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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Alejandro Mendoza joins Telemundo Houston KTMD



Telemundo Houston KTMD announced Alejandro Mendoza has joined the NBCUniversal station as an Anchor/Reporter.

Mendoza is co-anchoring the 5pm and 10pm newscasts alongside Crystal Ayala, meteorologist Carlos Robles and Lead Sports Anchor Ubaldo Martinez.

He has worked as a news anchor at KMEX Univision 34 Los Angeles and KDTV Univision 14 San Francisco. He also worked as a news correspondent for "Primer Impacto" based in Mexico City.

Prior to Univision, he worked for Televisa as a news reporter in Monterrey, Mexico.

Mendoza has won multiple Emmys for his reporting, including an Edward R. Murrow. He is a graduate of La Universida Autónoma de Nuevo León.

His first day was Monday.

Mendoza fills the vacant slot left by Martin Berlanga last August.




CW 39's Maggie Flecknoe is a survivor

She has survived a layoff, avoided another one, and most importantly survived a near-death experience, now CW 39 KIAH's Maggie Flecknoe is ready for a new "Morning Dose"
"You can produce a show, but you can't produce your life."


For CW 39 KIAH morning anchor Maggie Flecknoe, perseverance has paid off.

She helped start channel 39's foray into the morning news wars way back when she was working local news cut-ins for what was then Tribune's syndicated morning show Eye-Opener out of Chicago.

And this coming Monday, Morning Dose becomes a Houston-based newscast broadcast from the KIAH studios.

"I've always wanted to do mornings since I was little," Flecknoe told mikemcguff.com. "To have people choose to wake up to you and start their day, to me that's such an honor. And I think it's also the place in our business right now that's expanding the most."

She certainly is right about that.

FOX 26 KRIV expanded its morning show to six hours years ago. And right now, channel 26 owns the local news and advertising world from 7am on as the other stations run network programming.

You might remember that in September 2018, Tribune announced the cancellations of its anchor-less NewsFix newscast in Houston and Dallas and its syndicated Morning Dose newscast.

RELATED
Revelations from NewsFix's development and what the old KIAH newsroom was like before the new show's debut

Turns out, Houston consistently performed better than the other markets that ran the syndicated morning newscast. Now KIAH sees an opportunity to hold on to that audience and expand.

At the time of this writing, Dallas-Fort Worth sister station KDAF 33, which served as the broadcast studio of the syndicated Morning Dose, will not have AM news once the show stops production there this Friday.

Tribune has already shipped its state-of-the-art Morning Dose set to KIAH Houston. For Houston history buffs out there, to make room, the station told me it removed the bleachers from its studios that once sat the audience for Paul Boesch's Houston Wrestling that was a staple on Houston televisions until the end of the 1980s.

Right now, Flecknoe is one of a handful of news department employees continuing with the station after the NewsFix layoffs. As far as we know now, she will be the only on-air personality to transition into the new local show along with other soon to be announced on-air staff.

One hire we do know, is KBTX Bryan-College Station reporter Courtney Carpenter, who announced on social media she is joining KIAH in some capacity.

"It's been a whirlwind and you go through different emotions because, you know, I just lost my colleagues that I've been working with," Flecknoe said.

For Flecknoe, staying strong helped start her broadcasting career in Houston and keep it here.

After studying at Harvard University's Moscow Art Theater School, Flecknoe arrived in H-Town with few connections.

Someone in the local film community told her she should audition for anime voice overs at an area studio. A decade later, with around one hundred characters voices attached to her, Flecknoe actually started a career that's still going strong and has nothing to do with Houston television.

Although, don't tell that to her anime fans, they still sample her TV news work from afar.

"That's why it's also good I put things online, because they share it and they watch," Flecknoe said. "In Pakistan for instance, they watch anime to learn English, and then now they're huge fans of the Facebook Lives."

One of Flecknoe's favorite roles was as Yukari Yukino in The Garden of Words which earned her honors at the 2nd Annual BTVA Anime Dub Awards. She believes her breakthrough role was on the TV show High School of the Dead as Saya Takagi.

"I have all of [the shows]. One day I'll show my kids and be like, 'look what mommy did,'" she said.

Outside of anime, Flecknoe has also appeared in commercials with former Houston Rocket Yao Ming and country band Lady Antebellum. She also has performed at the Alley, Upstage and Texas Repertory Theaters.

So if you have a background as an actress facing auditions, what's the next career path with lots of obstacles? Television news.

"I've been rejected for roles since I was 5 years old," Flecknoe admitted.

It turns out Flecknoe's entrance into broadcasting was a happy accident. She was "discovered" while working at Nordstrom in The Galleria.

That encounter led to her start on air at 740 KTRH and 790 KBME, then known as "The Sports Animal," only to be laid off during a round of Clear Channel cuts the day of President Obama's 2008 inaugural speech.

For six months after that, Flecknoe peppered KIAH with her resume tape and the station gave her a chance due to her tenacity. What started out as a part-time news writing job quickly added on-air and online duties with the "Online Dish" with Maggie. Looking back nearly a decade ago, that segment was ahead of its time. It was one of the first TV news pieces in Houston that targeted the millennial set. Now every channel appears to be chasing the younger demos.

"They allowed me a lot of artistic freedom, let's just put it that way," Flecknoe admitted. "And that's what I've loved about Tribune too, is that they've allowed me to have that artistic freedom which to me is priceless."

In 2011, when the Chicago-based company announced it was launching its first entrance into the syndicated morning world with Eye-Opener, Flecknoe volunteered to work that shift alongside then CW39 anchor Mia Gradney. When Gradney went across the street to KHOU 11, Flecknoe slowly transitioned into the anchor role.

Over time, the small, yet dedicated KIAH morning crew were feeling the ratings momentum. Flecknoe, who anchor/produces news cut-ins, weather and traffic, even started doing Friday morning live shots from different Bayou City hot spots.

"I love Fridays, because we came up with the idea one day, and my first live shot actually went viral," Flecknoe recalled. "I was at the rodeo and a pig pooped on me."

Then came the morning of October 6, 2016. 3:24 in the morning. She was four minutes late on her way to work.


"I had my Velcro rollers in and I was driving just like I always do same intersection," Flecknoe recalled. "I've driven this way for years I've done the morning shift."

At the corner of Rice and Richmond Avenues, Flecknoe looked to her right and saw a white SUV come plowing towards her. She remembers gripping the steering wheel and slamming on the brakes as hard as she ever had while screaming, 'No!'


The accident was bad enough that news stringers and TV stations showed up the scene to get footage. Flecknoe says the other driver had been drinking.

The aftermath left Flecknoe with a cervical sprain, herniated disks and put her in a state of shock.

With all of that, she still thinks of the Houston firefighters who saved a precious item from her car. It's a cup decorated with sunflowers (her favorite flowers) with the words "You are my sunshine" that was given to Flecknoe by her grandmother.

"It's actually on my desk right now," Flecknoe said. "So that's always on set with me. I'm kind of superstitious."


So between the accident and losing her grandfather at the same time, Flecknoe showed up back to work just days later in a back brace. She took injections over her Christmas vacation so she could stand long enough to cover the upcoming Super Bowl LI Houston activities.

"I hate driving to work in the morning to this day and it's going to be two years," Flecknoe admits. "But I cannot go down that intersection to work. I just can't. So I go the long way to work and sometimes I'll leave a little bit later and just hope that it doesn't happen again. But I see people running lights all the time."

In the hours between work and physical therapy, Flecknoe says she was fairly bedridden due to pain. She laid there asking God, "why me?"

"That's when I re-assessed my life and my crew here, I'm like, it's OK if we make a mistake, it's live TV, we get to do it again," Flecknoe said. "Life's way too short. And then I saw the way that [members of the Houston media] wrote up my accident from an outside perspective, because they didn't know it was me, and the way they told the story and I was like, 'Huh, that's not at all what happened.' That's somebody's trial, that's somebody's significant other maybe. It inspired me to tell stories differently and to not just assume one thing."

The accident, although creating a whole new set of recovery and physical work, did force the morning anchor to not obsess over work.

"I'm glad [the accident] happened, in a way, because it forced me to slow down, because as I told you before, I was doing so much for the show and the station and my life was consumed by work. And that literally forced me to stop."

So as she gears up for the new show, while still keeping the old one on the air, Flecknoe continues to keep to her early schedule of getting to bed by 9pm and getting up way before sunrise.

"I truly feel like I'm a survivor in more ways than one," Flecknoe told me. "I've survived a layoff in this business - in radio. I picked myself back up again. I've been through a lot of different shows and formats here at the station and I've survived a near death experience [and] heartache. I mean I've been through it all. And I'm sure there's going to be something else too. I know it sounds cliche, but everything happens for a reason. And my big thing is, you can produce a show, but you can't produce your life."





Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Houston Chronicle editor Nancy Barnes named NPR's SVP of News and Editorial Director



NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn has named noted journalist Nancy Barnes Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director, effective November 28th. Barnes is currently Executive Editor for Hearst Texas Newspapers/Executive Editor Houston Chronicle.

Barnes has spent nearly 30 years leading high-performing teams in delivering award-winning journalism to the public. Most recently, she developed the Houston Chronicle into a metro paper known for national caliber journalism with deep local roots. Under her leadership, the Chronicle won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2015 for columns about problems in the legal and immigration systems. The Chronicle also won a Polk award, the Selden Ring Award for Investigations, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Public service for a series on how Texas state officials denied tens of thousands of students access to special education services. And in 2018, it was a Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of Hurricane Harvey.

"Nancy has the news judgment to guide our storytelling, believes in the power of the NPR mission, sees the tremendous opportunity in unifying NPR and Member station newsrooms, and has the business acumen to think creatively about how we can bring our journalism to even more eyes and ears," said Mohn.

Barnes got her start in journalism as a local general assignment reporter, then moved to the statehouse beat, and soon after to progressively more senior news management roles. During her tenure at the Chronicle, she has overseen all print and digital subscriber products and dozens of weekly newspapers, as well as the creation of new products to develop new audiences, including specialty publications, topical newsletters and podcasts. Previously, she served as executive editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune Media Company, where she directed award-winning journalism that led to the Pulitzer Prize for local news in 2013, Gerald Loeb Awards for business reporting, Edward R. Murrow award for general excellence, Silver Gavel for newspapers, regional Emmys, and other recognitions.

"It is a privilege and honor, truly, to be asked to join the NPR team. NPR is one of the most respected and enduring news brands in America, with a legacy of outstanding reporting and storytelling across the country and the world. Its mission to inform, serve and enlighten the public is one that is near and dear to my heart," said Barnes.

Barnes steps into the leadership role of NPR News supported by an award-winning team of journalists and newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and storytelling. Chris Turpin, who provided interim leadership of NPR News, remains with the organization in a new role, as Vice President for Editorial Innovation and Newsroom Development.

Barnes has a master's degree in business administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. She is the president of the American Society of News Editors and is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University.

About NPR
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day—on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public—one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information at npr.org/aboutnpr and following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(This post was taken from a press release by NPR)

RELATED
NPR’s Top Editor Michael Oreskes Forced to Resign After Sexual Harassment Allegations





Monday, October 15, 2018

The New 93Q Wins CMA Award for Major Market Station of the Year 2018

Houston Country Music Station – KKBQ-FM – Wins Country Music Association Award for Major Market Station of the Year


HOUSTON – (October 15, 2018) – KKBQ-FM, The New 93Q, was named Major Market Station of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA).

The station was informed of the win by a personal phone call from country superstar, Jason Aldean. The award will be presented at the 52 nd annual CMA Awards show, airing live on Wednesday, November 14 th on ABC TV at 7pm CST.

"It’s a tremendous honor to receive this distinguished award,” says Cox Media Group Houston VP and Market Manager, Mark Krieschen. "The CMA award is a true reflection of the KKBQ team’s dedication to our on-air product, the local communities we serve, our advertisers, employees and the country music industry."

This is the third consecutive CMA win for The New 93Q in this category – which stipulates that a station can only be eligible every other year. Previously, the station won Major Market Station of the Year in 2014 and 2016.

The CMA Awards Show annually recognizes outstanding achievement in the industry of country music. Nominees and winners are determined by the more than 7,400 industry professional members of the Country Music Association, which when established in 1958, became the first trade organization formed to promote an individual genre of music.

“Our third CMA Major Market Station of the Year Award. That is just surreal,” says Cox Media Group Houston Director of Operations Johnny Chiang. “This award belongs to our listeners, who drive us every day to serve our local community in the best way possible.”
The CMA is the station’s second major honor in 2018. Just last month, The New 93Q received the prestigious Marconi Award for Legendary Station of the Year by the National Association of Broadcasters.

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company. The company’s operations include broadcast television stations, radio stations, daily newspapers and non-daily publications. Additionally, Cox Media Group operates the National Advertising Platform businesses of CoxReps, Gamut and Videa: and offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services through its Local Solutions and Ideabar businesses. For more information about Cox Media Group, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.


(This post taken from a release sent to me by Cox Media Group Houston)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Darby Douglas gets a new grandson


Former KHOU 11 traffic anchor Darby Douglas is doing his annual Facebook Christmas countdown, but this week, he gets an early gift.

Little Charles was born Thursday at 12:36am. He came in at 6 lbs., 2 oz. and is 18 inches long.

Douglas reports mom and baby are both fine!


(Thanks Robin!)



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Foti Kallergis leaves abc13 KTRK for PR role

Emmy Award-Winning TV Journalist Foti Kallergis Signs Off to Join Etched Communication
Kallergis will oversee media and digital strategies at the award-winning, Houston-based PR firm


HOUSTON–(Oct. 11, 2018)– ABC-13 (Disney) TV Journalist Foti Kallergis is signing-off after nearly 15 years of news reporting to join one of Houston’s most diverse and growing public relations agency, Etched Communication.

“It’s been a wild ride, and I’m thrilled to start a new chapter with a group of outstanding professionals,” said Kallergis. “The Etched team is beyond talented. They have a unique approach on this ever-evolving industry. I embrace their diverse perspectives, and I look forward to adding my experience.”

In his new role as VP of group accounts, Kallergis will help oversee efforts for Etched clients including the Houston Housing Authority, Houston Habitat for Humanity and AND1. He will oversee broadcast, print and digital strategies that drive engagement, change perceptions and build brands.

“We are gaining not only a valuable asset to our team, but a really incredible person,” said Etched Communication CEO and Founder Toni Harrison. “At Etched Communication, we pride ourselves with having a diverse group of people who know Houston and are woven into the fabric of our great city. Foti is one of those people, and I think our clients will be extremely happy to have Foti on their team too.”

Kallergis joined the ABC-13 (Disney) team in September of 2013. He’s been awarded with two Emmy Awards and 13 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Awards. Weeks ago, he was nominated for two more Emmy Awards for his live coverage of Hurricane Harvey and his human interest series on “The Forgotten People,” a group of former slaves in the mountains of Ecuador.

“ABC-13 has been my dream job. I grew up watching Dave Ward and Marvin Zindler,” Kallergis said. “Being a member of their news team was a big deal for me personally. I’m extremely proud of my accomplishments there, and I will forever cherish the relationships and true friendships I gained.”

Kallergis has been a TV journalist since 2005. He’s worked for other Texas stations including KFDM-TV in Beaumont, FOX 7 News Austin (News Corp.) and KVUE-TV (Austin). Kallergis’ last day at ABC-13 will be Oct. 12.

ABOUT ETCHED COMMUNICATION:
Etched Communication, is a creative, integrated and award-winning communication agency with the encompassing expertise of a global firm and the personal interaction and tailored approach of a boutique agency. Armed with a flexible approach, matchless expertise and endless curiosity and ingenuity, Etched strategically creates and executes comprehensive strategies that not only demand recognition, but etch a lasting impact. Connect with Etched Communication on LinkedIn or @etchedaffect on Instagram, Twitter
and Facebook.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by Etched Communication.)

Hottest Houston social media stars September 2018



I didn't issue an August report since there were so many vacations going on, so let's get back to it for September.

Share Rocket gives us data on how each Houston TV station and the corresponding air staff members performed on Facebook and Twitter.

Share Rocket is, "a social media ratings and audience solution providing media companies an easy way to quantify their social media equity, benchmark against peers and turn social market intelligence into insights that drive social success."

The numbers are pulled from station usage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using Share Rocket's "Share" measurement.

First we are looking at every Houston media company in the Share Rocket database and top personalities. Then I am looking at the top 5 on air staff members at each station in order of channel number.

RELATED
- Texas TV news and radio job moves September 2018
- The TV News bloopers of September 2018

Houston Media
  1. abc13 KTRK
  2. FOX 26 KRIV
  3. KHOU 11
  4. KPRC 2
  5. Houston Chronicle
  6. 47 Telemundo
  7. 45 Univision
  8. Houston Press
  9. Houston's 39
  10. CultureMap Houston

Top 5 individuals
  1. Eduardo Rodríguez (Yusnaby Pérez) - 47 Telemundo
  2. Tim Heller - abc13 KTRK
  3. Mark Berman - FOX 26 KRIV
  4. Greg Groogan - FOX 26 KRIV
  5. Stephen Morgan - FOX 26 KRIV

KPRC 2
  1. Adam Wexler
  2. Dominique Sachse
  3. Jennifer Reyna
  4. Justin Stapleton
  5. Britta Merwin

KHOU 11
  1. Brandi Smith
  2. David Paul
  3. Chita Craft
  4. Brooks Garner
  5. Bill Bishop (Managing Editor)

abc 13 KTRK
  1. Tim Heller
  2. Erica Simon
  3. Samica Knight
  4. Mayra Moreno
  5. Katherine Whaley

FOX 26 KRIV
  1. Mark Berman
  2. Greg Groogan
  3. Stephen Morgan
  4. Ivory Hecker
  5. Kaitlin Monte

Univision 45 KXLN
  1. Albert Martínez
  2. Marcela Perez Barros
  3. Marlene Guzman
  4. Karina Yapor
  5. Deysy Rios

Telemundo 47 KTMD
  1. Eduardo Rodríguez (Yusnaby Pérez)
  2. Ubaldo Martínez
  3. Carlos A. Robles
  4. Antonio Hernández
  5. Augusto Bernal

Houston Chronicle
  1. John McClain
  2. Brian T. Smith
  3. Joseph Duarte
  4. Brent Zwerneman
  5. Evan Mintz

DISCLAIMER: The top five Houston Chronicle staffers are listed at the bottom. I did not include KIAH 39 because it does not have five full-time on-air employees to make up the list. No Houston radio stations are listed in the Share Rocket database.




Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Houston Rockets broadcast team gets new addition

New reporter Michelle Margaux will serve as in-game reporter for Houston Rockets game broadcasts joining Bill Worrell and Craig Ackerman (play-by-play announcers), Matt Bullard and Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler (analysts) on the AT&T SportsNet broadcasts


AT&T SportsNet SM -Southwest announced today the broadcast schedule for the Houston Rockets 2018-19 season.

AT&T SportsNet, the official TV home of the Houston Rockets will produce and televise 70 regular season games. Houston Rockets regular season coverage on AT&T SportsNet tips off October 17 against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. The network broadcasts will include both pre-game and post-game shows.

Bill Worrell and Craig Ackerman will return to share duties as the play-by-play announcers, as well as Matt Bullard and Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler as analysts on the AT&T SportsNet broadcasts. Kevin Eschenfelder will serve as the host of both pre-game and post-game shows.

Joining Kevin on the pre-game and post-game shows as an analyst is Houston Rockets legend Calvin Murphy. This year’s broadcast team will have a new addition, Michelle Margaux, who will serve as the in-game reporter for all home and away Houston Rockets game broadcasts this season. Margaux comes to AT&T SportsNet from FOX Sports Sun, where she spent the past year as reporter and host.

Starting on October 17th , AT&T SportsNet will continue the behind-the-scenes show, Rockets All Access.

This weekly show will air on Wednesdays before the pre-game show or at 6pm on Wednesday nights when there is no game. The show will allow fans to see the behind-the-scenes stories and personalities of their favorite players, coaches and front office staff.

Note: Territorial restrictions apply. Subject to blackouts.

For a complete Houston Rockets broadcast schedule for the 2018-19 season go to https://southwest-
attsn.att.com/rockets/schedule/


(This post was taken from a release sent to me by AT&T SportsNet)

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Erica Simon is pregnant

abc13 KTRK weekend morning anchor Erica Simon announces pregnancy


Rising abc13 KTRK star anchor Erica Simon has been getting lots of attention lately.

The newly minted weekend morning anchor just got some press in the Chron about 'freeing' her freckles sans TV makeup off the air to show her natural beauty.

Now the Dallas native is revealing something else...she's pregnant with a girl!

"Y’all. I officially have the pregnant lady waddle," she posted on Facebook last week.

I like what Simon is doing on social media. She uses multiple versions of a cartoon avatar of herself in posts. Good idea. Don't think I've seen any TV news types do this before.

Back to the subject at hand, Simon was 20 weeks pregnant as of last week.





Monday, October 08, 2018

Greg Bailey returns to KTRK...again

abc13 KTRK sports anchor Greg Bailey returns to work after broken bones and sling


Poor Greg Bailey.

The abc13 KTRK sports anchor has had a spell of bad luck as of late.

He just returned today after a second bad injury complete with a new sling as you can see in the photo below.

"After recovering from surgery I fell and broke bones in my shoulder," Bailey posted on Facebook. "Bummer! (Painful, too.) Thank you for all the great wishes! Back for the Astros and Texans."

A reader alerted me a few days ago that Bailey was missing in action again. Based on his lack of social media posting, I would guess he went missing in mid-September.

In July, channel 13's Bailey had to stay home due to a bad back.

He returned in August.