Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Remember KNWS 51? Anchor Michael Quinn's reunion stories

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Michael Quinn

Remember KNWS 51? Back in 1993, it began as Houston's version of CNN's Headline News at the time. And come on, you can't get better call letters for an all news station!

The station had a loop of local news, tons of local sports coverage and a morning talk show with former KPRC 2 weatherman Doug Johnson.

Years later, the concept would serve as a blue print for Time Warner's News 24 Houston. Both eventually would leave the airwaves and cable lineup, but did usher in the era of MMJs which all the stations have now. Back then they were called one-man bands, VJs, backpack journalists...etc.

Former channel 51 morning anchor Michael Quinn has been thinking back fondly on his time with the all news station and making the rounds this month, catching up with his former news team.

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Michael Quinn and Wendy Granato

He first got to catch up with KNWS anchor/news director Wendy Granato, who you will know now as the Vice President of News at abc13 KTRK.

"Wendy is like a sister to me, she's awesome, and look at her, she's as beautiful as the first day I met her in 1993," Quinn said.

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Melanie Johnson and Michael Quinn

Quinn also met up with another person who he says was instrumental in his career, former 51 anchor and station owner Melanie Johnson.

"She is responsible for my television news career...period," Quinn added. "If there wasn't Melanie Johnson, Wendy nor Channel 51 would have been in my life or Houston for that matter."

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Michael Quinn and Dave Ward

Also he wishes Dave Ward a speedy recovery. It was just by chance he visited channel 13 and got a selfie with the legendary anchor.

"Dave is a good man and the last of the original Eyewitness News anchors started by Al Primo in the 60's," Quinn said. "I interned under the legendary Bill Bonds at WXYZ-TV in Detroit. Dave told me he never met Bill (who is now gone), but they remind me of each other every day. I've been fortunate to have worked in two major Eyewitness News markets (Detroit & Houston). Dave always remembers me, is always kind and an honor to know."

Monday, December 05, 2016

6th Annual Mega 101 Children’s Miracle Network Radiotón


Marconi Award winning Spanish Station of the Year, Mega 101-FM, will present the 6th Annual Mega 101 Children’s Miracle Network Radiotón beginning Thursday, December 8 at 5:00am, CT and running through Friday, December 9 at 7:00pm, CT. Mega 101-FM radio personalities Gerry, Valentin, Cindy, Liz and Lorena will ask the community to support the thousands of families who rely on Texas Children’s Hospital, during this 38-hourlong event.

Texas Children’s Hospital is a worldwide organization that provides inpatient acute, emergent and subspecialty services as well as clinical outpatient and rehabilitative care. Through the hospital—and a network of primary care physicians, community partners, health centers and a health plan designed especially for children—more than 3 million patient encounters are recorded each year, with children coming to the Hospital from throughout Texas, the United States and more than 70 countries across the globe.

Listeners will be encouraged to donate at www.mega101fm.com or by calling 800-680-3721.

Who: Mega 101 FM and Texas Children’s Hospital
What: 6th Annual Mega 101 Children’s Miracle Network Radiotón
When: Dec. 8, 5:00am to Dec. 9, 7:00pm
Where: Mega 101 Studios, 24 Greenway Plaza Suite 1900, Houston, TX 77046

(This post was taken from a press release sent to me by CBS Radio Houston)

Sussy Ruiz named Telemundo Houston assistant news director

Sussy Ruiz has been named as Assistant News Director at Telemundo Houston KTMD according to an internal memo obtained by mikemcguff.com.

"We are excited to have Sussy join the growing Telemundo Houston family," KTMD Vice President of News Jerry Vazquez wrote in the memo.
"Sussy brings over 16 years of experience, most-recently working in various newsrooms and across all platforms, in her role as regional local news broadcast and digital manager at Univision."

According to Ruiz's LinkedIn account, the multiple Emmy award winner most recently served as Univision's Manager of Regional Broadcast & Digital News and was based out of Miami. Before that in May 2012, she became an Executive Producer with KXLN Univision Houston. She started as an Assignment Desk Manager with Univision in 2002.

- Telemundo Houston ranks #1 in primetime & 10pm, regardless of language, in November 2016 sweeps
- The rise of Houston Spanish TV

Erik Barajas wins 2016 HAIRRY: Local Newsmen With The Best Hair

2016 HAIRRY: "Emmys are nice. They really are. We’re not trashing the Emmys – they do fine work. But the HAIRRYs? They showcase the true talent that lives within these United States of America!"

This is what we missed during the Thanksgiving holiday break. I apologize for just getting to it, but it's been a little "hairy" around here.

KTRK abc13 anchor Erik Barajas, or you might say "a real life Superman," has been honored with a 2016 HAIRRY: Local Newsmen With The Best Hair. That means website getgoodhead.com, the folks who are behind the coiffure award, believe the Houston newsman has the best TV news hair for the entire Lone Star State!

"Decades of trial and error," Barajas wrote on Facebook. "Hundreds of gallons of pomade and gel, that have been applied and shampooed out. Patiently instructing all my hair stylists over the years and finally, finally someone takes notice. This is mine. I earned it."

Here is how the HAIRRY folks describe Barajas:

Erik Barajas is a real life Superman. At least, he sure looks like one. Erik’s hair is so impeccably stylized and slick, there was no question as to whether he should win first prize for Texas.

When you’re reporting for KTRK-TV’s 13 Eyewitness News, or flying through the sky looking for villains to rain justice down upon, your hair has got to be gelled to the tee. Some hair just looks flat and wet when styled with gel, but Erik’s is voluminous and shiny; perhaps he’s found the perfect product – GIVE US YOUR SECRETS!

So just how are the winners chosen for this hair-raising award? Here are the criteria:

The HAIRRYs celebrate fabulous hair and the people who have it. There are no nominations, no voting, and no turning back. As hair experts, we scour multiple images and video from all of our potential winners. Then, we consult with other stylists and creatives in the field to narrow it down to one HAIRRY Winner and up to two HAIRRY Runner-Ups.

Our Criteria For Great Hair

When choosing our recipients we look for the following characteristics:

full volume
well styled
limited/no receding hairline

The Texas runner ups included another Houston newscaster - KHOU 11 traffic anchor Darby Douglas!

With a styled salt-and-pepper ‘do that’s as enticing as they come, our bet is that co-runner up Darby Douglas won’t be a runner-up for long. Look out Erik and Brandon, next year’s HAIRRY might just belong to Darby Douglas and KHOU.

WFAA 8 Dallas reporter Brandon Hamilton shares the runner up honor with Douglas.

Now Barajas wasn't the only winner you've heard of.

Former FOX 26 KRIV movie critic Jake Hamilton, won for the Prairie State:

Jake Hamilton, Emmy-award winning reporter, Good Day Chicago, and we theorize, time traveling Norse god, is the clear HAIRRY winner for Illinois. (And Trump better not tweet this Hamilton asking for an apology for his amazing hair!)

Jake has that dreamy viking look going on: striking light blue eyes, and incredibly fair blonde hair – we’re surprised he wasn’t imported directly from Iceland. Unlike a real viking, Jake’s hair is immaculate; lengthy and slicked back with product, keeping his fringe bouncy and full up top.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Dave Ward has open heart surgery

Dave Ward will be off the air for a while as he recovers from heart surgery

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As the news came out that KTRK abc13 anchor Dave Ward had heart surgery Thursday, Houston has responded with an outpouring of support on social media.

As a huge Ward fan, it makes me emotional to see the love you are sending him.

It was quite an honor to sit down with him last month and conduct those interviews about his career.

Dave, hang in there, we are praying for you.

KPRC 2's Sofia Ojeda welcomes baby

KPRC 2 weekend morning anchor Sofia Ojeda welcomes her baby daughter.

KPRC 2 posted the following on its Facebook page:

KPRC2 Sofia Ojeda and KPRC2 / Click2Houston welcomed Leora James into the world at 9:41 this morning at 9 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 inches long!


KPRC 2's Sofia Ojeda is pregnant

Texas TV & radio job moves November 2016


Meteorologist Remeisha Shade leaves NBC 5.

Veteran sports reporter Ted Madden hanging it up at WFAA 8.

Lauren Nevitt made her debut November 5th as the traffic anchor for WFAA Saturday mornings from 7-9.

KTVT CBS 11 producer Kyle Weeks moves over to WFAA 8.

Kevin Graham Named PD At WBAP-KLIF/Dallas.

- Atom Smasher says he was let go from Dallas' 102.1 The Edge KDGE after format flip


SB Nation Radio host Steve Bunin (formerly of CSN Houston, ESPN) is leaving Houston to become the morning anchor at KING Seattle.

FOX 26 KRIV reporter Natasha Geigel moves from evenings to mornings.

KTRK abc13 reporter Lauren Lea has left the station.

Charese Fruge To Exit CBS/Houston VP/Programming & OM Post.

Houston Chronicle education reporter Ericka Mellon is leaving the news biz to work in communications at the University of Houston College of Education.

Chris Stipes has joined UH media relations team.

Senior Media Relations Specialist Marisa Ramirez is now the Executive Director of Communications at UH Sugar Land.

- Dave Ward's father did not want him working at KTRK and other stories
- Dave Ward's honor saved by waitress and other radio stories
- Dave Ward traveled with the Houston Oilers for $15
- How Dave Ward found love in charity
- Lindsey Henry joins FOX 26
- Janelle Bludau joins KPRC 2
- Scarlett Fakhar is no longer with FOX 26


Rebecca Trejo has started a new job at Austin’s KVUE News as a multi-media journalist.

KXAN Asst. News Director Tim Vetscher has left Texas to work in the investigative department of KSTP 5 Saint Paul, MN.


Meteorologist Zac Scott leaves KSWO Lawton, OK for KCEN Waco, Temple and Killeen.

WIAT 42 Birmingham, Alabama reporter Michael Oder returns to KBTX Bryan/College station as assistant news director.

News Channel 9 KTSM EL Paso Weekend Weathercaster/Reporter Vianey Arana leaves to work at KNTV San Francisco/Bay Area.

KLTV Tyler anchor/reporter Skylar Gallop leaves the news biz to become Communications Director of The Williams Group.


Alma Newsom, trailblazing black television anchor, dies at 70
- Former KHOU anchor Alma Newsom passes away.


As good as people think I am at tracking Texas media job moves, my image is better than reality. Don't expect that I see every Twitter or Facebook post about your new job. Don't get mad at me, contact me below to make sure I don't miss your big career move!

- Contact here for job changes
- Looking for TX TV jobs?


- Texas TV & radio job moves October 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves September 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves August 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves July 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves June 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves May 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves April 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves March 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves February 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves January 2016
- Texas TV & radio job moves December 2015
- All the new and disappearing faces on Houston TV screens in 2015

Bill Balleza to hit 50 years on TV with KPRC 2 contract extension

KPRC 2's Bill Balleza to stay in anchor chair through 2021

Bill Balleza
After deciding to continue in his anchor role at KPRC 2, Bill Balleza will hit 50 years on the air in a few years, although not with the same station the entire time. With his latest contract extension, he will keep anchoring at channel 2 through 2021.

Balleza's illustrious TV career started as a gamble.

After serving three years in the Marine Corps (including 13 months in Vietnam where he was positioned as a scout/sniper), broadcasting was a degree Balleza's guidance counselor at San Antonio College advised him not to pursue. The reason, at the time in the late 1960s, Balleza says few Hispanics were working in the industry.

"I chose broadcasting anyway because there was no math requirement, and I had flunked algebra twice in high school," Balleza told mikemcguff.com.

Graduating with a degree he never expected to use, Balleza did manage to land a job on the floor crew at his hometown station KSAT San Antonio. And then Balleza says his big break came.

"Stations around the country were looking for minority candidates because activist groups began challenging their licenses based on employment practices," Balleza told me. "My first reporter job was at KRON in San Francisco in May of 1971."

Houston's own KHOU 11 hired the young Balleza as a reporter in 1973.

Balleza moved to KPRC in 1980, following the legendary Ron Stone as main anchor in 1990.

"Looking back, algebra might be the main reason my career will span 50 years when I retire in June of 2021," Balleza joked.

And on that summer five years from now, Houston viewers will say goodbye to another television legend. But hey, maybe we can twist his arm to sign another five year extension!

- KPRC 2 claims top spot in November 2016 sweeps
- KPRC 2 launches new graphics package 2016

KPRC's official release:


Emmy-Winning Journalist’s Career Spans More Than Four Decades

Houston, TX: KPRC 2 is proud to announce longtime news anchor Bill Balleza has renewed his commitment to Houston news viewers with a contract extension into 2021.

Balleza, who joined KPRC 2 in August of 1980, began his career as a reporter at San Francisco’s KRON-TV in July of 1971. With his contract extension, Balleza is set to reach a milestone of 50 years in television broadcasting.

“We are delighted that our viewers can continue to count on Bill, who they’ve known and trusted as a leader in the Houston community for more than 35 years,” said KPRC 2 VP/General Manager, Jerry Martin. “His energy and presence at the anchor desk represents the gold standard in the broadcast industry. I know our viewers join me in my enthusiasm as they welcome Bill into their homes on KPRC 2 News well into the future.”

Balleza anchors KPRC 2 News at 5pm, 6pm and 10pm, Monday through Friday.

“I am so grateful to be part of such a great news organization with such dedicated and caring professionals,” said Balleza. “I am grateful, too, for the opportunity to report news in the most dynamic and diverse city in America. The Houston area is a great place to live, and I’m so proud to have called Houston home for most of my adult life.”

KPRC 2 News at 10 with Bill Balleza, Dominique Sachse, Frank Billingsley and Randy McIlvoy is a consistent ratings leader and scored a dominant victory during the November 2016 Nielsen measurement period with a 2.7 rating representing a full point advantage over the nearest competitor (Adults 25-54 based on Nielsen Live + SD overnights, Monday-Friday for the measurement period of October 27, 2016 through November 23, 2016).

A native Texan, Balleza graduated from San Antonio College. He is a Vietnam veteran who served as a Marine Scout Sniper during the Tet Offensive of 1968.

Balleza’s remarkable journalism career has found him covering historic events like the Murrah Federal Building explosion in Oklahoma City, the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the election of Pope Francis and much more. He won an Emmy for his reporting on the deadly fertilizer company explosion in West, TX.

FOX 26 getting new set for 2017

FOX 26 KRIV broadcasts from newsroom as new set is being built for 2017

We just saw KHOU 11 get a new set for 2016, and now FOX 26 KRIV is getting one for 2017.

Luckily for channel 26, they have a newsroom set and it appears they are broadcasting the news from there for now.

A reliable source tells me the new set is expected to debut in January.

Example of old set that has been in use since the last decade.

(Thanks Eric)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

KPRC 2 launches new graphics package 2016

KPRC 2 has launched a new graphics package with a refresh of lower thirds, full screens, weather...etc. Here is a quick rundown of the new look.

The last time I published about KPRC getting a new graphics package was back in 2011, but I'm pretty sure they had some changes after that.

My question is, what will happen to KPRC's newscasts when it moves to its new building next year? Will they move the current set or debut a new one? Will these graphics remain? Stay tuned.

- Houston TV station graphics launches through the years
KPRC 2 launches new set for 2013

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