KHOU 11 reporter Dave Fehling was moving on. This week, I got word that Fehling has just accepted a reporting position for national NPR and local NPR station 88.7 KUHF. It's part of a new eight station network called StateImpact Texas.
"I learned that for now, I can't sever my ties from the only profession I've known - journalism," Fehling told mikemcguff.com. "A unique and unexpected opportunity was offered to me and seemed a perfect fit."
The focus of StateImpact Texas is state government and public policy coverage on air and online. An NPR representative told me StateImpact Texas will focus on energy and environmental coverage.
"As currently envisioned, the position will allow me to do extensive research and hopefully present comprehensive reports on how public policy affects our lives," Fehling told me.
KUT in Austin and KUHF are the lead stations in the effort. Two Austin based reporters are already on board with the site launching in November.
On a personal note for Fehling, working for NPR and KUHF at its University of Houston studios allows him more time to teach students there.
"In addition to a senior level broadcast journalism class I've taught since 2007, I'll now be teaching a new course, Production for Journalists, which addresses the demands of multimedia journalism by covering the basics of using video to tell stories," Fehling added.
StateImpact Texas also employs some other familiar Texas journalists. Former Texas Tribune and KVUE 24 reporter Elise Hu is the digital editorial coordinator for the program. Her husband and former Texas Tribune/Houston Chronicle reporter Matt Stiles serves as the database reporting coordinator.
In these days of diminishing local public policy reporting, glad to see NPR is picking up the ball and running with it. It's interesting to note that 88.7 KUHF is now the only local radio news station in Houston since 740 KTRH abandoned the format this summer (but remember there are always the rumors of a new FM news station coming on the air in Houston so stay tuned).
Dave Fehling and Mike McGuff talk social media/journalism on KUHT 8 PBS