Friday, January 19, 2018

Brian Collister leaving KXAN Austin

Former KTRK abc13 investigative reporter Brian Collister told the Austin American-Statesman's Gary Dinges that he is leaving his gig at KXAN 36.

“Like any relationship, sometimes the parties decide they need to go in a new direction – and that’s what we decided to do,” he said. “Whether it’s here in Austin, elsewhere in Texas or beyond, I’m going to continue to fight for the public’s right to know.”

The 20 year investigator has earned even more awards while in Austin most notably the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

Collister left KTRK for Austin in 2014.

He has also worked at WOAI San Antonio and KTBC FOX 7 Austin.

Collister, who grew up in The Woodlands, graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Josh Chapin exits KHOU 11

Reporter Josh Chapin to leave KHOU 11 for unknown North Carolina gig

KHOU 11 reporter Josh Chapin announced last night on social media that he is outta here.

"A tough, bittersweet night for me at #KHOU11," Chapin wrote on Twitter. "It was my last live shot for this amazing TV station. I'm headed on to a new opportunity next month in North Carolina. Thank you to everyone who watched me every night. I hope you will follow me on my journey to what's next!"

Chapin arrived at channel 11 almost to the day in 2015 from NBC Connecticut WVIT. Prior to that, he worked at News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn as an anchor/reporter.

He is a 2009 graduate of Duke University where he earned a degree in classical languages and broadcast journalism.

"In my time here since 2015, I’ve seen and covered some history in Houston," he added on his Facebook page. "Three floods, a hurricane, snow and ice, a Super Bowl, a Final Four and a World Series victory. I’m grateful to all of you that welcomed me into your homes each and every night at 10pm. To all of you who I have met, thank you for letting me tell your stories—for laughing and crying with me; for sharing moments with me at your best and worst times. This city has a very special place in my heart and I will never forget the friends and relationships I’ve forged here."

Clearly Chapin cannot say where in North Carolina his next job is at this point, so stay tuned.

(Thanks Taylor!)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Minerva Pérez Joins NHMC Board of Directors

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - Award-winning broadcast journalist Minerva Pérez has been elected to the board of directors of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC).

The former television news anchor is owner/principal of Minerva Pérez Media, LLC, a Sugar Land, Texas-based video production firm. She also is executive producer and partner of "Latina Voices: Smart Talk," a syndicated, multimedia (television/online/social media) program she created in 2008 and the first English-language talk show of its kind to focus on universal topics from a Latina perspective. Pérez is the author of the memoir, "I Gotta Story: My 30 Years in TV News."

"Minerva brings to our board more than 30 years of journalism experience, as well as a frontline perspective of how media issues affect Latinas and our Latino community," said Alex Nogales, NMHC president and chief executive officer. "Her extensive community involvement in California and Texas will add a vital dimension to our grassroots advocacy efforts."

Pérez joins five other Latinas serving on NHMC's national board: Board Vice Chair Marta Garcia of New York City; Lisette Arsuaga, co-president and partner of California-based Davila Multicultural Insights; former Deputy Assistant Secretary Sylvia V. Baca of the U.S. Department of the Interior; Charon D'Aiello Sandoval, former affirmative action program director at California State University, Los Angeles; and Los Angeles writer/producer Ligiah Villalobos.

Pérez began her broadcasting career in Texas, first at KURV-AM in Edinburg and then at KGBT-FM in Harlingen. She entered television news at KGBT-TV, also in Harlingen, before working in Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio. Pérez later became the first Latina news anchor at Houston's KTRK-TV and the first Mexican-American news anchorwoman on the "News at Ten Weekend Edition" at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.

She has won two Golden Mike awards, a Cesar Award, a Los Angeles Press Club award, and three Emmy nominations, as well as several Associated Press journalism awards.

A native of South Texas' Rio Grande Valley, Pérez earned a degree in mass communications and Spanish from the University of Texas at Pan American, now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Pérez has served on the boards of directors of or in leadership positions with several leading organizations, including the Advisory Council of the Women's Resource Center of Greater Houston, Harris County Children's Assessment Center, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals, Mayor's Council on Literacy: The Houston Read Commission, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.


The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is the media watchdog for the Latino community, ensuring that we are fairly and consistently represented in news and entertainment and that our voices are heard over the airwaves and on the internet.

We exist to challenge executives and influencers throughout the entertainment and news industry to eliminate barriers for Latinos to express themselves and be heard through every type of medium. NHMC works to bring decision-makers to the table to open new opportunities for Latinos to create, contribute and consume programming that is inclusive, free from bias and hate rhetoric, affordable and culturally relevant.

Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC))

3 Houston TV newsers make Chron's most eligible bachelorettes list

Three TV newsers make Chron's Houston's 33 most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes list

Amber Elliott and Heather Leighton of have published Meet Houston's 33 most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes.

Out of the 33 spots, three TV folks have made the list.

Jennifer Reyna
"KPRC-2's Jennifer Reyna is on the small screen to deliver your morning traffic report and after a six-year absence at the gym, she's returned and is ready to head to the boxing ring with the right partner."

UPDATE: Click for info on the Jennifer Reyna dress readers were so interested in from yesterday.

Lindsey Henry
"Lindsey Henry works as general assignments reporter with KRIV-26. The Houston-native graduated from Cinco Ranch High School and Sam Houston State University, though her Emmy nomination is the highlight of her already impressive resume."

The last entry, Hasti Taghi, actually left local tv news back in 2011. However, according to the article, and her Twitter account, Taghi has just accepted a job with NBC Universal and is moving to New York. So, if you are interested in this bachelorette, you might have to jump on a plane.

Hasti Taghi
"Hasti Taghi is a Houston legacy. Ever heard of A. Taghi Fine Clothing, A. Taghi Custom Homes, or A. Taghi Persian Rugs? An accomplished woman in her own right, Hasti was named the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Woman of the Year," worked as a project manager in the Texas Medical Center, and recently accepted a position with NBC Universal."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Jennifer Reyna and Chita Craft are twins?

Houston Internet blows up over the Jennifer Reyna and Chita Craft matching dress during the winter storm

KPRC 2 traffic anchor Jennifer Reyna and KHOU 11 meteorologist Chita Johnson Craft are trying to warn us to stay off the roads and indoors.

I actually walked to the store - I'm not getting on the road with fellow Houston drivers who don't know how to drive in this anymore than I do - and when I went in, I could not feel my face. I could barely talk. Totally numb. Now I've got that feeling once again. I can't explain you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb.

Anyway, Reyna and Craft are trying to keep us safe, but Houston internet users are going nuts over the fact that the competing duo are wearing THE SAME DRESS!

From r/Houston on reddit to Instagram, users are like, "What snow? Where did they get the dress?"

And no, I don't think this is a conspiracy to get buzz or ratings. I want to think it was totally coincidental.

From what I can tell, neither TV talent is acknowledging the other one's current similar taste in clothes...or saying where that dress came from.

Former investigative reporter Keli Rabon has uncovered the answer concerning this Tala Dress. "It’s from Rent the Runway...brand is Susana Monaco," Rabon told "The investigative reporter has it covered. LOL"

See the dress here.

And as to who wore it better? Well, RIP Joan Rivers and this blog ain't no Fashion Police.

All I can say is that on Instgram, at the time of this writing, Reyna has more likes.

Leave your comments here.

Houston TV invaded by $23 weather dress

VIDEO: #TVNews anchor laughing bloopers 2017

Monday, January 15, 2018

Houston TV journalists in Hawaii during 'missile strike' warning

KPRC 2 anchor Sara Donchey and KHOU Assistant News Director Josh Hubbard in Hawaii during Saturday's fake missile warning

Employees of two Houston TV stations were in Hawaii last weekend during the errant missile strike warning.

Through the week, KPRC 2 anchor Sara Donchey had been posting beautiful photos of her vacation on social media, and then she was faced with utter terror while in Honolulu Saturday.

KHOU Assistant News Director Josh Hubbard had just awakened after his last night on Maui when the Hyatt Hotel staff told his family to stay in their room, then later head to the basement.

Media reports say the warning was the result of human error during a routine drill.

Janel Forte joins KHOU + new set

WLOX Biloxi, MS weekend morning anchor Janel Forte joins KHOU as a reporter

Janel Forte joined KHOU 11 last week from WLOX Biloxi, MS where she's been the weekend morning anchor the last two years.

Her KHOU bio page makes no mention of what position she has taken, but her Twitter bio does say KHOU reporter.

"It’s an adventure, you never know what to expect as you head into work," Forte said about her profession on her newly posted channel 11 bio. "Each day I get to meet new people, go to new places and tell a different story. Not to mention the responsibility of serving in that gatekeeper role to inform the public and hold officials accountable."

Her website has a great breakdown of her career which I will show you here:

Medill News Service, Reporter, Washington DC
March 2015 – June 2015

Medill Reports, Reporter, Chicago, IL
September 2014 – March 2015

Social Justice News Nexus, Graduate Fellow, Chicago, IL
October 2014 – March 2015

Newswatch 16 ICTV, Anchor/Reporter, Ithaca, NY
September 2013 – May 2014

Fox News KDFW, Intern, Dallas Fort Worth, TX
May 2013- August 2013

The Virginian-Pilot, Intern, Norfolk, VA
January 2013

Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, IL
M.S. Journalism, Broadcast, Business

Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY
B.S. Communication, Media Communication Focus, Sociology Concentration, Law & Society Minor

So how did I find out about Forte?

I didn't get tipped off by anyone at the station or any Houston TV viewers, but an alert about a KHOU set change.

As I was looking around the KHOU website for any video of the new set, I happened to see her photo in the bios page. Luck was on my side.

Ron Trevino actually hinted about a new set over the weekend.

This is obviously a new temporary set since the station is still operating thanks to Houston Public Media's generosity and the PBS affiliates studio space after Hurricane Harvey heavily damaged its building.

Honestly, it's hard for me to tell the difference from the former temporary set, but glad to see the station is progressing in its flood recovery.

Last November, I blogged KHOU is looking for a new studio home. UPDATE: NewscastStudio has photos, not sure I see that much of a difference still.

KHOU 11 opening downtown Houston studios

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Houston ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival Feb. 12-22, 2018

Houston-based ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival, a city-wide festival promoting inclusion and celebrating the lives and talents of people living with disabilities, returns for its sixth year Feb. 12-22, 2018.

The event, anchored by a five-day film festival, also features a speaker series, live music jam session, art exhibit, educational tours to local schools and seminars at local offices, to educate the community and to help change perceptions about individuals with varying levels of abilities. The festival has grown to be the largest of its type in the U.S.

“With Houston being such a diverse community, we’re excited to put people living with disabilities at the forefront of the conversation with the hopes that this festival will educate others about the country’s largest minority,” said ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival Chair Vikki Evans. “Everyone has their own real ability that makes them unique. ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival proves that no matter what your background or level of ability is, your potential to make an impact is limitless,” continued Co-chair Susan Farb Morris.

ReelAbilities, founded in New York in 2007 and now presented in 14 cities, is the largest festival in the country dedicated to presenting award-winning films by and about people with different disabilities. The film portion of the festival will be held at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 from Feb. 18-22, where movies will be screened and followed by interactive panels to encourage audience discussion. Admission and parking will be free to attendees.

Houston is considered one of the most innovative cities hosting ReelAbilities, as this festival utilizes multiple avenues to further educate and inform members of the community beyond strictly film. For instance, ReelArt, a gallery exhibit at the Center for Art and Photography at Celebration Company, will kick off the festival on Feb. 12 from 6-8 p.m., and stay on display throughout the 11-day festival. The event will feature a meet-and-greet with visiting artist Brandon Lack, a talented artist from Austin who has Down syndrome, and more than 20 exhibiting Celebration Company artists living with disabilities. Operated by JFS Houston’s Disability Services Program, Celebration Company is a Houston-based entrepreneurial program composed of 20 adult artists living with disabilities who create art for both a leisure activity and a life skill.

ReelMusic, an all-inclusive jazz and blues music jam where professional musicians invite artists with disabilities to perform, will close the festival on Feb. 22 at White Oak Music Hall from 7-9 p.m. Dee Dee Dochen, Houson jazz vocalist, will chair and emcee the high-energy musical evening.

Another unique offering to ReelAbilities Houston is ReelPeople: UP Abilities – a series of intellectually-stimulating discussions with three thought leaders from across the world on Feb. 15 from 7-9 p.m. This year’s event at HCC West Loop South Campus will feature Mandy Harvey, a respected American singer-songwriter who is deaf and was a 2017 finalist on America’s Got Talent; Joseph Bensmihen, an advisor and groundbreaking advocate for people with disabilities, born with cerebral palsy; and Caroline Casey, a Dublin-based serial social entrepreneur behind the global #valuable campaign to bring inclusion to the workplace.

Tickets will be available online for $18 at

In part to city organizer JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion, and lead support from The Bristow Group and TIRR Memorial Hermann (founding partner), the film and arts events are free and open to the public. Maria Town, Director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, also joins the Honorary Committee of ReelAbilities Houston 2018.

ReelAbilities Houston is made possible thanks to the generous support of foundations, corporations, individual sponsors and in-kind donors. To learn more about becoming a ReelAbilities sponsor, please contact JFS Chief Development Officer Rachel Davis at or 713-667-9336 ext. 213. Guests may reserve seats for Houston’s sixth annual ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival at

February 18 - 22: ReelAbilities Film Festival: The 2018 festival will screen 17 films beginning February 18 through February 22 at Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24. Each film features an interactive event to foster dialogue between the audience, the filmmaker, parents, professionals, or persons with disabilities, and to explore the subjects depicted in the film.

Admission to all films and parking is free.

This year’s films include:

February 18

Evening Feature: Full Length (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM)

• Swim Team
In this touching film, parents of one boy with autism from New Jersey form a competitive swim team, recruiting a diverse group of teens on the autism spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. Director: Director Laura Stolman, 100 min, USA, English

February 19

Matinee Feature: Short Length (Matinee films begin at 1:00 PM)

• 4 Quarters
Follow the road to success of the Texas School for the Deaf Rangers, the only high school football team serving students with hearing impairments, as they take on a competitive league. Director: Cody Broadway, Documentary, 17 min, USA, English

• Dancing on Wheels
After a tragic accident, former ballerina Kitty Lunn taught herself how to dance again using her wheelchair.
Director: Qingzi Fan, Documentary, 10 mins, USA, English

• Picked
From a young age, we are shaped into behaving only as our communities deem permissible. This expectation of assimilation follows us into adulthood, where we make larger and more impactful choices. When a young girl is asked to pick a pumpkin on a school field trip, she is met with confusion and reprimand from her peers and teacher – under the guise that this admonishment is in her best interest. Her process and eventual selection is a great indication of how she will make more important decisions later in her life.
Director: Kelsey Amelia Snelling, Narrative, 8 mins, USA, English

• Still Kicking
Lucky Animaly, a 23-year-old Ghanaian, is a multi-talented energetic young man born with leg deformity who plays soccer with an able-bodied soccer team. Lucky strikes against all odds to become a world soccer star in Ghana.
Director: Osei Owusu Banahene, Documentary, 5 min, Ghana, English

Matinee Feature: Full Length (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

• Nise – The Heart of Madness
An indomitable psychiatrist refuses to employ electroshock therapy and confronts Brazil’s mental health establishment in the 1950s. Based on a true story, Nise da Silveira pioneered the use of art therapy as an effective tool to treat patients with mental health issues. Director: Roberto Berliner, Narrative, 108 min, Brazil, Portuguese

Evening Feature: Full Length (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM)

• Prison Dogs
Prison Dogs focuses on the impact of a groundbreaking program that gives two of the most marginalized populations in our society – prison inmates and veterans with PTSD – a second chance. The Puppies Behind Bars Program allows prison inmates to care for and train puppies as service dogs for injured veterans.
Director: Perri Peltz, Documentary, 71 min, USA, English

February 20

Matinee Feature: Full Length (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

• Blind Date
Technology is transforming the way we date and find love. Mobile apps like Tinder, and websites like OKCupid wet our appetite for instant visual gratification. But, if you’re single and blind, you face a distinct set of challenges. A digital divide has emerged between sighted and blind people in search of love. Blind Date is a short documentary that follows three blind New Yorkers on their quests for love in the digital age. Directors: Nicole Ellis & Maya Albanese, Documentary, 35 min, USA, English

Evening Feature: Full Length (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM)

• Looking at the Stars
What does it mean to ask someone to Look at the Stars? For Geyza, a prima ballerina who is blind, it means the journey of her life. This feature documentary invites us into her world, and of a special ballet academy in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the only company in South America of its kind.
Director: Alexandre Peralta, Documentary, 89 min, USA, English

February 21

Matinee Feature: Full Length (Matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

• At Eye Level
When 11-year-old Michi finds his estranged father’s address, he can’t believe his luck. When they meet and Michi discovers that his father, Tom, has dwarfism, Michi and Tom are forced to confront both disability and fatherhood head on.
Directors: Joachim Dollhopf and Evi Goldbrunner, Narrative, 100 min,Germany, German

Evening Feature: Full Length (Evening film begins at 7:00 PM)

• My Hero Brother
A group of young people with Down syndrome embarks on a demanding trip through the Indian Himalayas accompanied by their typically abled brothers and sisters. Unresolved conflicts and the complexities of growing up with a child who has Down syndrome in the family come to the surface, while a heartwarming and special closeness develops among the siblings as they deal with formidable physical and emotional challenges. The difficult trials and poignant relationships set against the richly colorful backdrop of India open new horizons and deepen our understanding of the challenges young adults with disabilities and their families face.
Director: Yonatan Nir, Documentary, 78 min, Israel, Hebrew

February 22

Matinee Afternoon of Shorts (Short matinee film begins at 4:00 PM)

• Andy Barrie: The Voice
A former Candaian radio host, Andy Barrie, finds a new voice in battling Parkinson’s disease.
Director: Lana Slezic, Documentary, 13 min, Canada, English

• Behind the Clip: Little Foxes
Lauren Watson is a talented aerial artist with incomplete paraplegia. She has been using the art form as a fun way to get her body moving again after being partially paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a car accident in 2000.
Director: Samuel Bright, Documentary, 3 min, Australia, English

• I Am Able
In 1994, Frederick Ndabaramiye’s home country of Rwanda was torn apart. In 100
days, over one million people were killed in a horrific genocide. Four years later, the same Interhamwe rebels who spearheaded this genocide pulled over the bus that Frederick was taking to visit his aunt. What happened next would change his life forever.
Director: Isaac Seigel-Boettner, Documentary, 12 min, USA, English

• On Beat
A look inside the family life of deaf parents, their hearing children and the music that unites them.
Director: Cheng Zhang and Reid Davenport, 7 min, Documentary, English

• Sky
Nine-year-old Sky feels powerless and misunderstood among his hearing classmates. He thinks the outsiders don’t understand him, but does he understand them?
Director: Loes Janssen, Documentary, 15 min, Netherlands, Dutch

• Well Done
A young man goes to visit an art museum and is fascinated by a symbolic picture.
Director: Riccardo Di Gerlando, Narrative, 11 min, Italy, Italian

• February 22: ReelMusic: An All-Inclusive Jazz and Blues Jam: Professional jazz and blues musicians invite musicians with disabilities to jam with the band at White Oak Music Hall on from 7-9 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.).
2915 N Main St,
Houston, TX 77009

• Ongoing: ReelEducation: In addition to ReelAbilities’ city-wide public events, the festival also brings free programming during the school day to Houston area schools so that the message of inclusion and the importance of arts is being communicated to the city’s youth – through film, music, and fine art.

• Ongoing: ReelWorkplace: Hiring managers, staff, and future employees attend company-sponsored, in-house ReelWorkplace seminars featuring films, speakers, and etiquette workshops about various topics of inclusion.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by Houston ReelAbilities Film and Arts Festival)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Dayna Steele podcast returns

Steele Workers, listen up. Former 101 KLOL DJ and current candidate for Texas Congressional District 36, Dayna Steele, has a podcast.

Current episode:

High school student and Dayna Steele For Congress campaign intern Annie Figueroa has put together a Texas High School Voter Registration Manual for Texas high school principals. According to Texas voter laws, all Texas high school principals should be registered Deputy Voter Registrars and should be registering eligible students twice a year. Annie joined Dayna on The Voice For Southeast Texas podcast to discuss the how and why of registering students.

You can support Steele's campaign at

Dayna Steele and supporters rock Numbers Night Club