Saturday, April 10, 2021

Texas media job changes moving pretty fast!

Katherine Whaley

In the 1986 film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the titular character said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

I feel the same about Texas television news and media just in the last few weeks!

So, in case you missed something, let's get the CliffsNotes version.  That should get you past the pop quiz I might spring on you in the coming days. Practice question, "Who is leaving a Texas TV station after starting there in 1978?"


CORPUS CHRISTI

Bill Vessey retires from KIII Corpus Christi

Joe Gazin to retire from KIII Corpus Christi after 50 years in broadcasting


HOUSTON

Katherine Whaley leaves abc13 KTRK

Chelsey Hernandez leaves abc13 KTRK

Telemundo Houston adds Pablo Sánchez and Karina Segovia to weather team

Janel Forte joins NewsNation

Josh Innes is now a classic rock morning show host

Corey Dillon joins The New 93Q KKBQ


DALLAS - FORT WORTH METROPLEX

Peyton Yager joins FOX 4 KDFW

Malini Basu joins WFAA

Allison Harris joins NewsNation


AUSTIN

Mike Rush exits KVUE Austin

Kristie Gonzales promoted to KYTX and KVUE


SAN ANTONIO

Evan Closky joins 10 Tampa Bay WTSP




Friday, April 09, 2021

Allison Harris joins NewsNation

Allison Harris

Allison Harris, a former reporter for FOX 4 KDFW in Dallas - Fort Worth, has joined the national cable news show NewsNation.  

The native Texan is now the NewsNation DC Correspondent reporting on the White House, Supreme Court and Capitol Hill.

Harris left the FOX owned Dallas station in November of 2020 for Washington DC.

So why did Harris leave Texas TV and move to our nation's capital? 

Well, part of the answer comes from an Instagram post by NBC and MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake who posted in November, "So glad [Allison]’s finally joining me in DC."

Turns out Haake and Harris are a couple. Haake is based out of Washington.

And Houstonians might be interested to know that Haake is a graduate of Klein High School in Houston and SMU.

Harris joined channel 4 in Dallas in 2016. 

Prior to KDFW, Harris worked for KOTV 6 Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Her reporting there was honored with a a regional Edward R. Murrow award and an Emmy nomination. While at KOTV, she went live for CBS Evening News.

The McKinney, Texas native started her television news career at KXII Sherman.  

While earning her degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, Harris was named the top collegiate news anchor in the country by the Broadcast Education Association.  She also studied journalism in London and Paris at CNN International, Sky News, BBC and The Guardian.

Loyal readers of my blog will know that KHOU 11 reporter Janel Forte joined NewsNation in the last month.

KVUE 24 Austin chief meteorologist Albert Ramon left Texas last summer to start NewsNation.




Thursday, April 08, 2021

Malini Basu joins WFAA

Malini Basu

Malini Basu is joining WFAA 8 Dallas - Fort Worth as a reporter from Boston 25 News WFXT.

"I couldn't be more excited to live in the same city as my family," Basu tweeted. "I've been waiting for this perfect opportunity for years."

Houston television viewers will recognize Basu from her time at KHOU 11 as a reporter from 2012 to 2015.

"Congrats girl," tweeted KHOU 11 anchor Shern-Min Chow.  "You’ve paid your dues in Bean town!! Come home to Texas!!"

Since Basu was in Massachusetts, she picked up EMMY Awards to become a three time winner.  One EMMY award-winning story took Basu all the way to El Salvador where she conducted interviews with convicted murderers from her station's viewing area.  

Before Houston, the St. John’s University grad worked for:

- NBC Connecticut WVIT

- WLNE reporter/fill-in anchor

- WSYR freelance reporter

- WPTZ/WNNE reporter

- FOX 5 News field producer/writer

- NY1 News news assistant/photographer

According to her bio, Basu was born in Kolkata, India and raised in Queens, NY.  She speaks fluent Bengali.

Other former Houston reporters working for WFAA

Basu will not be the only former Houston TV reporter now working for WFAA channel 8 in DFW. 

 Take a look at the TEGNA station's bio page and you will see former H-Town TV journalists like Sonia Azad (abc13 KTRK), Demond Fernandez (abc13 KTRK), Kevin Reece (KHOU 11) and Jason Whitely (KHOU 11). 

Then there is the top person at WFAA, VP and Station Manager Carolyn Mungo, who was a longtime KHOU 11 reporter and then moved into news management at FOX 26 KRIV Houston before leaving for Dallas.

Just for fun, I'll also throw in WFAA's Daybreak morning news anchor Kara Sewell who interned at channel 13 in Houston.



Houston radio stations granting $25K in ads to small biz

The New 93Q Houston KKBQ

HOUSTON – (April 8th , 2021) – Cox Media Group (CMG) Houston will launch a contest for Houston-area small businesses to submit for a chance to win one of two (2) $25,000 on-air advertising grants. 

The contest runs through April 30th of 2021.

Businesses can submit for a chance to win on each of the three CMG Houston radio station websites:

www.thenew93q.com
www.houstonseagle.com
www.971countrylegends.com 

All entrants will be required to meet certain operational requirements and submit a 300-word essay about why its deserving of a $25K scholarship. 

Two (2) winners will be selected based on various criteria including the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the respective business, its commitment to the community, employee loyalty and overall business culture.

“Many small businesses in our community, and their employees, have struggled significantly over the past year. CMG Houston has, and always will, support our local community,” states Keith Lawless, Regional Vice President and Market Manager for CMG Houston. “We are proud to do our part to leverage the power and reach of CMG Houston with these radio advertising grants to help businesses thrive.”

Winners will launch a fully-produced on-air campaign across a combination of the three CMG Houston stations, The New 93Q, Houston’s Eagle and Country Legends 97.1, during 2021.

About Cox Media Group

Cox Media Group (CMG) is an industry-leading media company with dominant brands, award-winning content, and exceptional people. CMG provides valuable local content to diverse audiences in the communities in which it serves. The company’s operations include 33 market-leading television stations in 20 markets, 54 award-winning radio stations in 10 markets and numerous multi-platform streaming video and digital platforms. Cox Media Group’s portfolio includes affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and MyNetworkTV, as well as several valuable independent stations. Additionally, Cox Media Group operates the National Advertising Platform business of CoxReps; and offers a full suite of local and regional advertising services with Local Solutions. For more information about Cox Media Group and its businesses, please visit www.coxmediagroup.com.




Wednesday, April 07, 2021

David Yeomans in GQ, Jim Spencer on CW's "Walker"

David Yeomans took over the KXAN Austin Chief Meteorologist job from the retiring Jim Spencer a few months ago, and he is already featured on GQ!

“It was surreal to be selected as GQ’s meteorology expert and critique how accurate the science is in movies like Twister,” Yeomans said on the station's website. “I first saw Twister as a kid and must’ve watched it 40 times on VHS. To go from watching it then, to watch it in this setting, it dawned on me that I have fully realized my childhood dream of being a meteorologist.”

That's right, the newly minted Central Texas chief met was brought in my the digital division of the famous men's magazine for a 47-minute edition of the “The Breakdown” on YouTube. For the web series, Yeomans takes a look at movies and explains whether weather events in these films are realistic or not.

KXAN reports the flicks Yeomans dissects include:

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Day After Tomorrow

The Crown

Only the Brave

Twister (his favorite)

The Wolf of Wall Street

War of the Worlds

The Impossible

Dante’s Peak

Everest

So how does an Austin, Texas weather talent hook up with GQ?  KXAN says it was Yeoman's Instagram account that got him noticed by the magazine.

What's next, Jim Spencer appearing on the CW's new "Walker" show?  Oh, that is really happening.

I guess California is really moving to Austin after all. 




Rita Garcia is married

Rita Garcia, Good Day LA morning anchor on FOX 11, was married in March to her fiancé Sergio!

And the Los Angeles TV journalist's former FOX 26 KRIV Houston viewers and colleagues are congratulating her on social media. Heck, Garcia left channel 26 for KTTV Los Angeles back in 2017, but clearly still has fans in the Bayou City.

Garcia's dress was from Panache Bridal Beverly Hills, but the wedding was all Texas.

That's because the couple returned from California to Garcia's birthplace of Austin, and appears to have held the ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown.

A special guest was Garcia's dog Rocky!

The couple was engaged in Paris, France back in the nice year of 2019.




Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Joe Gazin to retire from KIII Corpus Christi

KIII’s Joe Gazin, after more than 50 years as a leader in broadcasting, has announced today that effective May 28th, 2021, he will be retiring from the Channel 3 newsroom.

RELATED
Bill Vessey retires from KIII Corpus Christi

Over the years, Joe Gazin has been a beacon of light during times of crisis and a voice of truth in troubling times. Whether covering some of the most dominant stories of the day, such as the major hurricanes starting with Hurricane Allen in 1980, the death of Selena, or even through some of the more recent impacts of COVID-19 and winter storms, Joe Gazin has been the calm voice of reason when we have needed it most.

"Joe's legacy at 3NEWS will be that of consistency...someone that was always known and trusted to bring you the news of the day, or the moment," said fellow anchor and reporter Rudy Treviño. "To have this kind of dedication, to work in one market for 43 years is an amazing feat."

As part of his role in supporting the coastal bend, Joe Gazin regularly participates in charitable events benefiting such local non-profits as Driscoll Children's Hospital, the Coastal Bend Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and the Special Olympics. 

When asked about his impact on the community, Richard Harris of Driscoll Children's Hospital stated, "He's been part of the Children's Miracle Network Telethon and Driscoll Children's Hospital since day 1. We would raise funds all night, and Joe was with us every step of the way."

Harris added, “To that end, through Joe's tireless efforts, KIII has helped raise $14 million dollars for the hospital and Children's Miracle Network. As we move into the annual Miracle Month of May for Driscoll Children's hospital, it's impossible to state how much Joe Gazin and KIII's efforts continue to benefit those in need.”

When asked about his career, Joe shared, "I consider myself extremely fortunate. It's been a wild ride...I've got the highest regard for management, and the people I work with. I've flown with the Blue Angels, interviewed several presidents, and had a front row seat for the major local events of our time."

For as much as Joe has done in the community, he’s done just as much for his family – both at work and at home. Bruce Cummings, vice president, TEGNA media operations and president/general manager of KIII had this to say:

“Spanning more than four decades in the Coastal Bend, Joe has been a driving force of not only critically important local news, but community goodwill and meaningful outreach as well. He has meant so much to me, the KIII 3NEWS family, and to so many more all across South Texas. Joe’s distinguished track record of impact, connecting with people, and of ‘making a difference’ is one that most likely will never be matched. If you are looking for a champion not only in the business of journalism, but also with serving the greater good of our community, you never need look any further than Joe Gazin.”

When asked about why he felt it was time to retire, Joe said, "You can feel when it's right, and it's certainly right at this point." Asked about what he’s doing next, he added, "The sky's the limit...I can do as much as I have the energy to do."

ABOUT JOE GAZIN

Starting out from the University of Southern California campus radio and moving on to KABC radio in Los Angeles, Joe Gazin was one of the pioneers in talk radio shows, having his own 4-hour program sandwiched between then-mayor Tom Bradley and Regis Philbin. After deciding to enter the world of television in 1975, he briefly worked in stations in Wausau and Madison, Wisconsin before deciding to 'ditch the cold' in 1977 for the warmer climate of Corpus Christi, where he has worked for KIII for 43 years.

During his time with KIII, Joe Gazin has won several Associated Press awards (Best Story, Best Newscast) and numerous community accolades for public service and fundraising. He also covered stories internationally, most notably from Cuba, China, Colombia, Panama and Mexico.

Joe has been married to his wife Amy for more than 20 years and has four children - three adults who are excelling in their own careers, and one still at home. Joe's plans for the future include him continuing to helm his own production company, where he works with his daughter Melissa.

ABOUT KIII

KIII is the ABC affiliate in Corpus Christi, serving the coastal bend of the Texas gulf coast (DMA 128). Since May 4, 1964, we have provided premium programming to more than 210,000 households throughout the area.

KIII is owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups. Across all platforms, TEGNA and KIII tell empowering stories, conduct impactful investigations and deliver innovative marketing solutions.

Throughout the years of operation and today, KIII is committed to putting viewers first and redefining what viewers receive from their news - living the mantra of ‘KNOWN & TRUSTED.’

For more information, please visit kiiitv.com.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by KIII)




Bill Vessey retires from KIII Corpus Christi

Bill Vessey has said "Adios, Amigos" as he retires from the chief meteorologist role at KIII Corpus Christi after being with the station since 1992. Normally, the popular met opens his weathercasts with "Hola Amigos." 

RELATED
Joe Gazin to retire from KIII Corpus Christi

According to 3News, Vessey was born in the Bronx but did like many others have and got to Texas as soon as he could.  

Growing up in Kingsville, TX, he graduated from Texas A&M University Kingsville with a journalism degree and later worked in radio there.

Vessey starts his television career 

TV news came calling and so did Corpus Christi.  Vessey joined KIII in 1978 as a reporter and assignments editor. 

Then it was off to San Antonio radio.

"One of my goals was always to work at KTSA (550 AM) and was up there for in the early 80s," Vessey told KIII anchor Joe Gazin on television.

Vessey eventually returned to Corpus where he worked for KRIS as a sports director from 1985 to 1990 according to Fandom. As the cruel TV news business goes, he was fired according to Gazin's report and ended up working as an announcer at the Corpus Christi Greyhound racetrack.

Vessey returns to KIII

The former KRIS sports director, wrote a letter to his friend Joe Gazin at KIII and the news managers at the time.  He got a call back.

"And I remember the news director saying, 'well, come on, we need somebody to do weather during Good Morning America on Monday and Tuesday morning. You interested,'" Vessey told Gazin on TV.  "I said, 'I've never done weather.' 'Oh, you've been on TV, you can do it.' So I went in for a screen test. I stunk. I was bad, with a capital B. Got a call the next day, 'you're hired.'"

That role led to his morning weather gig on 3 News First Edition with Regina Garcia and his daily opening phrase, "Buenos dias, amigos!"

"Hola Amigos!" became the new phrase once Vessey was promoted to the evening newscasts and his chief meteorologist title for the last ten years.

The multiple Texas Associated Press Award winner also has as an Adjunct Professor of Meteorology for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

"Whether it be a tornado or straight line winds or bad or hurricanes or that stuff," former KIII and abc13 KTRK news director Richard Longoria told Gazin in the TV news report. "Bill is the master at being able to interpret our weather and to then pass that interpretation, that knowledge, on to the audience in a way that is just astounding."

In November of 2019, Vessey suffered a hemorrhagic stroke causing him to be off air for three months.

Alan Holt takes over for Vessey

Taking over for the retiring Vessey is KIII morning meteorologist Alan Holt who has been with the station for nearly nine years. 

He previously worked at KTWO Casper, Wyoming. 

I blogged earlier this year about how Holt won the best Weather Report category in the Corpus Christi Caller -Times Best of the Best awards.





Sunday, April 04, 2021

Quest Houston moves to 55.1 from 11.4 - Twist replaces


Quest network Houston is moving from KHOU 11.4 to channel 55.1 KTBU as of Monday, April 5, 2021 at 4am.

KHOU is putting the TEGNA owned network, TWIST, on 11.4 to replace the outgoing Quest as it moves up the dial to 55. 

Here is a portion of press release TEGNA issued in February 2021 about the new multicast network:

"TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) today announced it is launching a third multicast network, Twist, a women-oriented channel featuring lifestyle and reality programming. The network will launch this spring and initially include hundreds of hours of home, food, and reality content, much of it featuring exciting reveals – or twists – at the end of each show.

Twist programming will feature major unscripted TV hits including Clean House, Top Chef Masters, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Dance Moms, Tabatha Takes Over, Tiny House Nation, Flipping Out, and more. In a regular feature on the network, Twist will encourage viewers to submit their own videos of twists they’ve been thrown in life and how they persevered through them in a positive segment called Share Your Twist.

“Twist will provide an exciting new viewing option for our female audience with content that has not been available through a multicast channel until now,” said Brian Weiss, president and general manager of TEGNA’s multicast networks, which include True Crime Network and Quest. “The launch of Twist will enhance TEGNA’s leadership among non-fiction multicast networks, delivering the kinds of free content that over-the-air viewers crave.'"

Quest launched in 2018 and promised to "capture the wonder, imagination and excitement of the natural and man-made world and features shows about natural history, engineering and science, as well as military history and man’s greatest achievements."

KHOU owner TEGNA purchased channel 55 KTBU in January 2020 from Spanish Broadcasting System for $15 million.  Mega TV had been airing on the channel since 2011.


There have been some big movements in the Houston digital sub-channel world as of late.  


My readers started emailing asking why the channel wasn't moving for them as I had reported.  Turned out they needed to re-scan the channels on their televisions.  Reports I received back was that advice I gave actually worked. Hey, eventually I am correct about something.

So, if you are not seeing Twist and Quest move in Houston on your TV, try rescanning your digital tuners.

Good luck.







Friday, April 02, 2021

Dayna Steele's "101 Ways to Rock Running for Office"

Dayna Steele and Scott Schroder became an unlikely duo when Steele ran for Congress in 2018 and Scott was hired as her “body man” - someone on a campaign who stays close to the candidate at all times and does everything from advising to driving to carrying her purse. 

The two barnstormed across nine counties in a large pickup truck wrapped in Dayna’s image and the U.S. Constitution.

Now, the political duo have teamed back up to write about the experience in "101 Ways to Rock Running for Office."

1. Mike McGuff: How much do you feel one person can make a difference in their community - even if they are not running for office? 

Dayna Steele: It makes all the difference in the world. We all have a network, a community around us - family, friends, school, work, hobbies, sports, entertainment, religious affiliation, the list goes on. When you run for office or volunteer on a campaign or just vote, you set an example for others to do the same. There are millions of "just one person" examples where that person started a ripple effect and changed the world. Nelson Mandela was just one person. 

2.  Is politics as rough as we hear it is? 

DS: Yes. It is partisan and it is time-consuming. But, you will also learn so much about teamwork and listening. You will meet so many new people. And, you will learn about history and the future. I think the more you get involved, the more you see the need and the work it takes to make change.

3. What made you want to run for office? 

DS: I always say "the more you do to help someone else succeed, the more you will succeed." I didn't see that happening in Southeast Texas. And, no one was going to run against the incumbent for the second election in a row. Even though I knew there was a good chance I would not win, I knew someone had to step up and do it. Democracy requires participation.

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4.  What did you learn from the experience? 

DS: That politics is not my cup of tea but I will continue to vote, stay involved, and stay loud. When we sit back and do nothing, nothing good will ever happen.

5 Anything else you want to add? 

DS: My campaign slogan was Healthcare + Education = Jobs. When we all do everything we can to make sure everyone in our country is healthy and educated, we will soar.

RELATED
Dayna Steele's "The Woman in the Mirror" debuts