Thursday, September 20, 2018

abc13 KTRK and Univision Houston Partner for LIVE U.S Senate Town Hall Debate

Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O'Rourke Face-off on Sunday, September 30

ABC13 and Univision Houston will host a much-anticipated U.S. Senatorial debate between GOP incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.

The candidates will face-off in a one-hour LIVE, televised debate on Sunday September 30th at 6 p.m. CT at the University of Houston.

This Town Hall Debate will be closed to the general public and is invitation only. If you would like to submit a question to possibly be used during the debate visit or

The hour-long debate will be moderated by Univision Houston anchor Marcela Perez-Barros and ABC13 anchor Tom Abrahams, both of whom will be asking the candidates questions.

The debate will be featured LIVE at 6 p.m. on ABC13 and on ABC News digital platforms. Univision News will share the debate on digital and social platforms in English and Spanish.

Univision Houston will simultaneously stream the debate LIVE in Spanish on, and present the debate on, & YouTube/Univision Houston A recording of the debate will air at 9 p.m. CT on Univision’s KLAT 1010 AM.

WHEN: Sunday, September 30 at 6 p.m. CT
WHERE: University of Houston, Student Center Theater
4455 University Dr., Houston, TX 77204

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

KTXH bringing back that 20 Vision feeling

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That saying goes for TV too.

Listen to those who worked in TV in the early days and how the news teams were small and wore many hats back then. Employee size ballooned in the 1980s and 90s. However this century, thanks to technology and shrinking budgets, air is quickly leaking from that big employee sized balloon and staff numbers are falling. How soon till the modern day employee numbers and the 1970s, or maybe even smaller 1960s numbers, match up? Call me crazy, it could happen.

That's enough of me playing a dunderheaded TV pundit, let's take a look at the "new" slogan for FOX 26 KRIV's sister station My 20 KTXH.

I'll play $200 in the "Everything Old Is New Again" category bearded Alex.

TV teases for KTXH's re-brand to "My20 Vision" are airing with a promise changeover date of Monday, September 24th.

I was a kid when KTXH came on the air and remember that branding from the past as you can watch below. Hey, the My20 part of the Vision is what makes it 21st Century I guess.

There were times in my youth where my favorite TV channel was either 20 or 39. I remember watching everything from "Speed Racer" to "The Arsenio Hall Show" on old KTXH. Shout out to KTXA in DFW too!

(Thanks Dennis)

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Where Spanish-speaking viewers can watch Cruz vs O’Rourke debate

Spanish-speaking audiences can watch the September 21st US Senate debate in Spanish on Texas Telemundo stations and TeleXitos network

Co-presented by NBC 5 / KXAS, The Dallas Morning News and SMU, the “Decision 2018: Texas U.S. Senate Debate” will air live on TeleXitos network and will be re-broadcast on Telemundo stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley and El Paso markets.

Spanish-speaking audiences can also watch a live stream of the Senate debate on

WHAT: This is Texas’ first U.S. Senate debate between Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, and the first scheduled debate between the two candidates prior to Election Day, Tuesday November 6, 2018.

Texas’ Spanish-speaking audiences located in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley can tune in to TeleXitos network to watch the “Decision 2018: Texas U.S. Senate Debate” live in Spanish on Friday, September 21 at 6:00 PM CT. The debate will also be re-aired on Telemundo stations in DFW (KXTX), Houston (KTMD), San Antonio (KVDA), the Rio Grande Valley (KTLM) and El Paso (KTDO) on September 21 at 10:35 PM CT. Audiences located in DFW, Houston, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley markets can also watch a live stream of the debate on their local Telemundo station websites.

Candidates: Republican nominee and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic nominee and U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke debate.

Moderators: NBC 5 Political Reporter Julie Fine and The Dallas Morning News Political Writer Gromer Jeffers.

September 21: Live broadcast: TeleXitos across four Texas markets, 6:00PM-7:00PM, CT

Live streaming: Telemundo stations KXTX, KTMD, KTLM, and KDVA 6:00pm-7:00pm, CT

Re-Air broadcast: Telemundo stations KXTX, KTMD, KTLM, KDVA, and KTDO 10:35PM-11:35PM,CT

Live broadcast on Telexitos: click here to find out your local TeleXitos channel.

Live streaming:,,,

Re-Air schedule: Telemundo 39 / KXTX on over-the-air channel 39, Telemundo 48 El Paso / KTDO on over-the-air channel 48, Telemundo Houston / KTMD on over-the-air channel 47, Telemundo 60 San Antonio / KVDA on over-the-air channel 60, Telemundo 40 / KTLM on over-the-air channel 40.

For more information about debate viewing options, please visit

TeleXitos is the Telemundo Stations Group’s national multicast network that launched in December 2014 on the multicast channels of Telemundo owned stations. The network is available to Spanish-speaking audiences in 29 markets, including the Dallas-Forth Worth DMA. TeleXitos is programmed around the clock and delivers action and adventure television series and movies, and also offers local Telemundo stations the opportunity to schedule daily blocks of time with local programming that is of interest to their viewers like local news, sports and special events.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tom Zizka moving to weekends

FOX 26 morning anchor Tom Zizka announces move to weekends

Ch-ch-ch-changes are coming to FOX 26 KRIV.

I posted the news in August that KTVK/KPHO Phoenix weekend anchor Lina De Florias was joining FOX 26 mornings.

In fact, just this week, I saw a billboard with De Florias and Sally MacDonald promoting their newscast together.

A few weeks ago when I posted about De Florias' arrival, I thought who left? Or who will be leaving? I didn't get an answer from anyone at the time...and believe readers were asking for one.

Now we know.

Lots of folks have been reaching out to me since this past weekend concerning channel 26 anchor/business reporter Tom Zizka leaving the morning show.

Following his Facebook page these days is like watching an episode of Lost. There are more questions than answers. What is the Smoke Monster?

Zizka started posting cryptic messages about changing his alarm's wake up time. Then a post came about how the actual morning commute traffic is worse than he remembered (since he has been going in for years very early and has missed it). Then one was about D.B. Cooper's real identity! (OK, you caught me, I just added in that last one)

The best I can tell at the time of this posting, is that Zizka will be the new weekend anchor because he posted the following.

"OK, folks... So changes are happening. I'll be telling more of your stories, through the week, and sharing the news with you Weekend evenings...So... Let me know whats going on...and join me Saturday and Sunday. See you then!"

Now, he does not explicitly say he is the weekend anchor so I am just assuming. If he's not behind the news desk, then I guess he is a reporter. This guessing game is kinda fun for me.

Stay tuned!

In other Zizka related Facebook news, I hate to report he posted that his daughter sprained and strained her hand after a pre-dawn tumble in high school running practice. At least it is not broken.

For the most part, I really can't remember a time when Zizka wasn't associated with the KRIV morning show.

In fact, he's been with the station for so long, he doesn't even have a proper career write-up on my blog since his Houston arrival pre-dates the blogging phenomena.

According to his bio, Zizka came to town in 1998 and has been the station's investigative reporter, the station's consumer advocate ‘Problem Solver' and reporter for the highly successful Predator Check.

From 1992 to 1998, Zizka was the consumer reporter for WSYX Columbus, Ohio. Before that, he was a reporter for WSAZ Huntington, West Virginia.

He is a graduate of Oakland University.

And I should add, that Zizka was recently named #71 on the Top 250 Most Influential Business Journalists this year by

Former KHOU photographer lives "Life Below Zero"

Former KHOU 11 photographer Chris Multop braves the cold on the National Geographic show "Life Below Zero"

Former KHOU 11 commercial photographer Chris Multop has been working on the Nat Geo show Life Below Zero for years.

In 2016, Multop earned a national Emmy Award for his hard work with a nod for Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program.

See how far Multop will go to get that perfect Alaskan time lapse shot in this behind the scenes look of the National Geographic show (embedded above)!

The BBC Studios show just took home more Emmys in 2018.

In the last few seasons, Multop has been concentrating more on producing for the award winning show.

When he is not freezing his you know what off, Multop puts his skills to work in Houston.

Why, I'm proud to say Multop even has worked on my Rock 101 KLOL documentary!

Winter is coming as Life Below Zero season 11 begins: watch its first four minutes

Monday, September 17, 2018

Texas #TVnews and radio job moves August 2018

Better late than never...


After 42-and-a-half years in television news — seven-and-half-years at WOWT-TV in Omaha, and nearly 35 here at WFAA – WFAA anchor John McCaa intends to retire in March of 2019.

Former WFAA 8 investigative reporter Brett Shipp is hoping to reinvent his wheelhouse after leaving the Dallas-based station late last year to run unsuccessfully for Congress.

WFAA 8 Sports broadcaster Dale Hansen, ‘a fat, white guy in a deep red state,’ is an unlikely liberal hero.

After joining Dallas-based Fox4 in June to replace Jenny Anchondo as the weekend Good Day anchor, Hanna Battah has been bumped up to weekday editions of the show.

It’s been an up and down ride for Laurie Passman, who was named D-FW-based CBS11 KTVT’s vice president and news director after being bypassed for that position in January 2017.


Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, a co-host of KILT's (610 AM) afternoon drive time sports talk program since 2014, departed the station.

Chris X Blayney named afternoon host of AM 700, KSEV 'The Voice of Texas' (Mon-Thurs 4-6pm).

Charese Fruge has been named URBAN ONE Top 40 Format Captain and will also handle PD duties for Top 40s KROI/HOUSTON and WNOW/INDIANAPOLIS.

Houston Chronicle Astros beat writer Jake Kaplan joins The Athletic.

KHOU 11 producer (former KTRK producer) Felicia Russell joins Ward PR.

Gonzalez hired at KPRC as social media producer.

Nick Wright will host an evening Sirius XM show on Mad Dog Radio, in addition to his work on “First Things First.”

- Doug Miller named Rice University director of news and media relations
- Telemundo Houston's Martín Berlanga to leave KTMD
- Butch Alsandor & Jorge Vargas to call TSU football on AT&T SportsNet
- Katherine Marchand joins abc13 KTRK
- 'Dave Ward's Houston' to launch on abc13 KTRK
- KPRC 2's new dog, Tex, joins Houston Life
- Sara Donchey has her baby
- Lina De Florias joins FOX 26
- Good news for Greg Bailey!
- abc13 KTRK to debut 3pm newscast
- KHOU 11 reveals what happened during Harvey evacuation
- Sherry Williams is leaving KHOU 11
- KHOU 11's Sherry Williams joins HISD


News 4 WOAI's David Chancellor is making the move from sports to become the station's morning co-anchor.
- Multiple exits, additions at News 4 WOAI, Fox 29 announced on social media

WOAI has named a permanent co-anchor for its 10 p.m. newscast - Irene Cruz.

KSAT12 to Expand Weekend News and Add "KSAT News at 9."


Publisher Susie Biehle and Editor Debbie Hiott announced they are leaving the American-Statesman.

After 2 years away, former KVUE news boss returning to Austin.


KRBC Abilene Chief Meteorologist and Main Anchor Randy Turner to depart the station.

Former WSIL Southern Illinois anchor Dennis Turner resurfaces at KXXV Waco.

KGBT hires reporter Clara Benitez


Legendary abc13 KTRK weatherman Ed Brandon has died

Texas Monitor founder and longtime investigative journalist Trent Seibert dies

Best #TVNews Bloopers August 2018

Some Texas stations made this month's cut.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

KPRC 2 celebrates diversity during Hispanic Heritage month

KPRC 2 is kicking off a long-term diversity campaign with Hispanic Heritage month, which is from September 15 through October 15, 2018.

As part of this on-air and digital campaign, KPRC 2 spotlights our community, featuring many of Houston’s Hispanic leaders, including Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Telemundo News Anchor Crystal Ayala, and Artist/Muralist Gonzo247. Also spotlighted will be the diversity of our own KPRC family, both on-air and behind the scenes, hailing from Peru, Chile, Mexico and beyond.

Throughout the month, KPRC 2 News will share stories of Hispanic culture, honoring how so much of what makes our city great is created by the Latino community.

“Our KPRC 2 family is as diverse as the communities that we cover and the city we call home,” said KPRC 2 Vice President/General Manager Jerry Martin. “What better time to celebrate not only the high profile, but the everyday citizens, neighbors and co-workers who inspire us.”

New profiles are posted every weekday on

(This post is taken from a release sent to me by KPRC 2)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

KTRK photographer Jaime Zamora calls it a career after 38 years

He's covered Houston and the world for KTRK through three decades, now photographer Jaime Zamora announces retirement

 photo jaimezamora_zpsglef8a91.jpg

After a career of covering everything from Super Bowls, hurricanes, presidential inaugurations and every local story in between, abc13 KTRK photographer Jaime Zamora is retiring from the Houston ABC station.

"I thank Channel 13 for thirty plus years of opportunity and excitement," Zamora told "I wish my ABC colleagues nothing but the best.”

In his big announcement, Zamora looked back on his 38 year television news career which took him from KRIS and KZTV Corpus Christi, KVUE Austin, to finally KTRK Houston and said, "I’ve seen more pain and grief than anybody should ever see but have also witnessed great joy on many occasions."

One high-profile painful experience that Zamora recently risked his life to cover for the world took place near channel 13 in West University during an active shooting incident. KTRK's owner, The Disney ABC Television Group, commended Zamora for his live coverage.

On 9/11/2001, Zamora and anchor Tom Abrahams drove 24 hours straight to Washington DC to cover the Pentagon attack site.

Zamora and Kobos

"Those first few days were a blur," he wrote on Facebook. "We worked for weeks in the aftermath before seeing our families again."

"Jaime as one of the many super photographers to work at KTRK," former channel 13 assistant news director and reporter Don Kobos told "A consummate professional who was always one step ahead of the competition. I worked with him on many assignments, he always made me a better reporter."

With camera on his shoulder, Zamora's KTRK career took him to places as far from Texas as Latin America, Europe, China, Russia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia.

However Zamora's lasting legacy will be right here in Harris County where he established the first ever courthouse broadcast bureau.

"To all the photographers, broadcast or print, who I’ve worked with, you are all the real warriors and I’m honored to have been a part of your fraternity," he added.

NewsFix signs off, plus remembering the old 39 News

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

NewsFix on CW39 KIAH Houston and CW33 KDAF in Dallas-Fort Worth has officially signed off after eight years (at least in H-Town).

Below are some goodbye videos from the last broadcast.

I don't know if I've ever written this before or not, but back in 2010, I was kinda getting bored of writing this blog when this wild Tribune concept to revolutionize news appeared on my radar.

Suddenly I was excited about blogging again.

So who knows, if NewsFix never existed, would my blog even be around today? There are probably now a lot of TV managers who suddenly wish they could go back in time and stop Tribune.

Also, I can thank NewsFix for allowing me to meet KLOL legend Grego and AOR radio creator Lee Abrams - both will appear in my upcoming 101 KLOL documentary. Being that I'm a KLOL photo addict, if you have any photos or video of Grego from his radio days...let me know! While we're at it, anyone have any Lee Abrams photos from the 70s or 80s? They could end up in the film.

You might remember that KIAH hired me as a temp reporter ahead of the NewsFix launch to fill-in the staffing gap as employees left the station or were transitioning to the new NewsFix side of things. That was a fascinating view of a station in transition from my perspective.

RELATED: NewsFix Behind The Scenes of CW39 KIAH

The newsroom actually was overhauled for NewsFix. State of the art broadcast tech was installed, the joint was re-wired with faster pipes for space was converted, even the walls were repainted.

Looking back, I was actually watching the show being developed in real-time. After all, nothing like this had ever been done.

No joke, comedy writers were being hired to punch up scripts a la Jackie Martling. Sound engineers were being hired to sweeten the sound. If you work in TV news, sound is the last thing most news crews think about as they are recording audio in the field. Graphics production was amped way up compared to normal newscasts...although from what I hear...these days traditional news departments have caught up in that department.

The NewsFix staff even held rehearsals for a months ahead of the launch. They were finding stories, shooting and editing them. Full shows were put together that never aired.

And if you were still working for the 39 News that was still on the air, you could not ask a NewsFix person for help, because they were now working on the future thing.

There were people hired for NewsFix that were gone before the show debuted.

I was originally hired to be on a few weeks in the fall of 2010. Weeks turned to months. Then 2011 rolled around. NewsFix finally debuted in March.

My biggest NewsFix regret was not getting a copy of the original show pilot as recalled here. I did actually see part of it and yes, it really was shocking. The way society has changed since 2010, that pilot would probably trigger many viewers today. I can tell you that the show that debuted in 2011, looked like the pilot aesthetically, but was NOTHING like the pilot.

KIAH 39 News: The last days in photo

Also interesting was watching the 2010-11 culture war between KHOU and KTRK brew inside the old 39 newsroom (CAUTION: This is about to get really nerdy and insidery - and no, there was nothing going on like this).

KIAH at that point was staffed by a lot of former KHOU managers and producers who had the Belo way of doing things. Then a lot of temp staffers came in who were formerly of KTRK. As a former KTRKer, the old Belo KHOU and the old 13 were in the same city but operated their newsrooms worlds apart. Now the two staffs were together operating in the same environment.

Let's call it a battle of philosophies. For example, from my memory, back then, 13 liked quick anchor intros:

KTRK anchor 1: Looking for the best price on airfare?
KTRK anchor 2: Eyewitness News reporter [blank] found out there are some tricks on the Internet that can help you fly on a budget.

Now the old Belo way:

KHOU anchor 1: The sun is coming out and Houstonians are ready to head out for a summer adventure. But whether you're jetting off to Europe or taking a trip to our national park system closer to home, when it comes to buying that plane ticket, you need to do your due diligence.
KHOU anchor 2: 11 News reporter [blank] travelled around talking with experts to find out how timing can play a big part in landing your dream vacation.

My examples might be a little cartoonish, but it's late on a Friday night as I'm writing this, and you get my point. And I'm not saying either style is right or wrong. Each style works. Both of these stations were also at the top of the ratings back then in a big battle.

All this aside, the newsroom was a pretty fun and nice environment. Everyone was cool. It was not the pressure cooker that either the KHOU or KTRK newsroom would have been at the time. I enjoyed working with the KHOU staff and learned things from them. Newsroom leader Perry Pace was one of my favorite bosses ever.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention two current Houston news stars that came from the old CW39 news department - Mia Gradney (now KHOU) and Mayra Moreno (now KTRK). Also, Maggie Flecknoe, who was working as an AP back then, is the star of KIAH's morning news, which as Morning Dose goes away, will give way to a new three hour local show.

And I have to say, the old 39 News staff stayed professional to the end. As I mentioned, many of these young folks had left jobs at the bigger Houston station to move up in their career. They are then told that their news is being cancelled. Many chose to leave at that point or keep working until they found a new job. Others knew they were working in a job that was going away and were hoping to get hired on with NewsFix. I got the impression the old 39 newsroom was pretty tight and like a family. So I assume there were a lot of raw emotions, but everyone showed up and kept working hard to get the traditional newscast on the air.

Today we face the same issue. After posting about the upcoming NewsFix cancellation, employees of both KIAH and KDAF shared their stories with me on social media. Some were recently hired, others had been working for years on the show. As the Houston Business Journal reported, between the two stations and Morning Dose, there are 120 people without jobs as of month.

Keep them in your thoughts, and look out for them. There are talented people at both stations that now need work to support themselves and their families.