Yesterday, KTRK abc13 anchor Dave Ward celebrated his 48th anniversary with the Houston ABC owned station. Today, the station issued a press release saying Ward will cut back on newscasts with the start of 2015.
UPDATE DECEMBER 24, 2014
Dave Ward ready to party at end of 10pm news bash
Here is the full release:
Dave Ward, who has anchored ABC-13 Eyewitness News for nearly fifty years, announced today that he will reduce his workload later this year. Ward, a trusted journalist who successfully steered KTRK’s news broadcasts to new heights, told the Eyewitness News team that beginning in 2015, he will only anchor ABC-13's 6:00 p.m. newscasts. His last regularly scheduled 10:00 p.m. newscast will be December 23rd, though he will occasionally join the 10:00 team for Special Reporting on topics of interest.
Dave Ward: “You have invited me into your hearts and into your homes, you have trusted me with the day’s news, and I have trusted you to be there, and you have been, for almost 48 years. I am honored and humbled to still be doing the work I love, anchoring ABC-13 Eyewitness News. So let’s be clear...I’m not going anywhere! I’m just going to go home a little earlier, that’s all.”
ABC-13 Eyewitness News has long been Houston’s most-trusted and most-watched source for local news; and Ward’s leadership helped pave the way. Today, ABC-13 broadcasts 42 hours of news a week and ABC13.com is Houston’s largest broadcast news website serving over sixty million pages and 4 million videos each month.
Wendy Granato, KTRK-TV Vice President and News & Digital Content Director: “Dave’s dedication, commitment, and professionalism set high standards that have been a tradition in our newsroom. And even though we will miss Dave at ten, that tradition isn’t going to change.”
Henry Florsheim, KTRK-TV President and General Manager: “Our news team is second to none. And we won’t miss a beat at ten.”
Anchors Gina Gaston and Ilona Carson, Chief Meteorologist Tim Heller, and Sports Director Greg Bailey, supported by the city’s largest reporting staff, will continue serving 10:00 p.m. news viewers.
Dave Ward: “The 10:00 team will continue reporting with the same level of comprehensiveness, accuracy and integrity that has become the standard of Eyewitness News.”
To several generations of Houston news viewers, Dave Ward’s commanding presence and trusted voice are synonymous with local TV news. In the most recent Nielsen audience measurement period ending in October, the newscasts Ward anchors at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. finished first in Households and Adults 25-54.
Henry Florsheim: “Over four decades anchoring a top-rated newscast for a major market network affiliate is virtually unheard of and unprecedented. Dave Ward is a Houston News Institution and it’s my privilege to say that Ward is part of the best news team in town.”
Dave Ward joined KTRK-TV in 1966 as the station’s only news reporter. In early 1967, he was named anchor of Channel 13's weekday 7:00 a.m. newscasts. Later that year, he became the first host of the popular "Dialing for Dollars" program. A year later, in January of 1968, Ward was promoted to anchor of Eyewitness News at 6 and 10. He quickly led the news broadcasts to number one in Houston and, to this day, Ward remains Houston’s most-watched news anchor.
Currently, Dave Ward serves as board-member for the Houston Police Foundation and the Houston Children’s Charities. From early in his career, Ward has taken an active role in ABC-13’s reputation as a leader in the community, whether it’s the station’s live coverage of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Parade or Share Your Holidays Food Drive. He has served as President of the local Easter Seals Society and hosted their TV Telethons; Ward Chaired the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council; was a member of the Public Information Committee for the American Cancer Society; served as a member of the Leukemia Society Board of Directors; and as a Board Member of the Houston Press Club of Houston. Dave Ward’s significant role in the establishment of the Houston Crime Stoppers Program became the model of excellence for similar programs across the nation.
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