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Friday, April 20, 2018

Lisa Vaughn exits FOX 26 KRIV

Meteorologist Lisa Vaughn is no longer with FOX 26 KRIV

Meteorologist Lisa Vaughn has left FOX 26 KRIV a station representative has confirmed to I hear her last day was April 16th.

The Spring, TX native returned to her hometown area in 2016 from WPTV West Palm Beach, Florida.

Vaughn certainly seemed to resonate with Houston viewers in her two years with the local FOX Television Stations property.

I never wrote about her fashion designing skills, but Yahoo and other outlets did.

Personally I was more impressed with her academic background.

As I wrote when Vaughn started at KRIV, not only does she forecast the weather, but she also is a computer programmer utilizing the 'R' software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

Normally I would say here is her resume, but maybe I should really say here is her CV:
Master's of Geosciences, Mississippi State University
Master's of Statistics, Rice University
BS Mathematics, University of Houston

Vaughn used her public position to encourage girls to enter the STEM fields by merging her science and fashion interests.

“I want girls and women to know that you can be a scientist and still do “so-called” “feminine” things," Vaughn wrote on her personal website. "You can wear makeup, fix your hair, wear dresses, wear press-on nails and paint ‘em red with glitter. You can be a great cook or even sew your own clothes. I think girls will be more likely to want to enter STEM fields if the stigma is removed – That science is ‘boring’ – that you have to be “serious” all the time. You have to be nerdy. You make toy robots as a side hobby. I consider myself a scientist and I have multiple math and science degrees, but I refuse to be placed into a box of stereotypes. 'You gotta look and act a certain nerdy way' – I’ve heard 'no one will take you seriously in a dress' *gasp*."

Last summer, FOX 26 viewers were contacting me like crazy trying to find out why Vaughn disappeared from their TV screens. I first wrote a post in July noting her absence. She returned to the station in September. We never learned the reason for the off time.

Vaughn got her start in TV at WJTV Jackson, MS.

As we wait to see where Vaughn shows up next, Dr. Jim Siebert, John Dawson and Mike Iskovitz will handle the weekend morning and other Vaughn duties.

Since you are here for a Houston TV news departure post, it should be noted we learned channel 13 weekend anchor Natasha Barrett left her station last week.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Branch Davidian standoff remembered by Texas TV journalists who were there

How the Houston and Waco TV-radio journalists who covered the Branch Davidian standoff remember the tragedy from 25 years ago

KHOU 11 reporter Norm Uhl and photographer John Shaw

Much has been reported concerning the Branch Davidian compound assault and standoff near Waco.

Especially when it comes to KWTX 10. The Waco-Temple-Killeen CBS affiliate was on scene at the time of the initial raid.

Much has been written about that station and its staff that were there, including the fallout. When I worked in Waco as a cub reporter, I remember hearing lots of stories about the raid that had just gone down less than a decade before. Some KWTX staffers were still being featured in David Koresh documentaries.

You can read more about KWTX's story, here and here.

On this 25th anniversary ATF raid, I will be bringing you the stories from Satellite City, the media enclave residing near Mt. Carmel, where the cult lived back then and some still to this day.

The standoff lasted from February 28 to April 19, 1993.

Over the last few months, I have been corresponding with the journalists who were temporarily living there and the ones who called Waco home, all trying to cover and make sense of this sudden international story.

We find out what the locals thought of the media intrusion and just who shot the now famous and chilling footage of the compound on fire.

Minerva Perez - KTRK abc13 Houston
Covering the first seven days of the 1993 WACO SEIGE was both COLD AND FRUSTRATING. I was on the anchor desk that Sunday night with Bob Boudreaux when the ATF raid went down. I was sent and arrived the next day in my own car, after making a pit stop for warm clothes at a Wal-Mart.

It was late winter, February, so a norther blew in overnight over Central Texas and the cold winds went right through my coat and jeans. Talk about having to layer up! I was wearing two pairs of jeans to sleep in heater-less RV the station sent us. Wayne Dolcefino and photographer Tony Chapa were already there having arrived the night before. All media were held back about two hundred yards from the Mount Carmel compound by law enforcement. I remember there were lines of press vans and vehicles up and down a two-lane part dirt, part caliche road, the only one leading to the Mount Carmel compound that sat in an open field. It was the classic "hurry up and wait" story.

Ann Harder - WACO 100 news anchor (current KXXV 25 Waco - Temple - Killeen anchor)
I was working as a radio news anchor at WACO AM/WACO 100 FM and also as a Central Texas “stringer” for AP Radio News. In that first week after the raid, I lost count of the phone reports I did for broadcast outlets both in the U.S. and abroad. And for me, that was primarily describing just how remote Mt. Carmel was from the city of Waco. I recall being asked by the anchor at KING TV in Seattle, “Are you afraid of being shot?’ I think folks must have believed Waco itself was surrounded by FBI agents, guns drawn. My response was, “I’m more afraid of being run over by a satellite truck on its way out of town to the staging area.”

KHOU 11 reporter Norm Uhl

Norm Uhl - KHOU 11 Houston
I was on site for everything but the first week of Waco. CBS and the CBS affiliated stations had our sat trucks and rented RV’s encamped in the same area and we worked closely together to cover all locations, including a crew on site, one for the daily briefings at the convention center (KHOU’s Jim Moore covered most of those, as I recall), one for any court appearances by adult Branch Davidians who had come out of the compound.

Jay Remboldt - KHOU 11 photographer
I was there starting on the third day. Despite it being a tragic story there were times of, in what we called Satellite City, moments of levity. The brutal cold nights. We finally rented those jet engine shaped shop heaters to keep warm as we sat by our cameras under tents bundled up. They burn white gas. After several nights they would run out of fuel so we started siphoning diesel from the sat trucks. They will burn diesel for a night or two then the plug fouls. We would call the rental company and request ones that work. They would bring fresh ones full of fuel. After the third time we were told no more, if we foul them again that's it, no more heaters. Of course we still burned diesel in them. When they fouled, we grabbed a can of Coke from the Salvation Army truck cleaned the plugs and viola! Good to go for two more nights. Never heard a word after that.

Ann Harder - WACO 100 news anchor (current KXXV 25 Waco - Temple - Killeen anchor)
Due to my responsibilities at home with three small boys, my coverage was pretty well confined to the daily press conferences and what phone interviews I could get with local elected officials, sheriff’s officials and the Waco Tribune Herald editor, Bob Lott.
We did do a call in show on WACO AM the Friday after the initial raid and the comments were really interesting. It was sort of like group therapy for all of us since that first week was so surreal. It was difficult to process being the center of such a huge story, unlike anything anyone had seen around here before. But it showed me how smart and perceptive our listeners were. I recall one caller suggesting loud sounds and music be blasted at the compound (which did happen weeks later). Another recommended punching holes in the building for tear gas (which we know happened the final day).

Norm Uhl - KHOU 11 Houston
The CBS group met every morning to decide assignments. Since all the other stations and networks were covering the same locations it was difficult to get something different, something exclusive, but we managed to do so fairly consistently.

Here’s one example, one day a crew was going to cover a court appearance. A CBS producer would be in the courtroom. I suggested the producer take a bunch of cards and write a note on the back saying, “If you’d like to tell your side of the story call us collect at...” The producer was close enough to the Davidians that she did just that and it wasn’t long before the collect phone calls starting coming in, giving CBS and all the CBS stations some huge exclusives.

Jay Remboldt - KHOU 11 photographer
Many photographers pack their news trucks with essential equipment beyond what the station gave us. I always had my golf clubs. With a lot of down time, I would go to the back of the pasture we rented and hit range balls back toward the sat trucks with the compound in the background. I had been doing this for weeks, then one day I get a call from our News Director Dave Goldberg, "Jay, I'm not paying you to goof off and play golf."

"But I am working, seven days a week, I'm not playing golf", silence on the phone, then laughter.

Dave says, "You were on Dateline last night". The NBC crew snuck way behind me and did a brilliant telephoto shot that made everything look closer than it was.

Vicki Mabrey from CBS was there. She and I celebrated our birthdays sitting in that pasture with horses and the compound looming in the background. We had cake and a small party. Other crew members set it up and totally surprised us.

Norm Uhl - KHOU 11 Houston
As the siege continued, stations began looking for ways to cut back on overtime. When the stations pulled out for the weekend, I argued with KHOU to stay. There were two moonless nights coming up. I argued that if they are going in, that’s when it’ll happen. I was playing an educated hunch. KHOU agreed to let me and photographer Jay Remboldt stay and when the tanks moved up to inject gas into the building in the early morning hours of the second moonless light, I was the only journalist reporting live.

Within half an hour, I had an AP reporter sitting in front of me relaying my reports and for a while, that was the only source available to Houston stations.

That morning the news director at a competing Houston station changed my middle name. He said to his staff to find another way to attribute the information because there’s no way we are quoting Norm “EFFIN” Uhl. I heard about it later and had a good laugh with that news director years later.

Minerva Perez - KTRK abc13 Houston
And we waited and waited for days, it was horribly frustrating. We waited everyday for something to happen…I got to do some color or Sidebar stories of the incident that killed four ATF agents and several Davidians and scores of others when it was all over April 19th. Work conditions were so brutal, I remember asking myself, “what the hell am I doing here?”

Ann Harder - WACO 100 news anchor (current KXXV 25 Waco - Temple - Killeen anchor)
The final day of the fire was a horrible thing to witness as a reporter. I was on the air, watching the event unfold on our TV monitor. Just describing what I was looking at for our listeners—knowing how many women and children were inside was heart-breaking.

Norm Uhl - KHOU 11 Houston
CBS and the other networks had left to cover the verdict in the trial of the Rodney King police officers in Simi Valley, Ca. They returned later that morning. I had been up two straight nights playing my hunch. Once it started I reported live pretty much non-stop until the building went up in flames behind me about midday. After the Noon show, a replacement showed up so I could get some rest. At that moment, CBS grabbed me to do lives for their affiliates all over the country and around the world. My parents saw me in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky and my then mother-in-law in England saw me on Sky News.

I would later find out I had another viewer in New York. Dan Rather was switching around the satellites trying to get more information. That night after he anchored the CBS Evening News from WACO, he took the CBS folks out to dinner in Waco. As I left he told me that he stopped switching around the satellite channels when he came across my reporting and said, “Damn fine reporting, young man.” I should have gotten that in writing or on tape.

While reporting on the fire behind me, I obviously had no official information so I relied on my years of experience covering fires and the lessons I learned from some very smart fire marshals who determine the causes of fires. One thing that stuck with me is that fires don’t start in more than one location at the same time in a building unless the fires are set. That led me to speculate that some of the Davidians might well be bringing their own prophecy to reality by setting the fires.

During the siege, the FBI had hidden a listening device in a delivery of milk. Recordings from the day of the fire, released later, seemed to bear out my speculation.

Ray Peters - KXXV 25 Waco - Temple - Killeen
My contribution is this, and is literally all I have from the 51 day event: I was a sportscaster at the time, which (understandably) meant my time was cut each and every show. I probably worked less from February 28th to April 19th, 1993 than any time in my professional career. Later as the main news anchor at the ABC affiliate in Waco, I certainly covered the many trials, investigations and anniversaries.

Steve Snyder - KCEN 6 Waco - Temple - Killeen (later KXXV)
I was also a sportscaster during that time, but at the NBC affiliate, KCEN. My involvement was during the standoff was non-existent as well... until the last day. The news director called that morning and said the standoff was coming to an end, and news was doing wall-to-wall coverage. Since I wouldn't be doing sports that night, she asked if I would mind bringing out the sports camera gear and shooting some video. I obliged. I arrived at the compound, and since it was close to noon, I agreed to set up my gear and shoot our reporter's noon news live shot. Literally seconds after putting the camera on the tripod, I noticed smoke coming up in the distance. I zoomed in and ended up shooting one version of video that has been played countless times since then. Most people were at the compound for 51 days. I was there for about 15 minutes.

Norm Uhl - KHOU 11 Houston
The day of the fire I kept hoping that the people had escaped out of the other side of the building where we could not see, but when it became apparent to me they were setting the fires themselves on the inside, my hopes dimmed and I just had to put that out of my mind, keep my composure, and do my job. It was difficult to say the least. I still avoid thinking about that part of it and other memories tend to come to the surface first. As a recall, a couple of them did escape which we caught on camera. CBS rented a piece of land from a local and erected a scaffolding with a remotely controlled camera. They told us they brought in an experimental long lens from Japan to give us the closest view of all the networks. The camera had to be remotely controlled because the shot was zoomed in so much that anyone standing on the platform would have caused the picture to shake constantly.

Steve Snyder - KCEN 6 Waco - Temple - Killeen (later KXXV)
After shooting all of the fire video, and after all the action had subsided, our reporter was still ad-libbing live on the air, filling time until the top of the hour when we could get out and back to regular programming. I was standing just to his left off camera, when he started talking about an awful smell. He said he "didn't want to speculate what it was" but he feared the worst... ie burning flesh. I turned and noticed somebody had just emptied a nearby port-a-potty. I then pointed this fact out to the reporter. Dozens of people had just lost their lives, and now me and him are trying not to crack up over this ill timed s#it show.

Minerva Perez - KTRK abc13 Houston
At the end of my time there, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I collapsed into the arms of my husband and baby when I got home. I felt sorry for Wayne, who stayed the entire 51 days of the siege! It was awful thinking of all the children who perished in that fire. (Read more about Perez's experience in 'I GOTTA STORY: My 30 Years in TV News')

Steve Snyder - KCEN 6 Waco - Temple - Killeen (later KXXV)
You may remember the second in command at the compound was named Steve Schneider. Pronounced similarly, but once it was spelled on the TV numerous times, that should have cleared the confusion. But no! Some "enterprising producer from ABC News called me at home on day 2 or 3 of the standoff. He asked if I was the "Branch Davidian Steve Schneider" that had been on the air. I asked if he was serious. He sheepishly realize the foolishness of his question and apologized. The Waco Tribune-Herald ended up doing a funny story about that a few days later.

Jay Remboldt - KHOU 11 photographer
To this day when Waco comes up in conversation and still does, "You were there?" "Yep, it is the only time I have heard a collective OH SHIT from all the supposed jaded media." Hope it never happens again.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

“Stories Behind The Songs” podcast focuses on songwriters

"Stories Behind The Songs” hosted by Christi Brooks - midday personality and Assistant Program/Music Director of The New 93Q KKBQ

Cox Media Group today announced an original podcasting concept, in collaboration with world-renowned BMI songwriters. With sessions originally recorded at the BMI Theatre in Nashville, “Stories Behind The Songs” is hosted by Christi Brooks, midday personality and Assistant Program/Music Director of KKBQ-FM The New 93Q in Houston, TX.

“Stories Behind The Songs” was created for one reason: Every great song starts with a great story. This podcast focuses on the process, the artform, and the stories -- discussing the writer’s journey from concept to hit song.

“Songwriters are tremendously talented individuals. With ‘Stories Behind The Songs,’ we really want to spotlight the incredible music they create, and bring music fans behind the scenes on how some of the most iconic songs have come about,” said CMG VP of Content and Audience Tim Clarke. “'Stories Behind The Songs’ focuses on stories that have never been told publicly until now, straight from the songwriters themselves.”

The podcast is available now at and on iTunes. Six episodes to date feature B-side content and interviews with BMI songwriters: Aaron Barker, Danny Myrick, Bridgette Tatum, and Wynn Varble.

Future episodes will be released weekly.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by Cox Media Group Houston)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Brittany Jeffers joins KPRC 2

KTVT CBS 11 DFW reporter Brittany Jeffers joins KPRC 2

Multiple sources have confirmed to that KTVT CBS11 Dallas-Fort Worth reporter Brittany Jeffers is starting at KPRC 2 today as a reporter.

Jeffers has been quiet on exactly which station she was headed to after recently leaving the DFW CBS owned station in March.

All we knew was she moved to the best city in Texas. For those in the DFW Metroplex, that is Houston (but to all my readers up I-45, I love you all and I can't wait to ride the bullet train to visit you. Anyone up for lunch at Bread Winners or Sonny Bryan's?).

Jeffers did not respond to my request for more info.

"I have joined the KPRC team and am ecstatic to get to work with this dedicated group of journalists," Jeffers told after this post was originally published. "I adore Texas but am excited to now be alongside my fiancé and friends and call Houston ‘home’."

It reminded me of the old know before social media.

Back in the time when people actually talked to each other, us media bloggers couldn't just sit back and watch social media feeds from the comfort of our mother's basements (OK, granted basements are kinda non-existent in Texas, but you know the cliche) to find out about TV talent job moves.

And where did people troll before Twitter and Facebook? Message boards?

These days, TV goodbye posts are written faster than a company like Cambridge Analytica can say, "I know you better than you know yourself."

Even at the time of this writing, Jeffers has remained mum on social media about her new channel 2 Houston gig.

Jeffers had been with KTVT since 2016 as a reporter/fill-in anchor.

Here is a look at her other TeeVee news career moves:

2011-2016 weekend anchor/reporter
FOX23 KOKI-Tulsa, OK

2010-2011 morning anchor
KLKN Channel 8 in Lincoln, NE

2008-2010 Reporter
KLKN Channel 8 in Lincoln, NE

2009-2010 Miss Nebraska
Miss America Organization

Just like FOX 26 KRIV anchor Kaitlin Monte, Jeffers was a finalist in the Miss America competition. She represented the Cornhusker State as Miss Nebraska 2009 according to her KTVT bio.

The two-time regional Emmy award winner is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Welcome Jeffers by clicking here and make sure to let her know the Bayou City rules!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Natasha Barrett leaves KTRK 13

abc 13 KTRK weekend anchor Natasha Barrett has apparently left abc13 KTRK

Multiple sources have told that abc 13 KTRK weekend anchor Natasha Barrett, has left the Disney ABC Television Group owned station.

Barrett's bio has been removed from the channel 13 website, her social media profiles that had a mention of 13 in the name, have been renamed.

At the time of this post's writing, she has not posted a goodbye message on social media.

Barrett returned to her hometown of Houston to work at KTRK in 2014 after eight years at WJLA in Washington, DC. At the Sinclair Broadcast Group station, she hosted a daily show called Let's Talk Live. In addition to her own show, she contributed live reports to ABC 7 News at 5 and 6pm.

Before DC, Barrett worked at WVEC Norfolk, KCEN Waco and KZTV Corpus Christi.

She started in the TV news business with CNBC Europe and CBS News Washington in a behind the scenes capacity.

The award winning journalist is a graduate of American University in Washington, where she double-majored, earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Computer Information Systems.

You can post a goodbye message to Barrett here.

Kevin Quinn resigns from KTRK abc13

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Len Cannon takes on FOX 5 DC anchors criticizing Lamar HS student

Len Cannon: " I think the journalists' comments were pointless, foolish and silly."

In the past few days, my various social media channels have blown up (and not in a good way) after I posted this article about FOX 5 DC WTTG Anchor Holly Morris and contributor Sarah Fraser criticizing a fellow Houstonian.

By now, I am sure you have heard the amazing story of Lamar High School senior Michael Brown who was accepted to the 20 different colleges he applied to including top ranked Harvard and Yale.

'It's a little ridiculous that this kid applied to 20 [colleges] taking away a spot and basically wait-listing another kid,' Fraser said.

Morris replied: 'It's a little obnoxious because you can only go to one. You can only take one full ride, and you are taking a spot from someone else who worked really hard.'

You can watch more of what the Washington DC anchors said below.

Now a member of the Houston TV media has stepped up to defend the honor of Brown and our fair city. 

"He applied to 20 universities," KHOU 11 anchor Len Cannon said in a commentary on the station's newscast.  "He's only going to one. Why can't these anchors be happy for this young man's extraordinary story? A testament to commitment and hard work. Isn't that what we want from our young people?"

Cannon actually took the time to meet Brown and his mother last weekend when the student was accepting a scholarship award.

"Not to mention he blows away some people's perceptions and stereotypes," Cannon added.  "The kid is an academic superstar and shame on anyone who doesn't applaud him.  I think the journalists' comments were pointless, foolish and silly."

Cannon added Brown will announce his college decision in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

David Gonzalez joins KHOU 11

WEAR Pensacola, Florida MMJ/Reporter/Anchor/Producer David Gonzalez joins KHOU 11 as an MMJ

The other day on social media, I posted about a recent local TV news Knight Foundation report that got a lot of notice. While I'm not dedicating an entire post to this topic on my blog, I did want to slip it into a TV news related post so here you go.

The report says while local TV news is a profit center, there are some challenging days ahead:

"Future of local TV news: In order to continue to engage audiences, TV news needs to move away from the crashes and crime stories that dominate their coverage to offer more value for viewers, by producing more enterprise and investigative pieces that are critical to people’s everyday lives."

Back on topic at hand, maybe someone who will help pioneer changes in the TV biz is new KHOU 11 Multi-skilled Journalist (MMJ) David Gonzalez.

"I grew up watching the news in the morning before going to school," Gonzalez said in his bio. "I clearly remember moments that changed the world as we know it like the mass shooting at Columbine High School, the terrorists attacks on 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to help those most affected. I became enthralled by the reporters who got to tell the stories of those most affected."

He arrives from Sinclair-owned WEAR in Pensacola, Florida where he has worked for the last three years as an MMJ/Reporter/Anchor/Producer (I'm sure KHOU doesn't want you holding his old stomping grounds against him).

Before that he worked at Nexstar owned KFDX Wichita Falls as a reporter.

He got his start in the TV news biz at Raycom owned KOLD Tucson, AZ.

Gonzalez earned a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 2010.

According to his bio, he is a first generation American raised in Santa Ana, California in a traditional Hispanic household speaking Spanish. He is the first in his family to go to college. His parents are an inspiration to him.

"They immigrated from their respective countries in the 70s and 80s and gave my three sisters and I a great upbringing," Gonzalez said in his bio. "I want to make them proud with anything and everything I do."

(Thanks Taylor)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Our #domecoming2018 adventure!

I spent many summer evenings with my good friend Greg Davis at the legendary Houston Astrodome watching the Astros.

We were even once at a Houston Oilers' playoff game where we joined in on the "Houston Oilers number 1" song. I'm sure we sang the song at obnoxiously loud levels.

So it was great to be able to take my kids into this mystical building they've passed by many times but never have been able to enter for their entire lives.

The last time I was there was for sadder times in 2005 after the Katrina evacuees were forced to live there after New Orleans was under water. Upon entering more than a decade ago, it still looked like a place stuck back in time from the moment it's doors had been closed for the last time.

Monday night, "Eighth Wonder of the World" looked less like it did in it's heyday, but for the 25,000 who got a chance to enter, they were full of happiness.

In the long line wrapped about the stadium, there was a sense of excitement. Ticket holders, had an energy about them that felt like they were about to go watch their favorite band perform or see the big game of the year. While no such event was about to take place, these Dome fans were feeling emotion about just getting inside the place after all these years.

Naturally there were a ton of Astros jerseys, but also lots of Oilers colors and gear. I guess time heals the Bud Adams wounds.

Me? I was wearing my Houstorian "Come and Take It" shirt.

Domecoming organizers created a carnival like atmosphere outside with food trucks and music/songs one would have heard inside during baseball and football games all those years ago. Talk about a time warp.

You probably saw her in the media, but there was a woman dressed in her original Dome usherette dress from the 1960s. It had that space motif that looks like what people in that groovy decade thought the future would look like.

I for one am glad the Astrodome will survive. In a city bereft of iconic symbols, the Astrodome is one that stands out.

A few years ago, I had the privileged of spending an afternoon at the The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. This is a museum of broadcasting. If you want to see artifacts from your favorite TV show, this is the place to go.

What else it has, is an amazing collection of video. You sit down at a computer and watch history. I naturally typed in 'Houston." What I found was a fantastic special CBS News produced on our fair city in the 1960s. Uncle Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, both from around here, worked on the show.

One of the segments focused on the building of the Dome and what a statement the city and county felt this structure would make to the world. Here is a city built on a swampy coastal prairie that can do anything it wants thanks to innovation and hard work.

Don't you think that ethos survives today? The Dome is still a statement and historical reminder of where we came from and where we are going as a city.

Oh, and since this blog technically covers the Houston media...let's talk about that real quick. The Houston media was out in force covering this one. I got to wave at The Factor himself, FOX 26 star Isiah Carey.

My boys and I were made famous on abc13 KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia's Facebook Live! When Lodhia walked past our part of the line, the people in front of us got very excited and exclaimed, "There's Pooja Lodhia!"

We passed FOX 26 reporter Lindsey Henry conducting an interview.

And just to add to the excitement while waiting in line, we had TV news helicopters buzzing overhead. My kids were excited to see SkyEye 13.

All in all, we had a great day. Thank you Harris County, Judge Ed Emmett, the Astrodome Conservancy and everyone else involved.

Can't wait to see what you do with the place!

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Hottest Houston social media stars March 2018

It's that time again...In March, Telemundo had the number one person in social media, but FOX 26 pretty much dominated the rest of the list.

Share Rocket gives us data on how each Houston TV station and the corresponding air staff members performed on Facebook and Twitter for the month of March 2018.

Share Rocket is, "a social media ratings and audience solution providing media companies an easy way to quantify their social media equity, benchmark against peers and turn social market intelligence into insights that drive social success."

The numbers are pulled from station usage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using Share Rocket's "Share" measurement.

First we are looking at every Houston media company in the Share Rocket database and top personalities. Then I am looking at the top 5 on air staff members at each station in order of channel number.

- Texas TV and radio job moves March 2018
- Best #TVNews Bloopers March 2018

Houston Media
  1. abc13 KTRK
  2. KHOU 11
  3. FOX 26 KRIV
  4. KPRC 2
  5. Houston Chronicle
  6. 45 Univision
  7. 47 Telemundo
  8. Houston's 39
  9. CultureMap Houston
  10. Houston Press

Top 5 individuals
  1. Eduardo Rodríguez (Yusnaby Pérez) - 47 Telemundo
  2. Kaitlin Monte - FOX 26 KRIV
  3. Dominique Sachse - KPRC 2
  4. Mark Berman - FOX 26 KRIV
  5. Coco Dominguez - FOX 26 KRIV

  1. Dominique Sachse
  2. Jennifer Reyna
  3. Adam Wexler
  4. Lainie Fritz
  5. Justin Stapleton

  1. Chita Craft
  2. Daniel Gotera
  3. Melissa Correa
  4. Brooks Garner
  5. Tiffany Craig

abc 13 KTRK
  1. Mayra Moreno
  2. Samica Knight
  3. Collin Myers
  4. Melanie Lawson
  5. Steve Campion

  1. Kaitlin Monte
  2. Mark Berman
  3. Coco Dominguez
  4. Isiah Carey
  5. Ivory Hecker

Univision 45 KXLN
  1. Marcela Perez Barros
  2. Karina Yapor
  3. Laura Sierra
  4. Marlene Guzman
  5. Deysy Rios

Telemundo 47 KTMD
  1. Eduardo Rodríguez (Yusnaby Pérez)
  2. Martín Berlanga
  3. Carlos A. Robles
  4. Ubaldo Martínez
  5. Augusto Bernal

Houston Chronicle
  1. Jonathan Feigen
  2. Joseph Duarte
  3. John McClain
  4. Jake Kaplan
  5. Brian T. Smith

DISCLAIMER: The top five Houston Chronicle staffers are listed at the bottom. I did not include KIAH 39 because it does not have five full-time on-air employees to make up the list. No Houston radio stations are listed in the Share Rocket database.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

KHOU 11 wins big at #TEGNAAwards

After a rough battle with Hurricane Harvey in 2017, KHOU 11's perseverance has been rewarded by its parent company, TEGNA, at its annual awards show in McLean, Va.

And the big winners were KHOU's management team.

KHOU 11 President & General Manager, Susan A. McEldoon, who announced her retirement last month, won TEGNA’s Manager of the Year award for leading KHOU during Hurricane Harvey and inspiring her team to take risks and embrace change.

KHOU News Director Sally Ramirez received TEGNA’s Employee of the Year award.

But that wasn't the only accolades channel 11 received. Regional Account Executive Kaelin Bruzzone and Integrated Account Executive Alison Wallace won TEGNA’s Best Client Solution for their work with Standard Insurance of Texas.

As for the rest of the TEGNA Texas stations, KVUE Austin's Melanie Cottier was named TEGNA’s Sales Executive of the Year.

KHOU signs deal on new building!

The KHOU staff watched the awards show remotely from its temporary home at the Houston Public Media studios on the University of Houston campus.