Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sonia Azad wins award for best hair in Texas

Current WFAA anchor/reporter and former KTRK abc13 reporter Sonia Azad wins hair-raising award!

My Dallas - Fort Worth readers already know how great Sonia Azad is doing since she left Houston's abc13 KTRK and joined WFAA in the mighty Metroplex.

Today, she is doing even better.


She won a HAIRRY award from the site getgoodhead.com. This means the site has determined Azad has the best hair of a female TV journalist in Texas.

Guess she pushes her Lone Star EMMY statuette aside and replaces it with this prestigious TV News award.

"Another line to add to the resumé 😜🤣 I won a HAIRRY," Azad posted on Facebook. "I dedicate this award to all the stylists at Drybar Dallas & my girl ERIN at Lure Salon for keeping me on point."

So how do TV reporters and anchors win?

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 eventually narrow it down to one HAIRRY Winner and one HAIRRY Runner-Up.

Here is the listing for Azad's honor:

Sonia’s hair is beyond spectacular. Like, once we saw a sunset in Hawaii where dolphins jumped and splashed on the horizon while parrots flew in the pink sky, and Azad’s hair is way better than that sunset.

This perfect brunette has full and voluminous hair that wonderfully shapers her face and makes her eyes pop with light! If you’re looking for #hairgoals – look no further than Sonia Azad. Just understand that you won’t be able to have hair as good. Sorry. 😉

Sonia Azad is a reporter (and occasional anchor) for ABC 8 in Texas. In addition to being a HAIRRY-Award, Azad is also an EMMY-Award winner. So, basically, Azad wins a lot.

When it comes to channel 13, there must be something in the water that causes fantastic follicles.

In 2016, KTRK abc13 anchor Erik Barajas, was honored with a HAIRRY: Local Newsmen With The Best Hair award.

KPRC 2 claims #1 spot in November 2017 sweeps

Channel 2 wins at 4, 5, 6 and 10pm in Houston

Houstonians continue to choose KPRC Channel 2 as Houston’s Home for News.

Once again, they made the NBC affiliate the #1 station in key dayparts across the city among people ages 25-54 for the Nielsen November 2017 measurement period.

KPRC 2 News at 4 p.m. with Keith Garvin and Sara Donchey has grown 20% year-to- year and dominated November with a rating equal to that of KTRK and KHOU combined.

KPRC 1.2
KTRK 0.7
KHOU 0.5

KPRC 2 News at 5 p.m. with Bill Balleza and Lauren Freeman shows 8% year-to- year growth, and was the clear winner in November.

KPRC 1.4
KTRK 1.0
KHOU 0.7

KPRC 2 News at 6 p.m. featuring Bill Balleza, Dominique Sachse, Meteorologist Frank Billingsley and Sports Director Randy McIlvoy brought the station another victory with a 1.8 rating at 6 p.m. That team also continued their long-standing late news ratings dominance, achieving the market’s top rating of 2.2 for KPRC 2 News at 10 p.m.

“Our evening newscasts continue to outshine the competition and we’re proud of our growth at 4 and 5 p.m.,” said KPRC Channel 2 General Manager, Jerry Martin. “It’s a testament to the hard work our news team puts in to bring viewers breaking news, up-to- the-minute developments on Houston’s big stories and of course strong, investigative journalism on issues that matter to Houstonians every day.”

KPRC 2 News Today (4:30-7 a.m.) finished November strong, taking a close second place by only a tenth of a point with a 1.4 rating in the 6 a.m. hour.

Entertainment programming also drew viewers to KPRC Channel 2, with #1 November ratings (Adults 25-54) for Dr. Phil (3 p.m.), Extra (4:30 p.m.), Entertainment Tonight (6:30 p.m.), Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show.

All ratings are Adults 25-54 based on Nielsen Live + SD overnights for the measurement period of October 27 th , 2017 through November 23 rd , 2017, M-F 6-6:30 a.m., 4-4:30pm, 5-5:30pm, 6-6:30pm and 10-10:30pm.

KPRC Channel 2 is the NBC affiliate for Houston, TX. The station is owned by The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and is one of seven in the television division along with WDIV Detroit, WKMG Orlando, KSAT San Antonio, WSLS Roanoke and WJXT & WCWJ in Jacksonville. KPRC has long been an innovator as the first television station in Houston and the 12 th in the nation. KPRC was the first in Houston to broadcast in color and the station that beamed Neil Armstrong’s famous words “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” across the world. KPRC’s innovative spirit continues to this day through communications advances and community partnerships. Other KPRC properties include Click2Houston.com and THIStv.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by KPRC)

Telemundo Houston delivers Houston’s largest late news audiences in November 2017 sweeps

Monday, December 11, 2017

Brett Buffington joins KHOU 11 (ICYMI)

Brett Buffington has joined KHOU 11...like way earlier this year when I wasn't blogging.

Let's play catch up!

Buffington is called a "multi-skilled journalist" for channel 11 which means he shoots, reports and edits his own story.

Before Houston, Buffington worked for WBRZ Baton Rouge, Louisiana for two years.

While there, the local paper reported how Buffington sued Baton Rouge police for alleged violations of his First Amendment rights and for an allegedly unreasonable seizure, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and defamation while trying to cover a story.

The paper later reported the federal lawsuit was settled.

Prior to Louisiana, Buffington also worked as:

- an investigative reporter for WIS Columbia, South Carolina
- a reporter for WJBF in Augusta, Georgia
- a video journalist-digital mobile journalist for WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to his bio, Buffington started in the TV news biz as a tape editor at the CBS affiliate in Augusta, Georgia, while in high school.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Patricia Lopez leaves abc13 KTRK

After 10 years, abc13 KTRK consumer reporter Patricia Lopez quits abc13 KTRK

KTRK abc13 Stretch Your Dollar morning anchor Patricia Lopez is leaving the station and going out in style!

In all my years of blogging about the Houston media, I don't remember anyone posting a highly produced Facebook video detailing their departure.

In case you are at work or a place where you can't watch video, here is what Lopez told her fans:

"After ten years at channel 13, it's with mixed emotions, that I have my final goodbye next week, December 15, 2017.

You know 2017 was a rough year for my family and so many people in the Houston area and I had a chance to reflect on the last few months and make a decision about my future and my heart is at home with my four children. That's another full-time job and I'm excited about that new adventure.

But you can always catch me on social media still - PatriciaonTV on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook as well. So, I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.

It's been a very difficult time. But we look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever.

And I want to thank my colleagues and managers at channel 13 who have made that such an amazing job the last ten years.

I appreciate it. But I look forward to keeping in touch with you so please shoot me an email. Bye."

Before returning to Houston in 2007, the Kingwood High grad worked in New York City at WPIX CW11 Morning News.

While there, she even was a finalist in the 2003 search for a new co-host position on ABC's The View.

Before the Big Apple, Lopez worked as a reporter at KCNC-TV Denver and KOKI-TV Tulsa. Lopez's bio also said she worked in Washington, D.C and Wichita Falls.

She is a University of Oklahoma graduate.

SHOW SUPPORT: Tell Patricia goodbye!

Thursday, December 07, 2017

KHOU 11 wins Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award 2018

Big news for KHOU 11 today. The TEGNA station has won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

The prestigious award recognizes excellence in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism.

The KHOU investigative department was recognized for something I told you about last year.


Reporter Jeremy Rogalski and team produced “Transparency,” which was a digital-first investigation that exposed the lack of accountability and the improper use of police body cameras in the city of Houston.

"Very humbled by today’s announcement that 'Transparency,' our four-month investigation into the Houston Police body camera program, earned the Alford I. duPont-Columbia University Award, the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize," Rogalski posted on Facebook.

"I'm proud of this body of work on so many levels, in particular that it was a digital-first investigation," KHOU President & General Manager Susan McEldoon told mikemcguff.com. "It’s a perfect example of the positive impact local journalism has on its community."

According to TEGNA, the four-month investigation revealed the Houston Police Department failed to release timely footage for criminal cases and declined to conduct promised video audits. In response to the documentary, the Houston police chief immediately addressed the camera technology issues and pledged to discipline any officers who fail to activate cameras when required.

Here is the award listing:


This innovative long-form report, based on a four month-investigation of the Houston PD’s $8 million body camera program, revealed its many weaknesses, including hundreds of cases with missing footage, major delays in releasing videos, and a general lack of accountability.


Jeremy Rogalski, Investigative Reporter;

Keith Tomshe, Investigative Photojournalist;

Stephanie Kuzydym, Investigative Producer;

Ty Scholes, Investigative Producer;

Matt Keyser, Digital Producer;

Ellen Crooke, Vice President News.

TEGNA is the only local broadcast group to receive two silver batons for investigative reporting.

KARE 11 in Minneapolis also took home the prize.

“Like many of our TEGNA stations, KARE and KHOU have produced incredibly meaningful work that impacts the lives of many. Their projects are strong examples of the positive impact of local journalism on communities and the importance of storytelling for the public interest,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “We are committed to continuing to invest in our local stations to ensure they have the journalistic freedom to pursue investigations that make communities stronger without bias or agenda.”

Both stations will be recognized in an awards ceremony hosted by some of the country’s leading broadcast journalists on January 16, 2018, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award recognizes excellence in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism.

See other 2018 duPont Winners

Houston's 12 Days of Christmas with abc13 anchors

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Hottest Houston social media stars November 2017

Share Rocket gives us data on how each Houston TV station and the corresponding air staff members performed on Facebook and Twitter for the month of November 2017.

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."

Texas TV & radio job moves November 2017

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. Jennifer Reyna
  2. Dominique Sachse
  3. Jacob Rascon
  4. Adam Wexler
  5. Britta Merwin

  1. Chita Craft
  2. Daniel Gotera
  3. Brandi Smith
  4. Bill Bishop (Managing Editor)
  5. Melissa Correa

abc 13 KTRK
  1. Collin Myers
  2. Samica Knight
  3. Mayra Moreno
  4. Melanie Lawson
  5. Travis Herzog

  1. Mark Berman
  2. Kaitlin Monte
  3. Isiah Carey
  4. Coco Dominguez
  5. Chrisdyann Uribe

Univision 45 KXLN
  1. Marcela Perez Barros
  2. Karina Yapor
  3. Laura Sierra
  4. Deysy Rios
  5. Gabriel Torres

Telemundo 47 KTMD
  1. Yusnaby Pérez
  2. Martín Berlanga
  3. Ubaldo Martínez
  4. Carlos A. Robles
  5. Augusto Bernal

Houston Chronicle
  1. Jonathan Feigen
  2. John McClain
  3. Brian T. Smith
  4. Joseph Duarte
  5. Jake Kaplan

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.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Texas TV & radio job moves November 2017


Former KTRK abc13 intern and WXIX anchor Kara Sewell is heading to WFAA morning desk.

NBC5 KXAS has hired former network anchor/reporter Vinita Nair as a “special assignments” reporter sources have confirmed to unclebarky.com.

WFAA 8 hires Cleo Greene and Matt Howerton.


PBS announced the results of its recent Board elections following its first Board meeting of fiscal year 2018. Four Professional Directors who were elected by the PBS membership in August took their seats at the meeting including Houston Public Media associate vice president and general manager, Lisa Shumate. She was elected to a second term. Shumate was elected as Professional Vice Chair. She will serve alongside Afsaneh Beschloss, founder and CEO of the global investment and advisory firm The Rock Creek Group, who was elected as General Vice Chair.

Houstonia Magazine managing editor Katharine Shilcutt leaves for a job as a Media Relations Specialist at Rice University.

Houston Public Media News 88.7 KUHF news anchor/reporter Ed Mayberry has announced his retirement to take place in February 2018.

- Hottest Houston social media stars November 2017
- Atom Smasher returns to morning radio
- Erica Simon joins abc13 KTRK
- VIDEO: 2017 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee acceptance speeches
- Fmr. Houston anchor Phillip Mena debuts on NBC
- Anoushah Rasta leaves KPRC 2
- Lance Zierlein reunites with John Granato on ESPN 97.5
- Chip Brewster leaves KPRC 2
- Rita Garcia leaving FOX 26 KRIV for FOX 11 LA
- Arden Ward named editorial director and Steven Devadanam replaces Clifford Pugh as Houston editor at CultureMap


KENS' Sarah Lucero has anchored her last newscast in San Antonio.

KENS Reporter Alicia Elena Neaves has signed off from the station.

Karen Grace's mysterious absence the latest in many changes at KENS.


Tina Shively departs KVUE for new gig.


After 18 years at KTXS, longtime anchor George Levesque is leaving.

Meteorologist MATT HOLINER moves to mornings at KRGV in the Weslaco-Brownsville market. - Steve Swienckowski at DCA Talent.

KGBT CBS 4 hires Marybel González as weekend anchor.

Former abc13 KTRK sports anchor and KXXV Waco news anchor Bruce Gietzen to serve as director of student publications at Baylor University.

What are they hiding in Ventura County from Sean Mireskandari?

Monday, December 04, 2017

CultureMap revamps editorial team

Arden Ward named editorial director and Steven Devadanam replaces Clifford Pugh as Houston editor

Arden Ward

December 4, 2017 (Houston, TX) — CultureMap.com, the leading digital provider of lifestyle content in Texas, has revamped its editorial department, announcing Arden Ward as statewide editorial director and Steven Devadanam as Houston editor.

“I am delighted to announce the promotion of Arden Ward to run editorial for CultureMap statewide,” said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media. “Arden has leadership qualities, strong editorial skills, and a deep understanding of the content that resonates with our audiences.”

Ward joined CultureMap in 2011, during its expansion to Austin. She served as executive editor in Austin before becoming network managing editor, where she played an integral role in the brand’s expansion to the Fort Worth and San Antonio markets.

Steven Devadanam

Devadanam brings a diverse set of experiences to his new role as editor of Houston. His background includes strategic roles at Village Voice Media, Modern Luxury, and NFL Network.

“We are excited to welcome Steven to the CultureMap team,” Ward said. “He is a champion of the brand and brings great enthusiasm for the city and its culture — which we look forward to sharing with our readers on a daily basis.”

Devadanam replaces Clifford Pugh, who served as editor-in-chief of CultureMap Houston since the company’s inception in 2009.

“Clifford has been instrumental in the development of CultureMap,” said Gow. “We are very grateful for his leadership and the mark he has made over the past eight years.”

Devadanam is just the latest in a series of strong additions to the CultureMap editorial team. In May, the company announced the hiring of Ken Hoffman, the longstanding popular columnist from the Houston Chronicle. And more recently, under Ward’s leadership, CultureMap hired Stephanie Allmon Merry as managing editor in Dallas, and Katie Friel as editor in Austin and Brandon Watson as food editor in Austin.

“We have been investing in the editorial team across the state,” said Gow. “With these additions, we are poised to extend our leadership position.”

About Gow Media
Gow Media, LLC is a leading sports media company founded in 2007 and based in Houston. The company owns two sports stations in Houston: ESPN 97.5 and SportsMap 94.1, as well as local sports website SportsMap.com. The company also owns one of the country’s largest sports radio networks, SB Nation Radio, which it runs in partnership with SBNation.com. SB Nation Radio provides 24/7 sports shows and sports updates to over 500 affiliate radio stations across the country, Sirius Satellite Radio, and mobile and digital partners. Gow Media, LLC is backed by a private investment group with significant experience in media ownership. The investor group includes Steve Webster, co-manager and co-CEO of Avista Capital; Patrick Dugan, vice president and general counsel of Nortex Corporation; and David Gow, chairman and CEO of Gow Media, LLC.

About CultureMap
CultureMap, founded in 2009 by Lonnie Schiller, Tod Eason, and other notable Houstonians, is the leading provider of lifestyle content in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. CultureMap was acquired by Gow Media in February of 2017. The company provides local intelligence on dining, events, arts, real estate, society, fashion, and more, as well as fun tidbits about what's happening around Texas.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by Culturemap)

Rita Garcia leaving FOX 26 KRIV for FOX 11 LA

Rita Garcia had some good and bad news for FOX 26 KRIV viewers today.

Let's go with the bad first...she is leaving Houston.

The good news for her, she gets a promotion to sister-station FOX 11 KTTV Los Angeles.

No word on what she will be doing at the market #2 station, but a quick Google search turned up what looks like a demo video Garcia shot in early October for KTTV's Good Day LA morning show (embedded below).

"She’s one of the best, hard to see her go, but so happy for her bright future," posted morning anchor Melissa Wilson.

Garcia arrived at channel 26 six years ago from LA so it's a return for her. The then KCBS 2 freelance reporter joined the FOX 26 family as a weekend anchor and reporter.

A few years later she moved up to the morning show where she has been ever since.

The Texas native started her television news career at KRGV in Weslaco, TX.

Garcia holds two Bachelors of Arts degrees from Texas State University-San Marcos, one in Mass Communications and the other in Spanish.

She interned for KTBC FOX 7 in Austin.