Saturday, January 16, 2021

104.1 KRBE Saturday night dance mix The Beat

Houston radio has a tradition of live club Saturday night electronic/dance broadcasts.  

This one embedded above popped up on reddit the other day from 104.1 KRBE's The Beat, originally airing on November 11, 2000 with DJ Mark D.

You might also remember Club 6400 from 93Q KKBQ way before the country days.  

Since we have kids now, you can find us on a weekends listening to the "Saturday Night Safety Dance" with DJ Bueller on SiriusXM's First Wave.  No more staying up late, it comes on at 7pm in Houston!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Keith Garvin and Christine Noël recover from COVID-19

KPRC 2 anchors Keith Garvin and Christine Noël announced on social media  they have both recovered from COVID-19 in the last weeks.

Noël and her fiancé, Jesse, came down with symptoms Christmas morning.  For Jesse, it was a second time. Her symptoms were fevers ranging from 100.6 to 104, constant piercing ache/pains, headaches, cough, complete lack of energy and the loss of taste and smell. 

Garvin's entire family came down with COVID, but says their symptoms were not severe. 

"COVID is such a random virus in terms of the damage it can do," Garvin posted.  "All I can say is take your health seriously, exercise on a regular basis, and take those vitamins & supplements year-round all to help you fight better if you have to encounter the virus. Wear your mask, wash your hands, & keep that hand sanitizer handy. It's good to be back!"

- Art Rascon is battling COVID-19
- Courtney Zavala and Darby Douglas dealing with COVID-19
- Dominique Sachse tests positive for COVID-19
- Houston media members affected by COVID-19

Art Rascon is battling COVID-19

Art Rascon


Longtime abc13 KTRK anchor Art Rascon and his son, KPRC 2 anchor Jacob Rascon, took to Facebook to publicly talk about their family's battle with COVID-19.

The father and son Houston journalists report that right after Christmas, many of their family members in their Houston social bubble started showing symptoms of COVID.

"Thankfully, most of us had mild to moderate symptoms," Jacob said in his post.  "Two weeks later, everyone is essentially recovered except dad. Ashley (Jacob's wife) got it pretty bad, with a fever for eight days, along with other symptoms."

"I have not been so fortunate," Art posted.  "It has been a rough more than 2.5 weeks. The aches, pains, extreme fatigue and fever were terrible, but last Friday night I also began to experience breathing issues. On Saturday I was hospitalized and was released 4 days later. My breathing has improved only slightly. This will no doubt be a long process, but I am grateful for the small steps of progression."

Jacob ended his post by saying that some of their family are still missing their sense of smell, and they are more tired than normal, but doing well otherwise.  He added they are praying for his dad's full recovery, plus healing and comfort for those who have lost loved ones or are suffering in other ways.

"Please say a prayer for my wonderful TV husband Art Rascon," abc13 anchor Melanie Lawson posted on Facebook.  "Art is battling COVID-19.  He’s doing a lot better, but we want him back healthy & strong.  We miss you, Art!"

Lawson's battle with COVID was recently featured on Inside Edition.

- Keith Garvin and Christine Noël recover from COVID-19 
- David Nuño returns after COVID-19
- KTRK GM Wendy Granato tests positive for COVID-19
- Chauncy Glover first public Houston media positive COVID-19 test
Houston media members affected by COVID-19

In 2019, Art was hospitalized after a collapsing after getting out of bed. In 2016, a copperhead snakebite sent him to the emergency room.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Jim Spencer semi-retires from KXAN, David Yeomans takes place

Jim Spencer, the chief weathercaster for KXAN 36 Austin, announced his semi-retirement at slated for the end of February.  Central Texas weather watchers will be happy to know he is staying on with the NBC affiliate part-time.

"For the past 37 years I’ve had the incredibly good fortune of living my childhood dream — telling people about the weather on television every day — now I’m looking to also do some other things," Spencer said on "Over the years, I’ve started or become a partner in four businesses that I plan to be more involved in, while still stepping in here at KXAN whenever I’m needed."

He adds that he told station management four years ago he planned on reducing his hours on air when he hit 30 years with the now Nexstar station. 

In Spencer's place will be current KXAN weekday morning meteorologist, David Yeomans.

Spencer's journey into broadcasting started at KADA-AM while as a student at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. 

"I was probably the only third grader who watched the weather every night" Spencer told Austin Monthly in 2015. "By the time I was in fourth grade, I told my teacher that I was gonna be a weatherman when I grew up. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the career of my dreams."

In 1983, he moved to television at KTEN Ada–Sherman and became the station's chief upon graduating college. 

Spencer joined KXAN in 1990 as the station's first weathercaster for its hour-long morning newscast. By 1993, he was named chief weathercaster.

"When I started here, I didn’t realize how good I had it," Spencer also told told Austin Monthly. "We were the very first one-hour morning newscast in Austin, from 6 to 7 a.m. Then, all I had to do was the local cut-ins for the Today Show at 9 a.m. I didn’t have voice mail. No Internet to update! We all really had it easy back then."

The longtime Austin weathercaster leaves behind a ton of awards such as three Lone Star EMMYs, five Texas Associated Press awards and 21 Austin Chronicle "Best Weathercaster" honors. Think that's enough?  He also won Austin’s American Women in Radio "TV Personality of the Year" five times and the Austin American Statesman’s "Best Weather Reporter" in 2018.

Honors and awards aside, many Austinites will remember Spencer for his hours of charitable work and community involvement. Some organizations that KXAN's website says Spencer concentrates on include Family Eldercare, the Helping Hand Home for Children and animal welfare groups.

"I couldn’t be handing over my responsibilities to a more capable meteorologist," Spencer said about Yeomans on the station's website.

Yeomans, who starts on the nightly newscasts March 1st, actually interned with Spencer while attending University of Miami where he earned both a Bachelor's and Master's Degree.

"I’ve been so fortunate to learn from the best in Central Texas,” Yeomans added. “Jim has been my mentor since age 19. To then have the chance to work side-by-side with him through some of Austin’s biggest weather events, and now carry on what he has built here at KXAN, is an incredible honor."

The three-time Lone Star Emmy Award winner started with KXAN in 2012.

KXAN also announced weekend evening and noon meteorologist Kristen Currie will move to the morning news to replace Yeomans.

Newly hired KXAN meteorologist Nick Bannin takes over weekend evenings for Currie. 

Nick Bannin joins KXAN

Nick Bannin will be joining will join KXAN 36 Austin's First Warning Weather team as the weekend evenings meteorologist.  

He comes from 22News WWLP western Massachusetts and will be joining the ranks of Joe Rogan and Elon Musk by moving to Austin - albeit he is coming from the other side of the US.

Here is Bannin's social media goodbye post:

"After a decade at 22News I have accepted a meteorologist position at a TV station in Austin, Texas. 

This Friday, January 8th, will be my final day on air before my family begins the long drive to our new home. 

Being your meteorologist has been the honor of a lifetime and you’ve shown me so much kindness over these past 10 years. 

While I haven’t met most of you in person, I always felt like I was speaking to friends on the other side of the camera. Those of you I DID meet validated that feeling. Thank you. 

I’ve lived longer in western Massachusetts than any other place in my life and I could only see myself leaving this area for a special opportunity. I’ve made incredible friends during my time here and I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic people at 22News, both on air and behind the scenes. Leaving this all behind will be tough. 

I thank my wife the most as she’s lived in the Springfield area since she was just 6 months old. Her roots and family are here and I’m truly grateful to her for supporting this career move. 

Thank you for your viewership and your trust. I know you’re in good hands with the rest of the Storm Team. 

Bye for now..."

Bannin has worked for WWLP since October 2010 - first as a weekender, then to the morning news.

He started his career at WETM Elmira, New York.

The Cornell University grad is originally from Bristol England.  He moved back and forth across the pond through his childhood and is a diehard Manchester United supporter.

Another interesting fact, according to his bio, he met his wife while interviewing her for a story.

Back at 22News, it was announced that Kelly Reardon will be taking over his 4:30 to 7am and noon shifts.

David Barron says goodbye to Houston Chronicle, but not to writing

Readers of my blog will certainly be sad to hear the news that Houston Chronicle sports media reporter David Barron is retiring from the paper after 1,500 or columns plus hundreds of more news stories.

"I know that I'm going to miss the deadline rush," Barron told  "I have such fond memories of scrambling to get things done on short notice under what at the time seemed to be immense pressure. After writing those stories, I would wander around the press box or the house almost as if I were in a daze, trying to calm down and get a grip." 

This means my coverage of the Houston sports media is going to be even worse.  Basically, outside of a few press releases the sports radio stations send me, most of my coverage is basically "David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports" posts.

After 31 years, Barron has decided to take the Hearst buyout of Houston Chronicle employees.  We've already seen other Chronicle names like tech columnist Dwight Silverman and real estate reporter Nancy Sarnoff announce departures. 

"I’ve been privileged to work with David for more than 30 years," Houston Chronicle Texans/NFL Writer John McClain told  "I’ve never known a more versatile, thorough, insightful and informative writer who can handle any topic at a moment’s notice. Losing David is like amputating an arm off our sports coverage. Nobody can do what he’s consistently done so well for so long with so much class. He’ll be missed by many."

"Through the years, including a time as an assistant sports editor, David wrote with empathy, honesty and perspective on anything from six-man football in small-towns of West Texas to Simone Biles and the Olympics in Rio," Houston Chronicle Sports Editor Reid Laymance added.  "He is, indeed, a Texas treasure."

Not only did Barron report on the sports media, but he also covered the Olympics and had to be fast to make those college football story deadlines - yet another one of his many beats.

"One of the most memorable was the Texas-USC game for the 2005 BCS national championship," Barron recalled. "Deadline those days was 11 p.m., and the game ended at 11:18 p.m. I remember seeing a Texas player run on the field with his helmet off and thinking, 'You idiot, get off the field. You're going to get penalized' and then realizing that the game was over and Texas had won. I was so stunned that it took me a good 30 seconds before I could get back to my story. "

When Barron arrived at the Houston Chronicle in 1990, he probably had no idea what the fourth largest US city would experience sports-wise.  From the highs of the Houston Rockets back-to-back NBA championship, to lows of the Houston Oilers' departure, the city's NFL return with the Houston Texans and the Houston Astros World Series win and subsequent fallout. 

"Every writer who covers an elimination game call tell you stories about writing two leads - one in which the team loses, one in which it wins," Barron revealed. "Sometimes, you get to use both. I adapted some of my unused 'Astros lose' story from Game 7 of the 2017 World Series to use in the 'Astros lose' story that I wrote following Game 7 of the 2019 World Series."

While there was lots of Houston sports news to cover, the world of Houston sports TV and radio coverage was busy, too.

As Barron recently wrote, most of the longtime Houston TV sportscasters that were around for so many years are now off the air. Plus the Bayou City went from zero all-sports radio stations to four at one point! 

"I also wrote about the growth of sports radio from one station to two to three and to four and the difficulty that the genre has had in establishing itself to the same degree, at least where ratings are concerned, that it has in other cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Detroit," Barron said.

Then there was the CSN Houston saga.

"The Houston media story that will forever live with me was the collapse of Comcast SportsNet Houston," Barron said.  "It was such a great product - the kind of channel that viewers deserved in Houston, which was one of the early strongholds of regional sports networks with the 1983 launch of Home Sports Entertainment. I knew when it was launched that there would be distribution issues, but they unfolded in a different manner than I expected. I was covering an Astros game in 2013 - Andy Pettitte's last game with the Yankees - when I got the call that the network was going into involuntary bankruptcy. That was a double deadline day. 

"From there, I covered a lot of bankruptcy court hearings and learned a lot about bankruptcy law and also about the ability to use Twitter as a headline service while writing from the courtroom. A lot of the CSNH employees who lost their jobs told me they relied on me to learn about things that they weren't hearing from management, and that was a responsibility that I took to heart. It's been great so see so many of the CSNH people do so well in other markets but so disappointing that Houston no longer has a representative RSN for its teams and their fans."

Barron was there at every step.

"I think David deserves the highest compliment you can give a newspaper person: he was competent and dependable," former Houston Chronicle and now CultureMap columnist Ken Hoffman told me.  

The Tyler native developed his reporting chops at the Tyler Morning Telegraph (1975-78), even before graduating from the University of Texas at Austin.  From there, Barron moved to The Waco Tribune-Herald (1978-84) and the Dallas bureau of United Press International (1984-90), then to Houston. 

"My family has lived in Texas since the 1850s, and I never aspired to work or live anywhere else," Barron told me.  "I was able to start in my hometown of Tyler at age 19 after my sophomore year in college and again after graduation. I moved to Waco at a time where there were a lot of things going on involving the balance between free speech, institutional authority and religious dogma at Baylor University. That's where I met Dave Campbell, who gave me the opportunity to work for Texas Football. I always wanted to work for a wire service, and I got to do so at UPI in Dallas. 

"I came to Houston at a really rough time in my life, and Houston gave me the chance to start over at the biggest paper in the state. The city and its people have been very kind to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity, and I continue to be amazed how welcoming Houston is to people who come here from around the world. There's so much of Houston that I haven't seen or enjoyed because I've focused so much on work, and I hope I can enjoy it, when circumstances allow, given that I will have more free time."

Barron has written for Dave Campbell's Texas Football since 1980, where he served as the high school editor and then the Managing Editor until 2004.

"I have a couple of book projects that may come to fruition this year, and I hope to continue writing for Texas Football and other publications as opportunities present themselves," Barron added. "I also want to devote more time to friends and family. I don't know that I'll be on this plane of existence when I'm 90, let alone writing as Dave Campbell continued to do into his mid-90s, but who knows? We'll see."

Now Barron hopes he can be happy writing 75 stories a year rather than the usual 275. 

Melinda Spaulding makes the New York Times

Melinda Spaulding might have left the FOX 26 KRIV anchor desk a few years ago, but she and the station are still collaborating and now have been featured in the New York Times:

"Fox stations in several cities are airing teachers’ lessons as well, thanks to Melinda Spaulding Chevalier, a Houston resident and former TV news anchor who thought of the concept in March. She pitched a daily program featuring teachers to her old boss, D’Artagnan Bebel, the general manager of Houston’s Fox station. He was in.

Less than two weeks later, local educators were on the air, teaching condensed lessons for an hour.

The concept quickly spread to Fox stations in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, all of which joined with local school districts or teacher unions to put teachers on television. (The initiative ended in Houston and Washington after the spring but is still airing every weekday in San Francisco and on Saturdays in Chicago.)" READ MORE

NYT reporter Kellen Browning wrote that in Houston, "an average of 37,000 people watched the program each time it aired in the spring." 

Other Houston TV stations were also providing virtual learning programming in March of 2020, too.

As for Spaulding, after 13 years with KRIV, she is now the Vice President For Advancement & Communications at Texas Southern University (TSU).

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Univision Houston and the University of Houston-Downtown Launch “Tu Futuro” (“Your Future”) Scholarship Program


 Univision Houston, the area's leading Spanish television station, and the University of Houston-Downtown, the second largest university in Houston, have partnered to create the “Tu Futuro” (“Your Future”) scholarship program. Launching in January 2021 and open to current high school seniors residing in the Houston area, the “Tu Futuro” scholarship program will award one local student with a full scholarship covering the cost of a four-year undergraduate degree at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Students are encouraged to register and submit an application between January 8 and March 5, including an essay detailing “How A College Scholarship Will Help Me Positively Impact My Community,” at . Univision Houston, the University of Houston-Downtown and local scholarship sponsors Luby's and Community Health Choice, among others, will select a winner from the essay applicants. The “Tu Futuro” scholarship winner will be selected in late March and awarded the scholarship in April to be applied to the 2021-2022 academic year. For additional information and complete scholarship rules, visit

“Informing, empowering and providing valuable resources to our community is at the heart of everything we do at Univision Houston and our Contigo (With You) community outreach efforts,” said John Hannon, President and General Manager, Univision Houston. “The 'Tu Futuro' scholarship program ensures that a local student will have access to a quality education despite any economic barriers they may face. We are proud to partner with the University of Houston-Downtown, a leading local educator and nationally recognized as serving the needs of Hispanics and minorities, on this important initiative. ”

“Univision and UHD both realize the importance of providing access to higher education in our community. “Tu Futuro” does just that… helping students realize their academic dreams by providing full undergraduate tuition. It's a tremendous initiative that yields numerous benefits for area students, their families and our region. UHD is indeed proud to partner with Univision on this project, and I look forward to future collaborations focused on supporting student success. ” - Dr. Antonio D. Tillis, UHD Interim President.

Univision Houston and University of Houston-Downtown Launch “Tu Futuro” Scholarship Program to Award a Full Scholarship to an Exemplary Local Student

 Univision Houston, the area's leading Spanish-language television station, and the University of Houston-Downtown, the second largest university in Houston, have partnered to create the scholarship program “Tu Future". Launched in January 2021, the program is available to current high school seniors living in the Houston area and will award a local student with a full scholarship that will pay for the cost of a four-year college degree. at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Students are encouraged to sign up and apply, which must include an essay detailing the ways a college scholarship will help them make a positive impact in their community, between January 8 and March 5 at . Univision Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, and local scholarship sponsors Luby's and Community Health Choice, among others, will select the winner from applicants who submit essays. The winner of the “Tu Futuro” scholarship will be selected at the end of March and will be awarded the scholarship in April, which will apply to the academic year 2021-2022. For more information and the full scholarship rules, visit

“Informing the community, empowering it and providing helpful resources is critical to everything we do at Univision Houston and our Contigo community outreach efforts,” said John Hannon, president and CEO of Univision Houston. “The 'Tu Futuro' scholarship program ensures that a local student has access to a quality education despite whatever financial obstacles they face. We are proud to partner in this important project with the University of Houston-Downtown, an outstanding local educational institution with national recognition for serving the needs of Hispanics and minorities. "

“Tanto Univision como UHD bien saben lo importante que es proporcionar acceso a la educación superior en nuestra comunidad. “Tu Futuro” hace precisamente eso: ayuda a los estudiantes a hacer realidad sus sueños académicos otorgándoles toda la matrícula de la licenciatura. Es un proyecto fabuloso que produce muchos beneficios para los estudiantes de la zona, sus familias y nuestra región. Sin duda, UHD se enorgullece de asociarse a Univision en este proyecto, y estoy a la espera de futuras colaboraciones centradas en apoyar el éxito de los estudiantes”, dijo el Antonio D. Tillis, rector interino de UHD.

(This post taken from a release by Univision)

Two big San Antonio TV departures

Longtime KSAT 12 anchor/reporter Paul Venema has announced he will be retiring sometime this spring after 47 years with the station.

“My decision to retire was based primarily on my desire to spend more time with my family who have loved and supported me through my career,” Venema said on the station's website.

Venema started with the station in 1969 as a weekend anchor and later helmed the 5, 6 and 10pm newscasts, but really enjoyed being a reporter.

And it doesn't get anymore Texas than one of Venema's good friends, Willie Nelson.

“Paul is a legend," KSAT anchor Steve Spriester said on the station's site. "KSAT viewers have witnessed his professionalism and journalistic excellence, but I also appreciate his friendship. Paul has a great sense of humor and just a genuineness to him that I will miss greatly. I wish him nothing but the best."

“In a world where it’s all about relationships, Paul has been able to develop great relationships inside the station and across the community," added KSAT news director Bernice Kearney. "He’s a legend at KSAT, as well as at the Bexar County Courthouse and the Justice System. Through his reporting, Paul has made all of us smarter – turning complex legal issues into easy-to-understand stories that our audience appreciates. But that’s the professional stuff. Personally, Paul is a true Renaissance Man… yes, he knows the legal system, but he also loves music, can strike up a conversation with anyone and is a real jokester!” 

Denise Cabello leaves News 4 San Antonio WOAI "San Antonio Living"

Also leaving the Alamo City television airwaves is News 4 San Antonio WOAI "San Antonio Living" co-host Denise Cabello.

Here is what Cabello posted on Instagram:

"After 8 years, I’m leaving WOAI/KABB. 

In those 8 years, I found my loving husband @eatingwithevan. 

We started our beautiful family with our amazing daughter, Izzy. I have built powerful friendships that will last a lifetime. 

I am so proud to have told the stories of a city that I love. 

Thank you for the endless support. I’ll still be around so keep up with me."

Born and raised in San Antonio, Cabello started as a San Antonio Living intern according to her bio.  

She moved her way up to production assistant, social media reporter, associate producer/editor to the show's co-host.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Ali Siddiq joins Funky Larry Jones on Majic 102.1

Ali Siddiq, a Houston native and comedian, will partner with radio legend Funky Larry Jones weekdays 2pm to 7pm on Majic 102.1 KMJQ.

 “My philosophy is that happiness is laughter, laughter is comedy and comedy is therapy," Siddiq said on the station's website.

Siddiq has worked along side D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, Cedric the Entertainer, J. Anthony Brown, Mike Epps, Rickey Smiley, Kevin Hart and many more. 

He has performed comedy on the likes of BET, NBC, HBO, Comedy Central and TV One.

Starting in 2011, Siddiq has also been an on air talent for The Foxxhole on Sirius XM.

In 2015, Siddiq's stand-up “Damaged Goods” aired on Comedy Central. 

For his 2018 Comedy Central special, "It’s Bigger Than These Bars," Siddiq performed stand-up for inmates in the Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas. According to Comedy Central, Siddiq returned to the Texas state penitentiary system for a comedic performance, where he previously served six years for drug trafficking, to encourage and inspire inmates.

“Ali and I have been friends for many years exchanging stories of life experiences while laughing at the ups and downs! I’m really excited for Houston to hear the love and chemistry we share every weekday afternoon,”  Funky Larry Jones added.

“Ali has always been like family to Radio One and we’re so excited that he can officially call Majic 102.1 home,” Radio One Houston’s Vice President and General Manager, Pam McKay, said on the station's site.