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Monday, May 02, 2011

KIAH 39 to start morning news with Eye Opener; Mia Gradney returns

EYE OPENER ID's with LOCAL TALENT from Creative Group | Central U.S. on Vimeo.

Here is an exclusive from (yes, I used to work there). KIAH 39 has let me know it is launching a weekday morning show May 9th. Called Eye Opener, the show will be a mix of news, information and entertainment according to the station.

“The Houston television market is crowded with traditional network morning shows and doesn’t have anything like Eye-Opener," said Roger Bare, KIAH-TV’s vice president and general manager. “It is designed to be irreverent, provocative and unpredictable—we want viewers tuning in to get a quick dose of the news they need, and to come back because they saw something new that they didn’t expect.”

Fans of former KIAH 39 News anchor Mia Gradney will be happy to know she is going to be on Eye Opener which runs 6-8am. Gradney, a native Houstonian, will anchor segments every half-hour with the basics on local news, weather and traffic.

“I’m excited to be a big part of Eye Opener and I think viewers will find it informative and entertaining and filled with news they can use throughout their day,” Gradney said.

The rest of the show will feature topics ranging from health and wellness to parenting issues to the latest tech gadgets.

EYE OPENER LAUNCH PROMO from Creative Group | Central U.S. on Vimeo.

Eye Opener's main anchors will be Kirby O’Connell, Sean Dowling and Adam Lee Campbell. In addition, the release says there will be contributors like Dr. Steve Salvatore, a board certified Emergency Medicine physician who covers a mix of wellness topics including fitness and nutrition, Teresea Pelham and Sarah Cody with the “Mommy Minute,” focused on parenting issues, and “Wrench,” the alleged hunky handyman who offers helpful hints on keeping your house in shape.

The show's executive producer is four-time Emmy winner Raymond J. Brune who previously served as executive producer of ABC's Good Morning America Sunday and World News Now. He also served as VP of News at E! Entertainment.

When you see someone like that in charge, it makes me believe the show will be syndicated or piped to other Tribune stations (Houston is the debut market). The Eye Opener website says this is a Houston-centric program, because as you can tell from the show's segments, it is produced in Chicago with Gradney providing the local updates throughout the two hours (for example the video on the click through features a bus in the background of the shot with a Chicago Transit Authority website url plastered on it).

From the few clips I have seen online, Eye Opener is not like NewsFix (now featured on KIAH 39), but it does have an irreverent tone that NewsFix is going after.

Watch if for yourself weekdays starting May 9th, 6-8am on CW39 KIAH.

Who is Kirby O'Connell?


  1. YAAAWWWNNNN... No one watches this channel any way. What is going to be soooo different that stations throughtout the country and here in Houston haven't thought of yet... oh yea, NOTHING!

  2. Will it get hashmarks, too?

  3. Stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

  4. Eye-Opener? Sounds like a pretty cool concept. I probably won't be sampling it since I'm such a night owl blogging. However, it is pretty cool this is being tried out. At least this, unlike NewsFix, has a proper human element, which I've bashed NewsFix for previously. Great deal for Mia Gradney to provide this eye-opening experience.

  5. This is not a local morning show.
    It's nothing more than local news breaks during the national morning programs that the other networks have.
    So, what? Maybe 4 minutes of Mia every half hour?
    At least she's not unemployed.

  6. If the audience is unemployed folks who wake up early, this show will be a smashing success!

  7. Mia chose to wear a dress that looked like it must have been really cold in the studio that day, if you know what I mean. Eye Opener indeed!

  8. Man, I really HATE Newsfix. Haven't watched it since the first time I saw it and they used mild profanity, without warning, while my kid was in the room.

    Since the firing of Williams and Hemburger, KIAH news has gone downhill. Williams was a joy to watch/listen to (KHOU's gain).

    She and Alan understood world news and delivered it with a local flavor. (sigh).

  9. Good to see Mia back on TV in Houston, but I don't think this Eye Opener bull is going to last just like 39's latest venture...NewsFix. Turns out the news wasn't broke! Management there needs to grow a pair and do news. Then again you have to have management in place that understands news and isn't afraid of it.

  10. my post may be a little behind, but newsfix is the worst thing i have ever come across. I am not a big news person, but i really enjoyed mia and crews delivery. Time for Dave Ward to retire to open up a houston anchor job

  11. I liked to see Mia and real crew. You just need to do more trouble shooting like Marvin did to make 13 news worth watching. 39 news is boring. Newfix needs a fix...bad

  12. Go to channel 13, 11 or 2 news Mia. Save your self before 39 falls off the map.

  13. Crass, rude and totally unfunny!


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