Thursday, August 04, 2016

Dave Ward to move on from abc13 KTRK

UPATE AUGUST 12, 2016
Dave Ward on KTRK abc13: "They seemed like they really wanted me to make my exit."

After hitting 50 years on KTRK abc13, anchor Dave Ward will move on from the TV station he helped build into one of the nation's best

Dave Ward

As I wrote in 2013, can you imagine Houston TV without Dave Ward? Well, soon we'll see what its like without Ward, "the dean of Houston news," on KTRK abc13 at least.

Ward is leaving channel 13 at the end of 2016, the only TV station he's ever worked for and helped build from the ground up.

So after Ward hits 50 years with the station November 9th, and enters the Guinness World Records for the feat, he will leave his television home for the last five decades.

But don't expect Ward to retire or even necessarily stop working as a TV journalist. Sources close to Ward say he is not ready to stop reporting and delivering the news to his loyal Houston audience.

"Dave has not taken time in his lifetime to have any hobbies," Dave's wife Laura Ward told mikemcguff.com. "His hobby is staying connected with his viewers and he has done that for 50 years."

He certainly goes out on top and departs channel 13 in a better place than when he got there. Upon his arrival in the late 1960s, KHOU 11 and KPRC 2 were the dominant news stations. Ward changed that. His newscasts soared to ratings highs in the early 70s and stayed that way for the next 45 years. Fast forward to today and Ward's 6pm show is still at the top of the ratings game. Ward left the 10pm newscasts at the end of 2014.

Houston is Dave Ward and Dave Ward is Houston. He has one of the most recognizable faces in the city. TV insiders will tell you he has the highest TV recognition in the market with viewers.

Ward is a no nonsense type of local television news anchor. That's a commodity in today's media landscape. He was "no spin" before that became the mantra of a cable news channel. Ward delivers the facts without opinion. After all these years, I could not tell you Ward's political beliefs from watching his newscasts.

From a community standpoint, Dave Ward has been that calm, steady voice inside our homes for the last 50 years. I would go as far as to say he has been a father, uncle or brother figure to generations of Houston TV viewers.

As I have blogged before, on the day I was born, in its TV section the Houston Chronicle listed Ward, Ed Brandon and Bob Allen as the talent on that day's Live at 5 broadcast.

So while Ward's life after channel 13 is unknown to us at this point, his years of influence will still be felt. For example, the first-ever Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters will be named The Dave Ward Building Crime Stoppers of Houston for his years of dedication to the program.

The ribbon cutting for that building is scheduled for mid-November 2016.


UPATE AUGUST 12, 2016
Dave Ward on KTRK abc13: "They seemed like they really wanted me to make my exit."

Here is the official Disney / ABC Television Group press release about Ward:

Longtime ABC13 News Anchor Dave Ward Announces He Will Leave in December

Veteran ABC13 News anchor Dave Ward, who will soon celebrate 50 years at ABC13 and was recently recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for his long tenure at the station, has announced he will leave KTRK by the end of the year.

“I am very proud of my work here at Channel 13 over the past 50 years. I will always cherish having witnessed firsthand the transformation of this great city,” said Mr. Ward. “I leave Channel 13 with a lifetime’s worth of memories, having reported on some of Houston’s greatest moments of triumph and tragedy, including the Moon landing in 1969, the first and last space shuttle launches and many in between, and the recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike in 2008. I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to my loyal viewers, my friends, without whom my extensive career would not have been possible. My 50 year tenure at Channel 13 represents the hallmark of my career, and I look forward to the next chapter.”

“Despite our attempts to find an ongoing role, Dave told us it is his preference to move on,” said Henry Florsheim, President and General Manager of KTRK-TV. “Dave has helped lead our station to the top, and provided a continuity and consistency to our newscasts. It is fitting that he remains a part of Houston’s most-watched 6:00 p.m. team. He will leave us at a time when we are well positioned to maintain our market leadership and compete in this very rapidly changing news environment.”

“Dave has mentored multiple generations of journalists in the importance of accuracy and fairness,” said ABC 13 News Director Wendy Granato. “He is a true local legend. We want to thank him for his many years of hard work and dedication to the Eyewitness News family and the Houston community.”

Mr. Ward will celebrate his 50th anniversary on November 9 of this year. The next day a first-in-the-nation Crime Stoppers Headquarters named for him will be opened in Houston. The new facility will be the cornerstone of Houston’s first Public Safety and Crime Prevention Block.

Getting the facts right, consistently -- that's what defines Dave Ward. A true Texas original, Dave has made his mark as one of the nation's most respected news anchors for more than four decades. In his trademark down-to-earth style, he begins every newscast with "Good evening, friends," and has for 50 years. It is that candor and dedication to getting every side of the story that's helped him become the most trusted newsman in Houston.

Dave joined KTRK-TV in 1966 as an on-the-street reporter/photographer. In 1967, he was assigned to anchor Channel 13's weekday 7am newscast. Later that year, he also became the first host of KTRK's "Dialing for Dollars." In 1968, Dave was assigned to anchor the weekday 6pm and 10pm newscasts where he remains as one Houston's most experienced news professionals.

Born in Dallas and raised in Huntsville, Dave began his broadcast radio career with KGKB in Tyler. Three years later, he moved to Waco, Texas and WACO radio, and then to Houston and KNUZ/KQUE radio. He started out as a reporter known for his grit and determination. Dave worked every angle of the story from the police beat to tropical storms. "I like that -- that I can get out on the streets, talk to the people -- see what they're thinking."

During his career with 13 Eyewitness News, Dave has reported on everything from presidential elections to space walks, and even the Vietnam Peace Talks. He's covered fires, explosions, earthquakes, flood and hurricanes throughout Texas and the southern states. He's interviewed heads of state and traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Colombia on numerous stories. He's also covered several national political conventions and worked extensively with NASA on Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and shuttle missions. Dave also landed a special one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama, discussing topics from the presidential campaign to oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dave has taken an active role in the establishment of the Houston Crime Stoppers program, which has become the model of excellence for similar programs across the nation. He's also taken a lead in Houston's community affairs, serving as the President of the local Easter Seals Society, chairing the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council, and working with the American Cancer Society. In addition, Dave has served as a member of the Leukemia Society Board of Directors and Board Member of Houston Press Club. He's also an original contributor to the Houston Police Foundation and has served on their Board of Directors.

In 2007, Dave was awarded an Emmy for his exceptional work on an ABC-13 Special entitled, "Steve Tyrell: A Houston Standard." Then in 2011, Dave received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Emmys presented by the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In June 2016, Dave was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running local TV news anchor in the world at the same station in the same market.

The entry into the record book reads: “The longest career as a television news broadcaster is 49 years and 218 days, achieved by Dave Ward (USA), who began working on 9 November 1966 and continues anchoring at KTRK-TV, in Houston, Texas, USA, as verified on 2 June 2016.”


RELATED
- Dave Ward opens his video vault and shows old KTRK abc13 promos unseen in years!
- VIDEO: KTRK 13 anchor Dave Ward's movie performance
- Did Dave Ward, Ed Brandon and Bob Allen really walk around Houston together all the time?
- PICS: KTRK 13 anchor Dave Ward's 45 year party



42 comments:

  1. That's means Ilona Carson will no longer do the 4pm news after Dave Ward leaves KTRK 13 in December, She will be moved to 6PM, But will continue to do the 6:30PM and 10PM news, KTRK 13 will find a replacement for Ilona Carson on the 4PM news

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    1. Lily Jang is most likely to move to KTRK 13 as 4PM News anchor replacing Ilona Carson who is replacing Dave Ward at 6PM since he's leaving in December

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    2. Wouldn't be surprised to see Lily joining Ch. 13.

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  2. Ibet Dave has to train his foreign replacement like Disney in Orlando made the theme park employees do after they were terminated for cheaper foreign labor

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    1. Train to read a teleprompter? Lol. Shouldn't be hard to find more monkey's to read the poorly written news stories about "pistol whipping" around Houston.

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  3. Now that was a big MIC DROP!

    Big question is whether Ch. 13 will be promoting in-house for the 4:00pm newscast ?

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    1. Natasha Barrett is doing a lot of anchoring these days. I like seeing her. Good energy.

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  4. Where does new hire Stephen Romo fit into this? Maybe weekends and Tom Abrams goes to 4 or 6?

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    1. I wondered the same thing. Romo is about to take no prisoners.

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    2. Sorry, Romo just got 'injured' again....so they will have to bring in a replacement from Dallas!

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  5. Dave is a wonderful man both professionally and personally. Always warm and personable, willing to share his time and knowledge with those of us who have always looked up to him. He has been so much more than a great newsman; he has been a community leader who has generously given of himself to many causes in this city he loves so much. Like Ron Stone and Steve Smith before him, Dave Ward has left an indelible mark on Houston journalism. Thank you for 50 years of hard work and dedication, Dave! And congratulations on your well deserved retirement!

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    1. Yup, good words, Bill. He's the last of that generation. Ron Stone will always be my fav, but Ward is a class act all the way around. Amazing career.

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    2. I hope Bill and Dominique never retire!

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    3. Bill should've retired before his unfortunate plastic surgery. Dom should've retired after her 8th surgery.

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  6. Has all the inklings of a push-out either over money or disagreement in direction, some kid will be hired at 1/4 of Wards salary and be glad to get it.

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  7. I was honored to report for Houston’s greatest TV anchor for 27 years. I always remember Dave’s support when we were breaking a big story. A true newsman. Tough. And I am glad to hear he’s not through after he walks out the door of that place. I chuckled when I saw the comments of everyone’s favorite General Manager Hank Florsheim that Dave had turned down a chance to keep a role with Channel 13. Wish I could have been there to see it my friend. All of us who got to work at Channel 13 in the years before he got there will always have the memories of working for a top flight news operation, and with colleagues that will always be family. Love you brother. You have done the City we all love proud. I watched you since I was 12. Lol.

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    1. Well said! What are you up to these days? We miss you Wayne! Always enjoyed watching your reports!

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    2. Stammerin' Hank rolls on, dismantling the dynasty.

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    3. Stammerin' Hank, that is so awesome

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  8. Dave Ward is a first class journalist, super citizen and a man's man. He has my respect and appreciation for his long and valuable service to our community. Best wishes my friend in your next phase. Old warriors never 'retire' we just find new places to make a stand.
    Best wishes Dave to you and Laura. Jack

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  9. Such an iconic gentleman. I watched Dave with Sharra Fryer oh so long ago but as the industry changed and so did the people at the station that I liked when soon were gone.

    I moved on. I don't watch KTRK today as don't care for Ilona or a lot of the others. Melanie Lawson is probably the only one I can watch.

    Watched her with Alan I believe back in day too.

    But as said a lot of good people that I liked with KTRK gone and even with other networks are up in that Newsroom in the sky watching down on those of us in their chairs.

    Maybe 6 will go back to an hour cast with Ilona and such perhaps. Who knows where this Romo will go.

    But if Dave stays with Station till end of Year at 6 more power to him as well.

    Our friend above is probably the one left of ones I did watch still going today too.

    But his partner is no more with that station when I watched it too.


    But wish Dave good luck in his future endeavors and been quite a journey. I myself was just a baby when Dave came on to the scene in 66. A couple years old probably when started the News Casts.

    Again here is to a great man and more as we finish the year out together and to your New Endeavors in 2017

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  10. When we moved to Houston and checked out local news bouncing around until landing on ABC13 and immediately felt engaged by Dave Ward. The direction of TV news has left little room for true old school journalist anchors and reporters. Dave brought much integrity and trust into my home with his newscast - I wish him the best going forward and we will certainly miss him.

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  11. Cynthia Cisneros is working behind-the-scenes with Ch. 13 in one of the senior executive positions.

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  12. "Despite our attempts to find an ongoing role, Dave told us it is his preference to move on." Says all that one needs to know about the state of TV news today. The ongoing role is Anchor.

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  13. Congrats on a well-earned retirement, Dave. Now KRTK has to deal with the reality that their programming feels almost as old as Dave Ward! Sports has been in the dumps since Bob Allen was run out of the building....and it's not like KHOU or KPRC have stellar sports programming. I'm running out of reasons to watch Channel 13 beyond Ilona Carson's curvaceous personality!

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  14. It's been a pleasure having a professional such as Dave Ward delivering the news for all these years. His old school ways are pure class and dedication to a profession he obviously loves.

    Sad to see ya go, Dave. Is there any way you could take Art Rascon with you? Just sayin'...

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  15. Bob Allen Is The Longest Sports Director Here At Channel 13 From 1974 Until He Left In 2013 After 38 Half Years

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  16. Anon: Ch. 13 still has the likes of Melanie Lawson, Tom Koch, Tim Abrahams (who could be moved up to the weeknights), David Tillman, Art Rascon, Casey Curry, Tim Heller, etc.,

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  17. No Art Rascon please. He messes up way TOO much. He tries too hard if you know what I mean.

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  18. Tom Abrahams should be given a weekday spot, but I'm not holding my breath given their current management. Unlike Art and Erik, Tom is capable of getting through a sentence without losing his place on the prompter and, in breaking news, offering coherent thoughts. As for all the people claiming Romo is the next big thing at 13: you're either his BFFs or delusional.

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    1. Whatever you say, Tom.

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  19. I am just a viewer, a news junkie....The only one I would promote at ABC13 is Tom Abrahams...no one comes close (from what I see as a viewer) to Tom dedication, honesty when reporting and his ability to get one on one interviews with major political players from both sides.
    I vote For Tom Abrahams to replace Dave Ward !

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  20. I hope this Spurs the senior citizens on kprc's 10:00 news to retire.

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  21. It seems as if he was forced out of 13. First they cut him at 6:30pm, then he left the 10pm newscast, and now he will "leave the station". That is the same thing the said about Wayne Dolcefino. If it was his own decision, I am sure that he would leave when he was ready to retire. After all, he could have left anytime during that 50-year tenure, and it seems unlikely that he would just leave after all that time at 13 without retiring. Dave Ward is a great newscaster and the station should have never let him go. Eyewitness News Tonight used to be #1 when Ward was on it. After he left, Univision became #1! After all he did for 13, I hope he wasn't forced out.

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  22. Joseph: Looks like Ward was forced out of Ch. 13!

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    1. Sadly it is true. How dare they do that to him?

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  23. I'm worried for Tom Koch & Melanie Lawson because they're next!

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    1. Exactly what I was thinking!

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    2. Is Gina gone too. Or the one that has been doing 4 and 6:30 that is the brother of the one who was the 9pm anchor at Fox 26. Don't watch much with 13 anymore. I still stay with KHOU even though they have made their changes. I don't watch them as often due to the change but really not impressed with what there is these days of the News and people doing the time slots anymore. Just at the 6 pm Time am eating dinner then and news is on. Hard to watch early in mornings. But too many reporters/anchors can't tolerate/stand

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  24. Worried for Melanie and Tom too. Cruella DeVille Wendy G and her little lapdog Henry will probably try to force their less than graceful exits as well. A recent review of the station was right on target: "Worst work life balance, run like a mom-and-pop shop, VP's with no management skills or qualifications. Highly dissatisfied employees are just there to protect their jobs." Neither Disney or ABC does anything to interfere with the abominably poor management. Dave was forced out, no doubt! Maybe Henry actually should be the next to worry--Wendy's eyeing his slot.

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