recently, Uribe served as traffic anchor and general assignment reporter for KEYE in Austin, TX. Prior to that, she was a traffic anchor and general assignment reporter for KFOX in El Paso, TX.

A graduate of Texas State University (San Marcos), Uribe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media.

KRIV is part of the FOX Television Stations, one of the nation's largest owned-and-operated network broadcast groups, comprising 28 stations in 17 markets and covering over 37% of U.S. television homes. This includes seven duopolies in the top 10 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Houston; as well as duopolies in Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
I posted the news earlier this week on my Facebook page that FOX 26 KRIV has brought local programming to its 10pm hour. “The Isiah Factor: Uncensored” and “What’s Your Point” will now air nightly Monday through Friday.


(This post was taken from a release sent to me by FOX Television Stations)


Friday, April 28, 2017

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

UPDATE
Dave Ward and his emotional goodbye from KTRK abc13

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!

RELATED
Dave Ward full coverage

Now back to my documentary work...




Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick come to Houston and show THE VIETNAM WAR

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick visit Houston for preview screening and discussion of their latest epic documentary, THE VIETNAM WAR

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I had a chance to attend a great talk and documentary preview last night at the University of Houston with award-wining documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. It was hosted by Houston Public Media TV 8 which will air the duo's upcoming 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series, THE VIETNAM WAR, this Fall (also on PBS stations around the country).

As you might already know, because I have slowed way down on this blog because of it, I am putting together a documentary on Rock 101 KLOL. Burns and Novick's films have always been a great inspiration to me over the years. Just to show his filmmaking prowess, there is the "Ken Burns effect" in MAC editing software Final Cut Pro X!

Burns and Novick showed a series of clips from throughout the 18-hour documentary and then were interviewed by TV 8's Ernie Manouse. Just seeing the shortened clips last night put you inside the Vietnam War experience. It showed actual graphic war footage and the fighting's results.

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Tran Ngoc Toan, a South Vietnamese soldier who now lives in Houston, is featured in the documentary. He poses with his wife Kim Tran and Lynn Novick.
Burns says the Vietnam War and associated effects/emotions are something many Americans have tried to push away and forget about it. He made this film to help the country and world deal with it.

This documentary does not just cover the American side of the battle, but the North and South Vietnam side as well. Actual Việt Cộng soldiers are interviewed in the film. Burns also uses North Vietnamese film clips to help tell their side of the story.

 photo kenburns_vietnam_Houston-4-26-2017-2_zps74kwyjwp.jpg

Here is the Houston Public Media press release explaining all the events relating to the upcoming PBS documentary and local coverage plus events.

The award-wining documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick will be in Houston on April 26, 2017 for a preview screening and discussion of their latest project, THE VIETNAM WAR, a 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series set to air this fall on Houston Public Media TV 8 and PBS stations around the country.

Recognizing that Houston is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of military veterans and one of the largest Vietnamese communities, Houston Public Media is launching a yearlong series of Vietnam-focused programs and events to recognize its importance in our community. These efforts include special locally-produced TV 8 programs set to air in the fall as companions to the documentary, as well as News 88.7 news stories, discussions on the “Houston Matters” talk show and a comprehensive website with expanded digital content. In October, Houston Public Media is hosting “The Wall That Heals,” a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“We are thrilled to host Ken Burns and Lynn Novick at the University of Houston to promote their latest project,” said Lisa Trapani Shumate, associate vice president and general manager of Houston Public Media. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Houston audiences to hear directly from two acclaimed documentary filmmakers who have given us thought-provoking explorations of important chapters of our history such as the Civil War, the Roosevelt presidencies, jazz music and now, the Vietnam War. This documentary will have a powerful impact on many in our community who were affected by the Vietnam War, so we are excited for this chance to discuss the film with the directors.”

One of the special TV 8 programs set to air with THE VIETNAM WAR is a half-hour special with Lily Jang, the popular former news anchor and an active member of the Vietnamese-American community. Jang’s family was part of a wave of immigrants that came to the U.S. at the end of the Vietnam War, eventually making their way to Houston. The program will explore today’s Vietnamese culture and reveal some interesting Vietnam/Houston connections.

Jang and a team from Houston Public Media are currently in Saigon filming. Beginning today, Monday, March 6, you can follow the crew through a five-day, behind-the scenes video blog documenting the production trip to Vietnam online at Houstonpublicmedia.org/Vietnam. You can also follow along on social media at #lilysvietnam.

A second program will bring together local Vietnam veterans, Vietnamese refugees and their families for a series of meals. The idea behind this special is to explore the nature of citizenship, assimilation and what it means to be an American. The third special will examine the history of the Vietnamese community in Houston.

Shumate added that Houston Public Media is planning other projects that will be announced later in the year. Organizations in the community are also planning special events that coincide with the initiative, including Inprint, one of Houston’s major literary arts nonprofit organizations, and Houston Grand Opera, with the third installment of their Veteran’s Songbook project and a production of Tom Cipullo’s acclaimed chamber opera “Glory Denied.”

Watch for more details about Houston Public Media’s special Vietnam initiative at Houstonpublicmedia.org/Vietnam.




Dean & Rog celebrate 20 years in Houston

Mayor Turner Proclaims Friday, April 28th Dean & Rog Day


HOUSTON – April 25, 2017 – Cox Media Group Houston’s personalities Dean Myers and Roger Beaty will celebrate 20 years on the air in Houston on Friday, April 28, 2017. Mayor Sylvester Turner has proclaimed April 28, 2017 Dean & Rog Day in Houston and the proclamation will be presented to Dean & Rog during their morning show on Friday.

Dean & Rog came to Houston following stops in Flint, Michigan, Salt Lake City, Utah, Phoenix, Arizona and Denver. During their time in Houston, they have consistently been one of the top-ranked morning shows. Listeners have come to count on them for hilarious pranks, smart-aleck comments and the perfect balance of talk and music.

"Looking around the country, there are only a handful of major market morning shows with a 20 year track record in the same city. What Dean and Rog have accomplished today is quite remarkable," said CMG Houston VP and Market Manager Mark Krieschen. "The continued success of the show in morning drive-time is something you just don’t see anymore. We’re proud to have these guys on our team!”

Dean & Rog will have a live studio audience, special guests, games and local Classic Rock cover band The Slags performing live.


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 mikemcguff.com.

--------------
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."

RELATED
- 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

ROCK 101 DOCUMENTARY UPDATE
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.