Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's break time, 101 KLOL and where is Dave Ward?

See you soon and subscribe to my social media accounts below to keep informed

Mike McGuff and 101 KLOL Runaway Radio
Mike McGuff and 101 KLOL Runaway Radio
Wow! The summer started off slow for about two weeks and then the Houston media news went full throttle.

Right now we are waiting to see who will be named KTRK abc13 news director, if there will be an interim named in the meantime, has someone already been hired or will a certain KTRK reporter's husband be waiting in the wings to assume the position. Try saying all of that five times fast.

Also where the heck is anchor Dave Ward?

I think the other stations are fairly stable right now...or at least more stable than KTRK at the moment. KPRC will have to hire a new assistant news director, but that's about all I remember. Oh yeah, and KHOU could name a new consumer reporter soon.

If we get any answers, well, they will have to wait to be put on this blog. I'm taking some time off. Got too much going on!

I am putting the finishing touches on my Rock 101 KLOL documentary script. By the way, if you have any KLOL related photos/videos (like you with a KLOL DJ or even in a KLOL shirt) or stories email me!

I'm also building websites for clients to help pay for the cost of this amazing documentary.

And most importantly, I have my two kids with me who have no more organized activities.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what's going on while I'm away. I'll still feature some news there that won't be on the blog like usual.

BTW, I have some great blog material coming up when I return. New Houston media job announcements and some TV talent acting naughty. I think mikemcguff.com might have to come in and spank them!

IN CASE YOU MISSED SOME BIG HOUSTON MEDIA SUMMER NEWS
- Demond Fernandez moves to WFAA from KTRK abc13
- Bill Young, broadcasting legend, is gone
- 'Live Well Network' plug pulled by Disney-ABC Television Group
- Darby Douglas to return to KHOU 11
- Lauren Talarico joins KHOU from WLTX Columbia, SC
- Mary Benton is leaving KPRC 2
- Former KHOU 11 reporter Brad Woodard has died
- Katherine Whaley leaving KHOU 11
- Courtney Zubowski leaving KHOU 11
- Rhonda Errer LaVelle is new KPRC 2 news director
- Tracy Clemons heads to KTRK abc13
- KTRK and ABC stations to start central master control hub
- Simone Eli is new KPRC 2 weekend sports anchor
- Jacob Rascon now at NBC News
- KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland resigns
- Bob French files lawsuit against KBTX




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kidd Kraddick anniversary, Houston TV job moves plus more


MORE VIDEOS
- David Letterman interview with CBS Morning Anchor Norah O'Donnell...uncomfortable
- WFAA Hansen sports special
- What’s the deal with Top 40 radio?
- KHOU 11’s Ron Trevino goes one-on-one with Paul Wall
- So, ‘Dog’ Did the Weather This Morning on ‘Good Day Colorado’
- 104 KRBE Houston - Aircheck (1997)
- FOX 7 News at 10pm with Christine Haas - premiering August 4th
- Hit 96.5 KKHT Houston - TOTH (1986)
- 100.3 KILT Houston - Jingle (2001)

Not Kidd's Anymore
On the anniversary of Kidd Kraddick’s death, his radio show lives, his co-hosts cope — and the ratings are up.
- Kidd Kraddick's Co-Hosts a Year After the Radio Show Host's Death

Why a doctor joined the Dallas Morning News as a reporter
Last year, Dr. Seema Yasmin visited a newsroom for the first time.

Pete Delkus: A story of perseverance
Most, if not all, of you know our own Pete Delkus our chief meteorologist at WFAA. What you may not know, is of his career before turning to meteorology.

Broadcast Paces Gannett to 12% Quarterly Boost
Gannett reported broadcasting segment revenues of $398.3 million in the second quarter, almost 88% higher than the second quarter last year, reflecting Gannett’s acquisition of the Belo station group and “substantially higher retransmission revenue and political advertising across all of our stations,” said Gannett.

Post–Newsweek Stations Renamed Graham Media Group
Post–Newsweek Stations has changed its name to Graham Media Group. The company owns KPRC Houston and KSAT San Antonio.

Houston Chronicle to move into “state-of-the-art” facility
Houston Chronicle Media Group announced plans Monday to relocate most of its downtown workforce, including employees from the Houston Chronicle, LaVozTX.com, Chron.com and HoustonChronicle.com, to a “state-of-the-art” campus in southwest Houston.

Mary Benton in Boston with NABJ making a difference
Members of the National Association of Black Journalists are not just partying at the annual convention in Boston.
- Mary Benton's last farewell party hosted by HABJ

KUHT History in Pictures
From the University of Houston Digital Library, 346 pictures and videos of the history of Channel 8 over the decades, including people, buildings, equipment, etc.

Houstonians Brought Live Moon Pictures to the World’s TV Sets
It’s been 45 years since the first moon landing, and many people may not realize that all of the live pictures that the world saw came through the control board of a Houston TV station

Borrowing from Wikipedia
Houston Chronicle’s “Houston Advocate” borrows from Wikipedia without attribution blogHOUSTON reports.

Texans name new Spanish radio home
The Houston Texans are on the move announcing they’ve inked a deal to air their Spanish-language play-by-play on Deportes Media’s “ESPN Deportes 1180 AM” KGOL.

San Antonio TV station declines to name restaurant storing food in bathroom
KENS 5, Gannett’s station in San Antonio, has posted and aired a story about a local restaurant getting caught storing food in the bathroom.

S.A. radio ex gets KSAT-TV host gig
The easy-on-the ears Jeff Roper, formerly a morning personality on KCYY-FM (Y100) here, will soon try your eyes on for size.

San Antonio TV executive named to national Emmy board
KLRN’s Chief Operating Officer has been elected to serve as a trustee to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Julie Coan is the first person from San Antonio to be elected to this national position.

New KXAN show debuts Aug. 4
“Studio 512,” KXAN’s new lifestyle program, will debut next week.

Folksy charm should serve former UT head coach well as college football TV analyst
Just because Mack Brown is retired from the sidelines doesn't mean the former head coach of the Texas Longhorns is quitting the world of college football entirely.

MOVING

Former CNN producer Kysha Reid exits the FOX 26 KRIV morning executive producer chair after nearly eight months. Reid told me the departure was a mutual decision between her and the station. She says she is excited about her next opportunity which she declined to talk about
it.
UPDATE 7/30/2014
Kysha Reid has notified me that this article about her is incorrect. That is all I know at this point. I have re-contacted her via Twitter and telephone to find out which part is incorrect. Will update when I hear back from her.

Did you know that TV director Rick Herring has been at KTRK abc13 for almost 42 years? Now his son, Chris, is directing at KPRC 2. Chris started at KSAT (San Antonio) after college, moved to WDIV (Detroit) and now is with KPRC.

Speaking of KPRC 2, Vice President/Director of Creative Services Mike Guerrieri adds the NBC Strategic Marketing Council Chairman role to his list of duties.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Tracy Clemons heads to KTRK abc13
- Fox 26 meteorologist arrested in the studio?
- KTRK and ABC stations to start central master control hub
- Simone Eli is new KPRC 2 weekend sports anchor
- Jacob Rascon now at NBC News
- KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland resigns
- Michelle Merhar delivers baby boy
- Bob French files lawsuit against KBTX


Monday, July 28, 2014

Bob French files lawsuit against KBTX

Former KBTX meteorologist Robert “Bob” French files federal lawsuit against Bryan/College Station television station

Many of you have been asking for an update on the claims of discrimination and retaliation former KBTX meteorologist Bob French made against his former station.

Today, representatives for French's attorney issued a press release (read below) that says French is filing a federal lawsuit against KBTX.

Here is the release:

Bob French
Bob French
Bryan/College Station, TX. July 28, 2014: Robert “Bob” French, Chief Meteorologist and Weathercaster employed by CBS affiliate KBTX in Bryan and College Station for 23 years has filed a federal lawsuit against KBTX claiming breach of contract, age and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation as well as violations against the Federal Medical Leave Act.

The federal lawsuit filed in Houston, Texas alleges that KBTX targeted French in early 2013 because of his age and because he was placed in inpatient hospital care due to exhaustion and depression following overwork over the 2012 Christmas and New Year’s holidays. French alleges that employees under the age of 40 were allowed time-off while French was not. While away on FMLA leave that would protect his job until his return, the lawsuit alleges that French was reprimanded for the effects of his exhaustion and depression and KBTX openly sought to replace him. In what KBTX General Manager Mike Wright referred to as a “coincidence”, KBTX advertised an open meteorologist position at the same time Bob French was away from work on protected medical leave according to the suit.

Bob French’s return to work on air was short lived as within days after his return, French was fired from KBTX in July, 2013 and was replaced by Shel Winkley a weathercaster under 40 years of age and without a disability, according to the suit.

French had previously filed a charge of Age and Disability Discrimination as well as Retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The charge named KBTX and its parent company, Gray Television Group, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia as respondents. The EEOC investigation was completed and notification of right to sue was mailed on May 29, 2014 prompting the filing of the federal lawsuit by French.

Bob French is represented by Houston Employment Lawyer Charles H. Peckham.

“For KBTX to have violated Bob’s legally-protected rights is offensive” Peckham explains. “If KBTX can fire a beloved man such as Bob French for being over the age of 40 or for simply exercising his right to disability leave, no employee in Texas is safe from similar treatment. Bob is standing up to send a message to KBTX that folks over 40 with temporary or permanent disabilities are not second-class citizens.”

Bob French was employed by a written contract that governed his activities at the station. According to the contract, French could not be terminated without cause. Bob French claims that none of the reasons given for his termination from employment were “for cause”, but instead were for illegal reasons related to his age, disability, and in retaliation for having taken FMLA leave.

Charles Peckham of the Houston-based law firm of Peckham PLLC is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. No stranger to high profile cases, Peckham is currently working as the civil attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and nationally-syndicated radio host and comedian, George Willborn. Charles Peckham concentrates in many areas of litigation including employment, real estate and commercial law.


A statement by KBTX parent company Gray Television, Inc. should be out later today. When I get it, I will post it here.



Michelle Merhar delivers baby boy

FOX 26 KRIV's Michelle Merhar has second child on National Parent's Day

Michelle Merhar
Michelle Merhar
FOX 26 KRIV anchor and Traffic Authority Michelle Merhar has delivered her second baby.

Fittingly enough on National Parents Day, Merhar and hubby brought James Daniel into the world at 5:15 pm. He came in at seven pounds 8.5 oz and was 20 inches long.

First child Abigail was born in March of 2013.




Friday, July 25, 2014

KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland resigns

mikemcguff.com exclusive: After 14 years, KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland announces resignation

Dave Strickland
Dave Strickland
This afternoon, KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland announced to the staff in an email he is leaving the ABC owned station.

Rumors have been swirling the last few weeks that Strickland was leaving the station. He had not been at the station during that time.

In the memo, Strickland cited the job was affecting his family, life and personal relationships.

"Dave Strickland is one of the country's greatest news directors and a friend for life," former KTRK 13 Undercover reporter Wayne Dolcefino told mikemcguff.com. "He supported my investigative reporting until the very end. He was the brainchild behind the kind of in-depth aggressive news coverage Channel 13 used to be known for. I know my colleagues are devastated as they watch what is happening to a once great television institution."

Strickland was news director for 14 years. He started at KTRK as an intern, worked his way up to sports producer, then news producer. In between his KTRK time, Strickland was news director of WAVY-TV 10 Norfolk, Virginia.

"I hired Dave out of college after he interned for me in sports at 13," former KTRK sports director Bob Allen told mikemcguff.com. "I'm proud of him for turning into a terrific news director. It was an honor to work for and with him at 13. It's a big loss for them. The best news director they ever had, and I worked for all but 2 of them. He'll find out as I did that change can be good. And like me, probably be much happier. MUCH happier."

KTRK general manager Henry Florsheim sent a staff email thanking Strickland for his service and recounting all of the advances Strickland made to the station during his tenure.

No interim news director has been named.

For those not in Houston, Strickland or "Strick" as he was called in the newsroom, was the longest serving news director in the market currently. If you read my blog with any regularity, you will see news directors at other stations come and go every few years. KTRK on the other hand, has had a consistent management team for a very long time. This probably means more changes will be on the way.

On a personal note, Strickland hired me into his news department in 2001. I learned a lot about television under his leadership. He was a tough, but fair boss. He expected you to work and do a good job. In this public forum, I would like to thank him for the opportunities he gave me.

Here is part of the nice email that GM Henry Floresheim sent to the staff about Strickland:

It’s almost impossible for me to express the impact Dave Strickland has had on Eyewitness News over the nearly decade and a half he has served as News Director. During his tenure, he’s overseen the greatest and most rapid expansion of news programming in the station’s existence. He has guided coverage of unique once in a decade -- or even once in a career -- news events and has helped positioned Eyewitness News for the future as we evolved from analog tape to HD to digital news production.

Dave’s tenure covers a highlight reel of the top news events in Houston and around the country/world. He arrived just in time for Tropical Storm Allison. He directed coverage for the station and the Station Group during Hurricanes Rita and Ike. He dispatched crews to New York on 9/11 and sent reporters and photographers to Kuwait and Iraq to cover the War. He watched one Texas Governor run and become President and a second fail to go to the White House. Dave put us live in Chicago when the Nation elected President Obama and shivered with the Houstonians on the Mall when President Obama took the oath. Dave witnessed the first Houston Texans football game, the Astros first World Series appearance, and the birth of the Dynamo. Under Dave’s direction, Eyewitness News was live in Rome for the selection of two Popes, in Mexico and Cuba for Papal visits and in London for a Royal Wedding.

When Dave returned to ABC 13 in early 2000, the first newscast started the day at 5:00 am. There was a half hour newscast that played coming out of a Soap at 11:30 am and Sally Jessie Raphael at 4:00 pm led into the 5:00 pm newscast. On weekend mornings, news ended at 7:00 am so the station could clear kids programming; and no station produced one hour late news on Saturday or Sunday evening. Amazingly, Dave has overseen the creation of an additional sixteen and half hours of news a week.

Dave led the surge through the alphabet as we moved from iNews to ENPS to Ignite. Today we Tweet and post on Facebook and live shots move around the World on 3 and 4G Networks.

Perhaps most importantly, Dave has connected with all of us at the station. He stood in the newsroom at 2:00 am dealing with the latest crisis. On far too many occasions, Dave was the first at the ER to help a colleague in stress. Over the years, he has touched all parts of KTRK-TV -- hiring new team members, directing coverage, and lending support to other departments around the building. I’ve come to rely heavily on his even-tempered approach and sound advice.

As he steps down, I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for the station, the members of Eyewitness News and the support he has given the rest of the building. Please join me in wishing Dave the best in his future endeavors.


Stay tuned to mikemcguff.com for more...




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jacob Rascon now at NBC News

KTRK abc13 anchor Art Rascon's son, Jacob, now NBC News correspondent

Jacob Rascon
Jacob Rascon
If you see what appears to be a young Art Rascon on NBC News, you are not seeing things, it is his son Jacob Rascon.

"He's been a great mentor and a better dad, never pushing me to follow in his footsteps, but when I decided to try it out, he was right there with endless advice and encouragement," Jacob Rascon told mikemcguff.com in the past.

I've been covering young Jacob's career since he was at KFOX El Paso. That was back in 2011.

In 2012, the younger Rascon (or "Ras-clone" as a commenter called him) moved to KNBC Los Angeles.

Then a week ago, my old post about Jacob started moving up the charts to be the number one post on this blog as of this writing. That's because Jacob is now an NBC correspondent...at least temporarily as he tweeted (see embedded below).

Art Rascon
Art Rascon
Jacob follows in Art's national correspondent footsteps. Before KTRK, the elder Rascon was a CBS correspondent. As Art told me in the past, he is excited about his son's career.

"He's a solid journalist, has a bright future, and as a father I couldn't be more proud," Art Rascon told mikemcguff.com a few years ago. "I look forward to continuing our near daily conversations about his journalistic adventures."

It was apparent Jacob had his old man's reporting chops early on. It really is like watching a younger Art in terms of appearance, speaking manner and storytelling.

And don't think Art's national days are in the past. As I just recently blogged, a few weeks ago, Art filed a report for ABC News' This Week.





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 mikemcguff.com. "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.

RELATED
KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland resigns


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.





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