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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Houston Chronicle departures and new hires

Tank McNamara and creator Bill Hinds dropped from Houston paper

Tank Mcnamara as Prince Valiant which replaced the strip in The Houston Chronicle.
Tank McNamara as Prince Valiant which replaced the strip in The Houston Chronicle. (courtesy Bill Hinds)

The Houston Chronicle is undergoing personnel changes. Over the last few days I've heard of departures and new hires basically passing each other through the doors.

While not technically a Houston Chronicle employee anymore, a big departure is Bill Hinds and the comic strip he's illustrated for 38 years, Tank McNamara. The long running strip has been dropped from the Chronicle.

The award winning comic strip has been syndicated in up to 350 papers over the years, now down to below 100. Hinds created the comic strip with Jeff Millar who did the writing. Millar died the last day of November 2012. Hinds took over writing duties in October. At one point, Hinds was actually a staff artist with the Chronicle.

Outside of the newspaper, Hinds also writes and draws Buzz Beamer for Sports Illustrated Kids. He illustrated a feature called According to Guinness for about 10 years. While still living in Houston, Hinds also created two Sunday strips for the Philadelphia Inquirer - Longshots and Clown Alley. For nine years, he produced a comic strip about parents, kids and sports called Cleats.

"Except for the years I went to college, I've always lived in the Houston area," Hinds told

Check out Tank McNamara's new Facebook page at

- Tank GoComics page
- Cleats archive | One week before end of strip | Last strip
- Buzz Beamer animations with a cameo by Tank
- German film festival nomination

Other departures

Announced this week, former Houston Chronicle managing editor and opinion director John Wilburn, is now the editor-in-chief of Houstonia Magazine.

I have also confirmed that The Lazy Gardener column with Brenda Beust Smith is out at the Chronicle too. Smith told me she had no comment.

New Houston Chronicle hires

Pam Kehoe started her job of Director of Consumer Marketing at the Houston Chronicle this week. In this role she will market the Houston Chronicle print edition and online products to consumers.

Until recently, she worked for more than a decade at CBS Radio Houston as the Group Marketing Director. Before that she was at Cox Radio Houston as the Marketing Director and Brand Manager. For the previous 14 years, Kehoe was at NewsRadio 740 KTRH and 790 KBME as the Director of Marketing and Promotion.

Another move from one Houston media property to another is Culturemap's Sarah Rufca. She is now the home/design/lifestyle reporter for the Chronicle according to her Twitter account.

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