Monday, August 26, 2013

KTRK abc13 debuts new 6:30pm newscast w/ Erik Barajas & Ilona Carson

New abc13 KTRK 6:30pm newscast debuts with Erik Barajas & Ilona Carson...plus some Dave Ward thrown in?

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Call me "The Newstradamus of H-Town." More on that in a minute.

As I was preparing my Stream KTRK abc13 on app with 'Watch ABC' post, I noticed a brand new 6:30pm newscast debuted on the Disney/ABC owned Houston station.

Even if I hadn't been watching, the tweets and comments started coming my way from curious channel 13 viewers like this one:

Hey Mike,
Do you know what's going with the News at 6PM? Dave and Gina were on and then all of a sudden, Ilona and Erik became the anchors at 6:30. It was truly odd...Hope they change it back! Dave is a fixture in Houston television, so they should not cut his air time!!

Eyewitness News at 6pm has been a full hour with Dave Ward and Gina Gaston (or Shara Fryer in the past) for decades. Now it appears Eyewitness News at 6:30pm with Erik Barajas and Ilona Carson will be the new thing.

Clearly my predictions last week about Barajas' replacing Ward in the future at least looks favorable at the moment. Don't think I'm really that good, that rumor has been around the block for years - you know there is the whole Barajas TV Dynasty thing that Isiah Carey AKA The Insite came up with.

So Barajas and Ilona Carson look to be the future of KTRK's main anchor desk, but an imposing news icon like Ward will not be easily forgotten - even just for the new half hour show.

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Ward returned at the end to tease the 10pm news (he's still got that one) and to do his trademark "Before We Go" kicker segment. Can we all agree that transition from Barajas/Carson to Ward at the end was awkward? OK maybe not as awkward as Miley Cyrus twerking at MTV's 2013 VMAs but still odd.

Then there was the other member of the show...technical problems. Wow. Honestly this was the first time I've watched an entire Houston newscast since I left KTRK in 2009. It was shocking and sad. I've been receiving lots of channel 13 viewer emails in the past year asking me what's up with the station's on-air mistakes but this even surprised me. This reminded me of when I worked in Waco TV. First time I've seen this much go wrong technically on a channel 13 newscast.

Here is what I noticed:
- There was a wild robotic camera problem. It was like the camera got hit by lightning like Johnny 5 and came to life with a mind of its own. It would have been better if an anchor named Stephanie said, "forward" and then NOVA showed up. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, the camera was moving while Barajas was talking, but I love Steve Guttenberg and try to work his films in here.
- Anchors looking at wrong cameras
- A giant screen behind the anchors went blank
- Not a technical error but a mistake in my book - I hate that Smart Board.  It looks like a gimmick. Does the average viewer care? I think it just slows down the pace even more than normal.
- And then there was this:

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A member of the floor crew walked in front of Chief Meteorologist Tim Heller. Based on Heller's reaction, I bet he didn't even predict that one.

Better luck on episode #2 abc13.  Although if it is really like this all the time, I need to start watching more often with my camera ready.


26 comments:

  1. Yay! My comment was featured in this blog post! But really, I can't see why they would make this move. The fact that Ilona and Erik where standing the whole time was odd and there where way too many technical difficulties.
    --Joseph Kirollos

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  2. Two half-hour segments instead of a one hour segment is probably better for mobile viewing attention spans. Most people aren't going to watch an hour newscast on a mobile device.

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  3. Hey Mike McGuff, Are Dave Ward and Gina Gaston leaving KTRK 13 when Erik Barajas and Ilona Carson take over the 6 and 10pm shows?!?

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    1. Dave Ward is the best newscaster 13 has ever had. And Gina is good too when she isn't all giggly. I have no more interest in 13 if they go. Ilona Carson is a singing coat rack and Barajas is a trumped up "star" from a trumped up family of "stars."

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  4. Heller couldn't predict sunshine on the surface of the sun. That is one thing that I have noticed about 13, they haven't had a good weather guy in a while.

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  5. Yea, that Floor Crew Person was the best thing that ever happened to local TVeeee.....the rat-ings just went UP!

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  6. OMG....Will have to change the channel at 6:30.
    I don't like those two together...it like a enchilada and white bread on the same plate.
    ABC 13 PLEASE don't make this permanent!!!!

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    1. Enchilada plate does not come with white bread. How about salt and pepper? How about an Oreo cookie for dessert?

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  7. Erik Barajas and Ilona Carson are the most incompetent anchors abc13 has. Dave ought to sue.

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  8. Oh boy - The Incredibly Emaciated Woman and Tongue Tied Barajas. I turn the channel whenever they're on. This is probably a idea of the station to avoid cutting them in the upcoming personnel cuts.

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  9. Dave Ward, will retire soon! Yes, I have watched him since, I was a child. Thier trying something different! I'm sure because of rattings! I don't really like Eric too much! I thought, Ilona and Gina were fine together. I'm sure if it dosent go good then they will make changes. I say give it a chance. Dave can't be there for ever. It's all about the younger viewers!

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    1. Joseph Kirollos8/27/2013 09:07:00 PM

      Hello! I am the guy who posted that original comment featured in this blog post, Joseph Kirollos. For the record, I watched Dave since I was a kid too, but I am one of those “young viewers!” To be clear, Dave Ward is not retiring soon (he just singed another 5 year extension to his contract), and this idea makes no sense. I hope they get rid of it ASAP.
      --Joseph Kirollos

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    2. Young people rarely watch the news, they are too busy out having a good time. It is the old folks at home who watch the news. Mostly they watch to see old friends such as Dave Ward and Gina Gaston.

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  10. A previous poster wrote: "The Incredibly Emaciated Woman and Tongue Tied Barajas." It's one thing to mock a person's talent. Anchors expect that. It comes with the job. "Talent" is very subjective. However, please don't mock Ilona's appearance. People come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. She is thin and I think she looks great! It's genetics. Get over it and get a clue!

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  11. Illona is good but Erik is not. This idea just seems to be all over the place and isn't that small desk from the old studio set? Why is Barajas being forced on channel 13 viewers?

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  12. I would guess a new set may be in the works!
    These are just warm ups for the fall book.

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  13. I have a feeling Carson & Barajas were tapped to co-host that half-hour to help them avoid the layoff bug as well

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  14. well i do hope they make a new set

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  15. Barajas needs to go and learn how to pronounce words. Im tired of hearing Disney mispronounce!! Plus since when do you show emotions on news and make faces about stories? look at Dave Ward , does he? if he is the replacement I will stop watching 13!!!

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  16. I thought that was odd as well..dont know what ch 13 is doing, considering that no other news cast is on at 630....but back to Ilona Carson...girlfriend is for sure skinny...she has an above average head with those little bitty skinny arms....and I thought Kathleen Whaley from Ch 11 had skinny arms

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  17. Just realized this switch tonight (usually watch at 10). So, would this have been Dave's choice to drop to a half hour at 6 and keep 6 and 10 as part of his contract renegotiation, or would this have been foisted upon him (and Gina)?

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  18. Lately Ilona Carson does some reporting on practically every newscast from 4pm to 10pm. Now I see her with Melanie Lawson, she seems to fill in for everybody.

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  19. Ilona Carson is the most annoying newscaster I've ever seen. She does not know how to talk, making the news sounds worser and too exaggerated. I was so happy when she was out on leave when she gave birth. I actually enjoyed watching the news at 4 pm. Now she's back, I hate watching now because of her. ABC 13 managament don't let her the main newscaster, it will ruin the quality of newscasting from ABC. Melanie Lawson is much better than Ilona. IMHO. thanks.

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  20. the anchor desk looks dated and so 1990's the whole set looks cheap.....

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  21. ilona Carson is too busy flirting will tim Heller really with all the men. disgusting

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  22. Barajas is illiterate, apparently hired for being a pretty boy. He too often outright mispronounces names. Best one: Yosemite as "yo-se-might".. several times in the same story! Am surprised he is supposedly a college graduate.

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