Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fmr. KTRK news director Dave Strickland joins KPRC 2

Former KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland joins KPRC 2 (as news director)


Just when you thought I was losing interest in the Houston TV scene...this happens. The rumors have been flying for weeks. And now we officially know that former KTRK abc13 news director Dave Strickland is joining KPRC 2 in the same capacity.

“I am extremely honored to join a news team that has such an exceptional reputation and a rich history,” Strickland said in a statement first issued to mikemcguff.com.

Ladies and gentlemen, let the Houston TV newsroom wars turn up to 11. Grab some popcorn, sit back and get ready for the sparks to fly.

I should add that Dave Strickland is the man who hired me full-time in Houston TV back in 2001. Yeah, blame him for all of this. Seriously though, I had an up close view of how Strickland or "Strick" as he is called by employees runs a newsroom.

As I said before, he was a tough but fair news director. The 13 culture at the time was, "we are going to be first and we are going to win."

Strickland is a native Houstonian. I believe he grew up in Sharpstown if memory serves. He attended Alief Hastings and graduated from Sam Houston State University (Dan Rather's alma mater).

His first TV experience was at channel 13 where he worked his way up from a sports intern to producer. He left for WAVY 10 Norfolk, Virginia where he became news director.

Dave Strickland
After returning to Houston, he led abc13's newsroom through some great ratings highs for 14 years.

For instance, I have a t-shirt that was handed out in May 2002 that lists every major newscast win KTRK had in the ratings period. Back then, every time the station took all in the ratings war, employees got some kind of abc13 branded gear. We all had 13 emblazoned gym bags, computer bags, shirts, hats...etc. I should post some of this stuff on Instagram.

"I hired Dave out of college after he interned for me in sports at 13," former KTRK sports director Bob Allen told mikemcguff.com in 2014 when Strickland resigned from the station. "I'm proud of him for turning into a terrific news director. It was an honor to work for and with him at 13. It's a big loss for them. The best news director they ever had, and I worked for all but 2 of them. He'll find out as I did that change can be good. And like me, probably be much happier. MUCH happier."

So what I'm trying to say is, this guy knows how 13 ticks, what made it a heritage station all these years and what's going on in the rest of the Houston TV market too.

"Dave Strickland is one of the country's greatest news directors and a friend for life," former KTRK 13 Undercover reporter Wayne Dolcefino told mikemcguff.com in 2014. "He supported my investigative reporting until the very end. He was the brainchild behind the kind of in-depth aggressive news coverage Channel 13 used to be known for. I know my colleagues are devastated as they watch what is happening to a once great television institution."

KPRC is certainly well aware of this too.

“This is a major win to have Dave joining and leading our news team,” said KPRC VP/General Manager, Jerry Martin. “He is a Houstonian who knows the market, he knows the competition, and he’s a newsroom teacher who will take the foundation we’ve built the past few years at KPRC2 and raise it to a whole new level. This is great for the station and more importantly, it’s great for news viewers in the Houston market.”

Now the question is, who will follow Strickland to KPRC? Will KTRK reporters, anchors or behind the scenes staffers join him at channel 2? What about those former channel 13 employees no longer working in television? My guess is the answer to some of those questions is yes. Some names immediately popped into my head upon hearing this possible news a few weeks ago.

And how much (if any) will Strickland change KPRC's newscast? Some channel 13 viewers complain to me how the station's news has changed over the last few years. Whether they realize it or not, they started writing me after the time Strickland was not there. Will those disenfranchised 13 viewers prefer the new channel 2?

In the spirit of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio (which the Houston NBC affiliate is about to air) will KPRC get all gold with Strickland in the coach's chair?

Stay tuned. Things are about to get really exciting for Houston TV news viewers! KPRC says Strickland starts immediately.

RELATED
KPRC 2 ND Rhonda LaVelle heading to WXYZ Detroit




24 comments:

  1. Couldn’t be happier for Dave, and more importantly for Houston journalism. It will be great to have a real journalist running a Houston newsroom, because the City is ripe with the kind of waste and corruption that flourishes when the media forgets its core mission is to inform with actual substance. Hats off to Jerry Martin at KPRC for making a smart call for the City we all love.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting to see if Sharron Melton ends up at KPRC-TV!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So was he forced out at KTRK? And what's he been up to for the past 2 years?

    ReplyDelete
  4. OK, maybe I missed this: What's his capacity at KPRC-TV? ND, in-house consultant, something else? Also as far as your speculation goes about who'll follow him, Houston, as other markets in Texas, relies on non-competes to corral talent. I suspect "Strick" was sitting on the beach (with his buyout) waiting for the clock to run out. I'm not certain a lot talent will get similar payouts to finance their hiatus until the non-compete tenure (usually six months, but it can be more depending on the terms of departure} expires.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Would be interesting to see if Deborah Wrigley winds up there - sure could use her experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wrigley???? Bhahahahahahahah....no chance.

      Delete
  6. I hope he clears house of the gaggle of incompetent and narcissistic anchors: Dom, Bleachey, No Read Reyna, The Donch, Joe Camel and Get Shorty. I hope he also sits everyone down and explains what IS and what ISN'T breaking news.

    Also, why are Dom and Rack Mac even involved in their Olympic coverage? Dom is a clueless narcissist whose "features" are the poorest examples of "journalism" on record, and McNeil is equally annoying as shown by her failed Olympics coverage at the last Winter Olympics in Russia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only thing more surprising than the fact that Reyna and Donchey are still anchoring, is the fact that somehow - some way - they were actually hired as anchors in the first place (or allowed to be a 1/2 day anchor in inept Reyna's case). They are absolutely terrible. Send them to Hickville, Arkansas' nbc affilliate.

      Delete
    2. C'mon people. Does anyone think Reyna was hired for her 'sexy' voice and stellar news reporting? And Donchey...hey, Dominique ain't the only hot MILF on KPRC any longer! Listen....pile on these ladies all you like! Actually I bet a lot of you would love to be on top of those ladies!!!!

      Delete
  7. Golly- you sound like someone who knows what they are talking about!

    I think he's been living comfortably with his wife and children for the past two years enjoying life!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fox has had a News Director position open for almost 2 months. And, they still don't have one. That tells you all you need to know about that station.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Let's see if Dominique (aka Imelda Marcos 2.0) allows these changes!

    ReplyDelete
  10. None of the 3 Houston TV stations are what they once were back in the day of Ron Stone and senior anchor Dave Ward. Anchors are just news readers now not knowing how to pronounce city streets and neighborhood or names of prominent Houstonians. It's easy to see they are imported novices. The news product continues to get worse. More drama, less news! Terrible!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Most people inside 13 are pleased to see Strick back in the business and sadly, many are giddy with the possibility of 2 completely taking over the lead in the market.

    Only a disillusioned small group of Henry/Wendy supporters believe the "Facebook First" way of covering the news works. Many 13 staffers are simply putting in their time, collecting their paychecks and calculating how long they have to stay with Disney to squeak out a decent pension. There is no longer a collaborative effort to create the best product possible. The newsroom is ruled from the top down: we'll tell you what to do and don't ask questions or you'll go the way of Deborah Wrigley.

    It's not just the ridiculous stories about vagina reconstruction, botox, ways to save 30-cents and exploding shower doors. 13 no longer has an identity in the market. And the number one news anchor in the market is retiring at the end of November. Then what? Let's try 4 anchors at six!!!

    KTRK is extremely vulnerable right now. And KPRC is well-positioned to take the lead, by a large margin. Now that they have a seasoned general leading the troops, a few minor tweaks and Houston will soon have a new News Leader.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ... what's the point?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bring Dolcefino to KPRC! That would be HUGE!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonder what will be ahead for KPRC with this change. We have seen changes at KHOU and some of their changes not sure if what was said would be will be even.

    Len only at 4 and not at 10 as said there.

    So will anyone that is being downgraded or set at different times there will they go to these other stations.


    What more will come between now and the next couple of months around.

    So much change with stations over the last couple of years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Len turned me off when he did that opinion piece several months ago, where he talked about having to have the cop talk with his daughter, because she is black. It didn't belong on the local news and was very unprofessional. I stopped watching that news after that.

      Delete
  15. Who watches local news anymore? I get headlines online, then go watch Netflix.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great guy and strong leader. Always listened to what I had to say, don't know what he thought about what I said. He did listen because you could talk him a week later and he remembered what you said. Lots of folks today have preconceived ideas and they may have their head pointed in your direction they're not listening.

    KPRC is fortunate to get him. I look for the center of gravity to move down the dial.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Look no further than the ineffective (yet arrogantly self congratulating) way that Balezza, Sachse and that always blinking reporter whose hubby is a Ch 2 VP, and you'll see the incompetent "talent" they have, and their pathetic news delivery skills. Fire these three for sure. tonight they were extra sucky at 1o.

    (And if KPRC medical insurance paid for Sachse's and Bill's plastic surgeries....make them pay you back -- they are detestable and never should have taken place!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. When are we ever going to get the low-down on Lily Jang's no-go wedding?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Big question is how long before we see former Ch. 13ers joining Strickland at KPRC-TV ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. When does he start? This story is ten days old, and the newscasts suck as bad now as then. Fire the dead wood, post haste!

    ReplyDelete