Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dave Ward apologizes for abc13 KTRK newscast

Technical errors add up and KTRK abc13 anchor Dave Ward says something about it on air

Dave Ward to step down from KTRK ABC13's 10pm news
Dave Ward to start 2015 with reduced workload


Video is now embedded above.

It's pretty clear that KTRK abc13 has had some technical issues lately.

In fact, channel 13 viewers have been sending me phone photos taken from TV screens showing problems like misspellings as of late too. I'm sure if you scrutinize my blog, you'll find I don't much room to point fingerz fingers.

Dave Ward
Dave Ward
But I guess the technical errors got to be too much for legendary 13 anchor Dave Ward this past Tuesday night. A viewer let me know that Ward actually apologized at the end of the newscast calling it a "train wreck" (this has been confirmed with others who saw it too). Others told me co-anchor Gina Gaston quickly said something like "Oh, it wasn't that bad."

KTRK has apparently cancelled its 10pm replay which ran early the next morning so I couldn't see this all for myself.

The viewer said there was a problem during the weather segment, wrong video at other times, wrong lottery numbers (I do not have this confirmed).

There is a maxim in the broadcast biz that you do not point out errors. However, I applaud Ward for apologizing if the problems keep adding up like the national debt. At a point, you don't want to insult the audience's intelligence and act like nothing is wrong.

I'm always here if you see anything else like this. Email me.

Found out there was some talk on Twitter about that night's newscast too.

- Can you imagine Houston TV after Dave Ward?
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- VIDEO: KTRK 13 anchor Dave Ward's movie performance
- Original KTRK news team reunites: Ward, Lovett & Dungan
- Ward and other Houston radio DJs of the 1960s talk about era


  1. I know lots of companies that use the DVR product from Snapstream have that episode recorded!

  2. "Good Show and Bravo, Dave"
    You're a great guy. No one
    else has the guts to say
    something has gone off-base...
    Bravo, Dave!!!!

  3. There's a 95% chance that the problem had something to do with the automation that television stations use so they can cut their staff. There's nobody to bail you out and pick up the pieces when things go wrong with the computers.
    Bravo to Dave for calling them on it. Good luck with that...but it's all about them saving money on production now.

  4. Congrats on Dave Ward for calling those folks on the mess-up. He still has the influence at KTRK Ch. 13

  5. As a long time director in this market (not at KTRK), I happened to be watching that particular show and I can say two things for certain:
    1) It was almost certainly an automation problem. User programming error or technical glitch? That I don't know. Given the nature of the way it played out, it could have been either.

    2) You *NEVER* call attention to mistakes like that. Viewers see them and are amused by them and then forget about them. ...unless you go and remind them about it 15 minutes later.
    If there's something like wrong video or an incorrect graphic, you apologize for it right then and then never mention it again.

    A live newscast is a big bundle of chaos that could blow up in your face at any moment without warning.
    Everyone working on it is a professional and knows they have to roll with the punches to keep the show moving forward.

    If you want to get in a screaming match about it after you're off the air, that's one thing... but it shows a complete lack of class and respect toward your co-workers to talk trash about your own show to the viewers.

    And like Gina said, it wasn't that bad.
    It always feels worse than it looks.

    I've had a number of shows crater around me in the last 20 years but after watching the playback of them, only a very few of them have ever looked as bad as I thought they did at the time.

    1. And as for the "normal viewer" of Houston Local TV, I agree with you! The TV program messes up, you get through it, and move on! WELL SAID!

  6. Yu know, I have to say that 13 is going downhill with all of it's technical difficulties. However, I must commend that Dave Ward did the right thing by apologizing to the viewers! And KTRK Management should give him a medal for what he did! BRAVO!

  7. Channel 13 news has gotten so bad that in my house we've switched to Channel 11. It's obvious 13 is trying to cut costs and it's resulted in a consistently crappy newscast.

  8. If you're upset with the newscast, talk about it AFTER the newscast, off-air. As one poster said, it's all about respect for your fellow co-workers. No one is perfect, stuff happens during a live broadcast. I've worked with quite a few people who've worked with Dave Ward and not one of them has a positive thing to say about him.

    1. So you're trying to be funny, huh? When you hide your mistakes, you are a fool!! When you admit that you made them, you're brave and smart to do so. There is no respect factor of which you speak--make a mistake and then fix it. Can't fix it? Say you are sorry! As for what you said about Dave, there's is no way that could EVER be true. You must have got fired from 13 or something!

  9. This is indicative of 13's broadcast. It has gone WAY down over the last few years. We seldom watch anymore because it's like a low-budget college production. Worse, the sound with ABC13 is horrible on Comcast HD compared to the other two stations, especially the news. Sorry Dave, I've watched you for years and I appreciate your style but your station and team have gone downhill.

    Sincerely, a 3rd generation watcher now moved on.

  10. The NSA did it!

  11. Everybody knows "How The U.S. Military Plans To Hijack The Airwaves"

    from Forbes Story:

  12. What's he looking up for near the start of that clip? Was the light about to fall on him? Ha!

  13. I usually find Dave Ward to be an old retread who needed to hang it up 5 years ago...but I actually thought the old guy did right by apologizing to what few viewers are still left watching ABC13! Greg Bailey ain't no Bob Allen, that's for sure....the whole thing is going into the crapper, and Ward at least has enough clout to point out the obvious. Good for him!

  14. 13 may have a lot of technical problems on their newscasts, but i'd still rather watch them then the over-opinionated garbage on 2 and 11 anyday. I don't care what you think the school districts should do about guns, just give me the news!!

  15. Channel 13 has been having a number of technical issues lately. It's one thing for viewers to say "These things happen" but in reality they shouldn't be happening. Not to this degree. Watch the other stations and you don't see them near as much. Frankly 13 is getting long in the tooth and while they were once my go to station, they are not right now. KTRK has more the feel of a dead letter office, with reporters hanging on for ages.

  16. this one makes me chime in...Dave Ward should step back and look at his broadcasts. I've seen him fumble over a lot of words. and his closing nightly one liners are old.
    also, not a fan of Greg Bailey. he feels like a country boy doing big city sports.

  17. Greg Bailey is no Bob Allen? Bailey isn't any god, but Bob Allen was terrible the last few years. Lazy, complacent and more worried about celebrity than "reporting," which he did very little.

  18. Would have liked to have heard from Jim Gentle on Your Mind Spurlock. What a voice!


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