Sunday, October 06, 2013

KTRK abc13 newscasts cancelled by 'maintenance work'

Viewers concerned why KTRK abc13 newscasts never aired

More technical issues to report at KTRK abc13.

I woke up this morning to emails from concerned channel 13 viewers about why the Houston Disney/ABC TV station didn't air a couple of Sunday morning newscasts.

I'm told in the 6 and 7am newscast spots were Good Morning America and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The same GMA episode that aired at 6am, re-aired at 7am the emails said. Some viewers learned first hand that the Sunday morning ABC network shows do not air live on the Houston station.

"Gave the staff a day off due to cold weather," one viewer asked me. "I haven't seen any crawls about their problem."

"More problems for Channel 13 news... they didn't go on the air as scheduled this morning," another viewer emailed me. "When I called they said they were having 'technical difficulties.' Did they cut the budget there THAT much? They never used to be this bad."

To its credit, the station did post the following on Facebook:

ABC13 is undergoing some maintenance work. We are working to return you to our regular programming as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Reporter and fill-in anchor Sonia Azad tweeted the following about the 9am show.

Here's a little anecdote about a channel 13 technical issue from 1996. Alison Cook, then of The Houston Press, reported:

Channel 13, airing nothing but static and fuzz after its transmitter went out for 20 minutes, still beat Channel 51's news and Channel 8's documentary, The Joy of Stress, in that time period.

Whoever sees ratings will have to look if channel 13 viewers stayed with the station in absence of local news in 2013.

Tipster emailed that the maintenance work was a building generator replacement. They added the power had to be cut to the building to install it.

Backup generators are important for TV stations. For example, when I worked at 13 during Hurricane Ike, the generator kept the station on the air for days until CenterPoint Energy could restore power to the area.

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- KTRK abc13 debuts new 6:30pm newscast w/ Erik Barajas & Ilona Carson
- Why was KTRK abc13's 10pm newscast late?


  1. Bet there are more than a few folks experiencing a little Schadenfreude right now!

  2. Wouldn't it have made more sense to cut power to the building in the middle of the night when infomercials can be fed from a DVD player at the transmission tower site or from a live truck sending a signal to the transmission tower. Why would you wait to do it until you have a morning block of local news scheduled. I detect some spin being fed out to try to cover lack of good management. "13 is now Number One in HD (Having Disasters).

    1. The producers and editors prepare the morning newscast in the middle of the night. So, if they cut the power at that time, it still would have been a problem.

  3. They should cut it during the 6:30 pm newscast with Erik Barajas and that emaciated woman.. the one with bleach blonde hair...Illona something.

  4. The project was started as soon as the Saturday night news was done. It was such a large project that it took 9 hours to complete and have everything back up and running.