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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

KHOU grabs Mike O'Neill for EP from KTRK

Big news in the world of Houston TV management. Longtime KTRK 13 producer Mike O'Neill (he is an original producer of the 4pm show) is packing up his Mouse ears and moving over to KHOU 11 as an executive producer.

"I loved working at channel 13," O'Neill told "I celebrated my 30th and 40th birthdays there so it's like leaving home."

Sounds like he will technically be taking over the slot of another former KTRK 13 guy, Jack Acosta, who is now the KHOU assistant news director. Although Acosta was a night EP, O'Neill will most likely be the day side EP.

"There is a huge competition for covering breaking news in this city and it always seems like channels 13 and 11 get it on the air the quickest," O'Neill told me.

As someone who has worked with O'Neill, I can tell you he is a fun guy and a wizard at TV. All that has translated into his charitable work with the Houston Press Club Gridiron Show.

"I've been head writer for the past 6-7 years and directed the past three," O'Neill said. "I may have to cut back some of my involvement, but I still feel committed to helping the Houston Press Club in its efforts to help future journalists."

O'Neill previously worked for KVUE in Austin. He graduated from Colorado State University.

"I'm appreciative of the lessons I've learned at channel 13, and the stations I have worked at before," O'Neill said. "Hopefully I have something worthy to give when I start working at KHOU."

He starts over at Belo Houston Monday, January 14th.

Let me throw my two cents in on this one. It is rare that a Houston TV producer moves to another station here in a management role. I know of people in high positions in this town that had to leave the market and come back to sit in a management chair (I tried to sit in one once and was hit with a newspaper and scolded for example). Seriously though, this is a great achievement for Mike, so a big congrats to him!

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