Friday, February 22, 2019

Lisa Vaughn back on air at KHOU 11

Former FOX 26 KRIV meteorologist Lisa Vaughn reappeared on Houston TV today on channel 11

Meteorologist Lisa Vaughn reappeared on Houston TV today at noon on KHOU 11.

A KHOU representative tells me that Vaughn is freelancing for the station.

You might remember that Vaughn left FOX 26 KRIV in 2018 after two years with the FOX Television Station.

Last summer, she started a teaching position in the mathematics department at the University of Houston.

"It is a unique position because it allows me to not only teach math, but I am also going to be managing the entire data science master's degree program," Vaughn told back then. "So, in a way, this position is bridging together each piece of my academic and professional background."

- Brooks Garner gone from KHOU 11
- Is my professor a Houston TV meteorologist?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Erica Simon has her baby

KTRK abc13 weekend morning anchor Erica Simon had her baby February 19th (yesterday at the time of this post's writing), so we are getting good news during the 2019 abc13 KTRK baby boom!

"Introducing Ella Simon," Simon posted on Facebook. "We thank God for delivering her to us safely and can’t wait to show her all our love! 🥰 Side note: I was in (early and active) labor for 36 hours but it was worth every minute. 🙌🏽"

Here is what Simon first posted about her new daughter:

The past couple of days I’ve been praying, de-cluttering and focusing on my soon-to-be delivery. 🙏🏽 Well, the wait is over. Baby Simon is here! She was born on her due date (February 19) at 6 pounds, 12 ounces. We’re both doing well. 📷 coming soon. ‬

Now we are awaiting new bundles of joy from abc13 morning anchor Samica Knight and traffic anchor Katherine Whaley.

- Houston TV anchors defend Erica Simon
- Erica Simon involved in wreck while pregnant
- Erica Simon is pregnant

*updated with photo and name of baby

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Former KHOU GM Susan McEldoon to offer professional coaching

Susan McEldoon, Former President and General Manager of KHOU-TV, is expanding her resume by adding executive & professional coaching following her retirement from KHOU.

"Developing talent has always been my favorite part of the job and there is a growing demand to prepare the new generation for top positions,” says McEldoon.

To compliment her nearly 40 years of marketing, advertising, and broadcast management experience McEldoon has successfully completed a year-long program in Executive & Professional Coaching at the University of Texas Dallas Jindal School of Management. She will receive the ACTP certification from the University and is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Susan’s executive training will offer executive and team coaching, meeting facilitation, and 360 assessments for individuals and organizations. Her expertise extends far beyond the media industry to include consumer facing marketing, philanthropic fundraising, and crisis management skills which were displayed during Hurricane Harvey.

McEldoon can be reached directly at 312.218.9000 or

About Susan McEldoon
Susan has over 30 years of TV station management experience having worked for the NBC O&O (KCNC) in Denver, CO, the CBS O&O (WBBM) in Chicago, the Dispatch Broadcast Group (WBNS) in Columbus, OH and TEGNA, Inc’s KHOU, the CBS Affiliate in Houston Texas. She has been on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Houston Chapter for over ten years and served as Board Chair from 2015-2017. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Houston Partnership and the Board of Trustees for the United Way of Greater Houston. McEldoon holds a BA/Communications from the University of Missouri/Kansas City and received her MBA from The Ohio State University.

(Taken from a release sent to me by KHOU)

Houston film critics eagerly anticipate Oscar night

Possibilities for surprise captivate professionals who follow the movies

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 18, 2019) — While the 2019 Oscars have already created surprise and controversy, members of the Houston Film Critics Society (HFCS) anticipate even more excitement when the winners are announced on February 24 during ABC’s broadcast of the 91st Annual Academy Awards.

“This year’s ceremony, celebrating a solid cinematic year, feels so overshadowed by controversy that it’s hard to know what to expect,” said HFCS member James Roberts of Glide Magazine. “From the hosting debacle, to the justifiable rage over the cut categories, to the scandal surrounding the director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the ceremony may be tainted.”

“I worry that the current wave of blatant commercialism and capitalism will continue to erode respect for the art and talent of moviemaking,” said HFCS president Doug Harris, of Third Rock Radio. “This is a time to applaud the work of filmmakers—not the promoters of plush toys, kids’ meals and adventure park tickets.”

Harris believes that The Academy and Oscar audiences may conclude that a host for the awards show has become an unnecessary distraction.

“I would be thrilled to see the presenters and winners show some respect and gratitude when they step up to the podium while dripping in diamonds in their designer duds and, absent of humility, show us a bit of charm,” Harris said.

Other HFCS members agree.

“I think it’s just fine that there is no Oscar host,” said T.J. Callahan of Houston’s AM 1070 KNTH. “After the opening number, they always become scarce.”

Dustin Chase, of Texas Art and Film, said that he hopes the show “isn’t the train wreck that reports suggest, from all the bad choices that have come to light. The Oscars should be a celebration of the best in film, not some television program produced to attract audiences that care nothing about cinematic art.”

Other HFCS members expressed a desire for change surrounding the speeches and statements given at the awards show.

Donna Copeland, also from Texas Art and Film, hopes that the Academy succeeds at “limiting the acceptance speeches which are always boring, though well prepared; thoughtful remarks at earlier awards shows this year, from such winners as Glenn Close and Christian Bale, are models to follow.”

Callahan contends that all political statements should be “outlawed” during the awards show. “Anyone who spouts off an opinion that has nothing to do with the movies should be fined,” she said.

Meanwhile, HFCS member Louis Parks describes a strong dislike for “forced levity and awkward efforts to address problems, real or imagined, that seem phony.”

It may come as a surprise that, as much as these critics love movies, not all of them intend on watching the awards show this year.

Alan Cerny of said that he won’t tune in on Oscar night because of “the infighting and bitterness that seems to take place every year.” Meanwhile, Hunter Lanier of Film Threat says that, as the Oscars have become a larger-scale television event, “The Academy Awards have catered more to the People Magazine crowd than to people who love movies. It's like that unbearable red-carpet pre-show has leaked into the main event.”

Still, to many critics, the “main event” offers sufficient appeal.

“I love that the winner for The Best Picture is not a given this year,” says Callahan, “and that Glenn Close came from behind to be the frontrunner. If she doesn’t win Best Actress, I’ll throw a tomato at the screen.”

Mark Schumann of Hearst Connecticut Media agrees, noting that, despite all the credit Close receives for her body of work, “she should win the Oscar for delivering the year’s most complex performance by an actress. As a lady who survives in the shadows, Close delivers a master class in the subtleties of nuance and expression. Not since ‘Fatal Attraction’ and ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ in the 1980s has she been so commanding in presence.”

Chase wonders, “Can Bradley Cooper pull an upset for Best Actor? And Spike Lee for Best Director? Can Rachel Weisz surprise in the Best Supporting Actress category? Can ‘First Man’ beat the juggernaut ‘Avengers’ for special effects? And can anything but ‘Roma’ win Best Picture?”

Schumann thinks it unlikely. “Some movies reach beyond their imagery to inspire us to take fresh looks at the world we experience and the mirrors we examine.”

Roberts agrees, saying, “‘Roma’ still feels like the film to beat for Best Picture, though personally, I’m still holding out hope that ‘The Favourite’, which recently won Best Picture at the 2019 Houston Film Critics Society Movie Awards, walks away as the big winner.”

Joe Kotisso, of KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston, says to “pray for Spike Lee if ‘Green Book’ wins Best Picture. The Academy can't let him lose to ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ twice.”

Looking ahead to the awards show this Sunday, Kotisso predicts that “the show will be long, yet feel like a blur you don't want to remember.”

Meanwhile, HFCS member Sally Hill is eager to watch the event unfold. “I’ve watched the Oscars as long as I can remember. I will always watch. I love the unexpected.”

Roberts offer a concise summary, with a note of promise. “It’s important to remember that Oscar night is meant to celebrate the artists and craftsman who enrich our lives through film. While the vibe surrounding the ceremony definitely feels off this year, it should still be an evening to remember.”

(from release)

Monday, February 18, 2019

The 22nd Annual Houston Children’s Charity Gala photos

Jan Carson, Dave Ward, Gina Gaston

HOUSTON, TX (February 16, 2019) – Houston Children’s Charity held its 22 nd Annual Gala at the stunning Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Houston on Friday, February 15, 2019.

BMW of West Houston and Momentum BMW Southwest returned as the Title Sponsors for an unprecedented 11 years of the event, which honored one of Houston’s most philanthropic duos, Jana and Richard Fant, for their continued generosity, compassion and devotion to support children in need.

In a surprise move, that even surprised Laura Ward, Jana and Richard challenged her to make a call for ‘wheelchair van’ donations that would each be matched by the Fant Foundation. Within moments, 5 vans were donated which were then matched by Jana and Richard, making that a total of 10 vans for the children of Houston!

When all was done and astounding $1.9 million had been added to the coffers for the children.

Approximately 650 guests arrived on the red carpet, received a red rose and enjoyed an energetic evening that is known to never disappoint. A signature libation created specifically for the evening added to the romance.

In the ballroom, Houston Media Icon Dave Ward opened the evening which he has done for the past 22 years and introduced his esteemed colleague Gina Gaston who served as the emcee. Guests enjoyed a five-star meal, created by Executive Chef Jean Luc Royere, before kicking off the night’s purpose of fundraising for Houston’s special children.

Following dinner, guests participated in exciting live and big board auctions. Sought-after items included a trip to the home plant of the BMW Group in Munich, Germany to pick out your 2019 all new M850i xDrive Coupe; Jeff Hanson Art, Dinner with Jeff Bagwell and Alex Bregman, A Scotch adventure in Scotland, and a road trip with the Rockets.

The excitement didn’t stop there! The highlight of the night was a live performance by the award-winning band STYX. Dance floor mania completed the evening.

GUESTS: Laura & Dave Ward; Maria Moncada Alaoui & Omar Alaoui; Veronica & Tommy Kuranoff; Jana & Richard Fant; Tony Buzbee; Rachel & Jeff Bagwell; Amy & Gary Becker; Melissa Juneau; Stephanie Fleck, Kristina & Paul Somerville; Edna Meyer-Nelson; John Johnson; Grant Guthrie; Trini Mendenhall; Sue Smith; Bobby Nau; Hallie Vanderhider; Margaret Alkek Williams.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle Watson, Catchlight Group
Alexander's Fine Portrait Design

Richard and Jana Fant

Laura Ward and Derrick Shore

Tommy Kuranoff, Maria Moncada, Tony Buzbee

Laura and Dave Ward

Tommy Kuranoff, Veronica Kuranoff, Maria Moncada Aloui, Omar Aloui

Dave Ward and Jeff Bagwell

Dave Ward and Gina Gaston on stage

Dave Ward



FOX Sports Southwest's coverage of 2019 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout®: North America’s Champions and RODEOHOUSTON Super Series® will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest

FOX Sports Southwest announced today its coverage plans for the world-renowned Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from NRG Stadium. The network will deliver wall-to-wall coverage of the 20-day event that begins Monday, Feb. 25, including live telecasts of RODEOHOUSTON’s two competitions: RODEOHOUSTON Super Series and the RODEOHOUSTON Super Shootout: North America’s Champions, presented by Crown Royal.

The Super Series is a 19-day tournament-style competition that crowns an event champion in bareback riding, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping and women’s barrel racing. Super Shootout is an invitation-only event with a $250,000 purse, featuring reigning champions, in five traditional rodeo events, from renowned rodeos in North America.

FOX Sports Southwest will televise a pair of originally produced shows leading into 2019 RODEOHOUSTON that will look ahead to the events and profile some of this year’s competitors: RODEOHOUSTON Preview Special and RODEOHOUSTON: Meet the Athletes. The 30-minute shows will debut back-to-back on Sunday, Feb. 10, with RODEOHOUSTON Preview Special, hosted by FOX Sports Southwest’s Patti Smith, to premiere at 9 p.m. CT. Both specials will be replayed several times prior to the Rodeo.

The world’s largest livestock show and rodeo will be held Monday, Feb. 25 to March 17 at NRG Park, and FOX Sports Southwest will livestream the rodeo events on Feb. 25 to March 16 on the FOX Sports digital platforms.

Available to iOS and Android devices, the FOX Sports digital platforms provide live streaming video of FOX Sports content along with highlights and instant alerts for scores and key plays. Fans can download the mobile app for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Streaming on the FOX Sports digital platforms is also available on connected devices, including AppleTV, Android TV, FireTV, Roku and Xbox One.

Additionally, FOX Sports Southwest will produce a series of 10 recap segments, 15 minutes in length, that will be televised on the network and posted on throughout the competition.

FOX Sports Southwest’s live television coverage of RODEOHOUSTON 2019 will include the Super Shootout on Saturday, March 9, as well as the Super Series Semifinals, Wild Card and Championship rounds March 13-16. Hall of Fame announcer Bob Tallman anchor the network’s live coverage alongside four-time PRCA Announcer of the Year Boyd Polhamus and Andy Seiler.

Video clips from RODEOHOUSTON will be posted on FOX Sports Southwest’s social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

FOX Sports Southwest reaches more than 10 million homes across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, and has been the television home of RODEOHOUSTON since 2009.


(All times listed are Central; schedule subject to change)


March 9
4:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Semifinal 1
March 13
7:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Semifinal 1
March 14
7:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Wild Card
March 15
7:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON Super Series Championship
March 16
3:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON Preview Special: Sunday, Feb. 10, 9:00 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 11, 11:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 12, 8:30 a.m.; Friday, Feb. 15, 5:00 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 18, 10:00 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10:00 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 22, 4:00 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 25, 6:00 p.m.

RODEOHOUSTON: Meet the Athletes: Sunday, Feb. 10, 9:30 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 11, 11:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 12, 9:00 a.m.; Friday, Feb. 15, 5:30 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 18, 10:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 20, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Brian Rogers to depart from the Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle Legal Affairs Reporter Brian Rogers told me has has put in his two weeks notice to leave the newspaper and change careers.

"When I came to the Houston Chronicle in 2006 to cover courts, it was my dream job, and I loved it," Rogers told "But things change, and I’ve changed."

One thing that has changes is that Rogers recently got engaged. Now he thinks it's time to do a career pivot into law.

"It makes me sad to leave my friends and colleagues at the newspaper, but I’m excited to announce I am opening my own law practice focusing on, but not limited to, criminal law—specifically helping people navigate the criminal justice system, writing appeals and assisting other lawyers at trial," Rogers added.

The newspaper reporter earned his JD from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2005. Even though his courtroom time will change from an observer to a participant, he is not fully turning his back on the journalism world.

"I actually plan to still do a lot of writing, including fiction, nonfiction and maybe freelance journalism," Rogers told me. "I may even end up doing some writing for the Chronicle and other media. Even though I’m transitioning to a new role in criminal justice, I hope to maintain my solid relationships with old friends and colleagues. I’m not slamming the door on my long career in journalism, I’m just moving on to a new path."

Rogers' entrance into newspapers began in 2000 at The Odessa American.

He left in 2002 to go to law school. One he passed the bar, he was an open records attorney at the Texas Attorney General's Office for a year.

Then it was off to the Houston Chronicle where he developed a passion for face tattoos among many other accomplishments.

SportsMap 94.1 merges into ESPN 97.5 KFNC

As of Februrary 1st, Gow Media stopped leasing the 94.1 K231CN translator station and has moved all of the SportsMap 94.1 FM programming to ESPN 97.5 KFNC.

So that means Charlie Pallilo and the other 94.1 sports crew will now be heard on 97.5.

Rock 97.5 KIOL debuts in 2005

Gow Media radio GM Todd Farquharson tells the company wanted to centralize its sports radio offerings to just one station. Farquharson says they are working on a booster signal to give 97.5 wider coverage around the Houston listening area. He says that 94.1 was a short term lease.

So what about the SB Nation Radio syndicated programming produced by Gow Media that aired on 94.1? In Houston, you can now listen to that online via the website (click the "Listen Live Now" link) or app.

This now leaves Houston with sports programming on ESPN 97.5, Sports Radio 610AM KILT, SportsTalk 790 KBME and CBS Sports Radio 650AM KIKK.

Don't worry...SportsMap the website is still in operation.

The 94.1 FM licensee has returned the station to a Spanish-language format. The station is now branded as 94.1 Radio Luz which airs Christian programming.

SportsMap 94.1 FM took to the airwaves on October 1, 2017. The new station moved the 1560 AM KGOW programming to the FM band. Around that time, the website also launched. This site was to compliment the recently Gow Media purchase of

InnovationMap launches from Gow Media

(Thanks Andy)

* this post was updated to address where to listen to SB Nation Radio programming in Houston.

Ginger Zee and Ben Aaron's love story

It's Valentine's Day and who says we can't have a little romance around here? Heck, there's even romance in TV News land. Here is the love story of chief meteorologist at ABC News-Good Morning America's Ginger Zee and her husband Ben Aaron of Pickler & Ben.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Pooja Lodhia appears on "Jeopardy!"

abc13 KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia makes a cameo on "Jeopardy!"

OK...this is becoming a trend.

First we had channel 13 anchors Melanie Lawson and Tom Koch ask a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. And soon we will have abc13 KTRK meteorologist Collin Myers appear as a contestant on the show.

And today, we had abc13 KTRK reporter Pooja Lodhia ask a question on the boss of all trivia shows Jeopardy!