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Thursday, October 08, 2020

The Mike McGuff blog is 15 years old!

The mikemcguff.com blog is 15 years old, plus I'm going on a blogging break 


As noted earlier, this week is the 15th anniversary of the mikemcguff.com (can't believe I am writing that statement).

Thanks for reading all of these years and helping me guide the coverage.  

I didn't name it the Houston TV blog or anything like that originally because it wasn't about TV in 2005 or even the immediate years after that.  Back then, it was my personal blog about Houston news that wouldn't make the mainstream media, technology news, music or whatever I found interesting at the moment.

Since I somewhat knew the broadcast media biz, the posts I started writing about TV or radio really started to take off. Hence, what you have today for better or worse.

Believe it or not, I even had a podcast back in 2006 tied to the blog!

Blogging pros would tell you I made a big mistake staying on the free blogger platform all these years.  What I got was blogging with no monthly hosting bills to pay and less technical hassles.  What I gave up was the pro look of a WordPress site that advertisers and marketers would be more interested in advertising on.  

But the contrarian in me loves the fact that I (with the help of my readers) have already reached nearly 1.2 million unique pageviews readers in 2020 on a free blogger.com blog!

I really appreciate how some readers get mad when I take a blogging break, but that is what is happening now. People who are celebrating...TV news managers.

If there is some major Houston or Texas media breaking news story, then by all means, contact me. I'll come back for that.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or sign up for my blog post email newsletter to get notified immediately when I return to blogging duty.

Also, if you have the desire, support my McGuff Media 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer's team. If not my team, then support another one until we don't need an Alzheimer's walk anymore because the disease has been defeated.

If you want to catch up on some recent stuff that I think was a notch above the usual posts, please take some time to read the following:

Mike Capps: From KPRC to WFAA, ABC and CNN

Rashi Vats's 5pm anchor journey is a Texas story of hard work and love

First ever show in the nation to solely focus on weather and traffic coverage debuts on CW39 Houston KIAH

KVEO Brownsville debuts first-ever Latina anchor team

While I'm away, check out some other media sites like TVNewsCheck, FTVLive, Newsblues and TVSpy.



Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Lauren Westbrook returns to KWTX 10 Waco

WAFB Baton Rouge, La. morning anchor Lauren Westbrook returns to KWTX 10 Waco, Temple, Killeen to be evening news anchor

It's a homecoming for WAFB Baton Rouge, La. 9News This Morning and anchors 9News at Noon anchor Lauren Westbrook who is returning to her previous station KWTX 10 Waco, Temple, Killeen, as an evening news anchor alongside Gordon Collier.

Westbrook left KWTX for WAFB in 2011 after reporting in Waco for three years. KWTX is where she started her career in broadcast journalism.

Both KWTX and WAFB are owned by the Gray Media Group.

The St. Louis, Missouri native, who grew up in Dallas, is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

WAFB's Liz Koh will replace Westbrook on the Baton Rouge station's morning newscast.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Spectrum News 1 to serve DFW/Wichita Falls and other parts of Texas

Spectrum Networks to Bring its Award-Winning Local News Network Spectrum News 1 to Customers Across Dallas-Ft. Worth, South and West Texas Launching October 16

Texas Natives and Veteran Journalists Brett Shipp and Charles Divins Join Network as Anchors


DALLAS – Spectrum Networks today announced its award-winning format for high-quality, hyperlocal news, politics, weather and original local content will launch to Spectrum customers across Texas October 16. With the expansion, Spectrum News 1 will serve Dallas-Fort Worth/Wichita Falls and the Southern and Western regions in Texas, in addition to its existing coverage of Austin and San Antonio. Additionally, the network announced the hiring of veteran Dallas reporter Brett Shipp and Texas native Charles Divins as weekday anchors.

“Spectrum News has been covering the Austin and San Antonio regions since 1999, and we are excited to bring our award-winning hyperlocal news and content to our customers across the state,” said Cater Lee, Vice President News and Content for Spectrum News 1. “Our journalists do more than report on the news; they live, work and are actively engaged in the communities they serve. This deeper understanding allows us to better cover the stories that take place every day in Texas neighborhoods.”

Spectrum News 1, which is available exclusively to Spectrum customers, is dedicated to providing compelling, objective and hyperlocal content tailored specifically for Texans.  Consistent with Spectrum Networks’ approach to investing in more ‘boots on the ground’ local reporting, Spectrum News 1 will have more than three dozen journalists embedded in communities in San Antonio, Austin/Waco, Dallas-Ft. Worth/Wichita Falls, Harlingen, Corpus Christi, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley, assigned to cover specific beats that address the deeper needs and interests of Texans. And, since what happens in local and state government impacts schools, healthcare and the economy in communities around Texas,  Spectrum News 1 Political Anchor Karina Kling and Political Reporter Reena Diamante will be on the ground in Austin to cover the state capitol, and D.C. Bureau Reporter Margaret Chadbourn will cover the congressional delegation and Capitol Hill in Washington.

“I am glad to congratulate Spectrum News on its expansion into the DFW area,” said Texas State Senator Kelly Hancock. “Now, more than ever, it is critical for citizens to have options for reliable local news.”

Spectrum News 1’s programming will feature a robust lineup of local news and headlines, in-depth coverage of politics and public affairs, targeted, hyperlocal community news and general-interest content, as well as area-specific weather reports and sports coverage. The Network’s political programming will include the nightly political show, “Capital Tonight,” with Anchor Karina Kling, at 7 p.m., and its exclusive weekly public affairs program, “In Focus,” hosted by Dr. Nicole Cross, on Sundays at 9:30 a.m.

Every Monday through Friday starting at 5 a.m., viewers will be able to tune in to “Your Morning on Spectrum News 1” for the top stories of the day with Divins and anchor Alex Stockwell, and weather reports from meteorologists Ricky Cody and Dan Robertson. Anchor Dr. Nicole Cross will deliver a refreshed look at the day’s news weekdays on “Your Afternoon on Spectrum News 1” at Noon, with meteorologists Mary Wasson and Adrienne Vonn providing midday forecasts. Veteran anchor Shipp will join Dr. Nicole Cross as co-anchor of “Your Evening on Spectrum News 1” to deliver Texans the top local news and hyperlocal content of the day, every weekday at 5 p.m.  Shipp also will anchor the 9 p.m. newscast.  Providing local weather reports at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. will be Chief Meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons and meteorologist Emily Borchard. The network also will provide coverage of local high school, college and professional sports with sports anchor Travis Recek.

Todd Boatwright will recap the top news of the week on Saturdays and Sundays on “Your Weekend on Spectrum News 1” at 7 a.m., while Stef Manisero will deliver the evening news on Saturdays and Agustin Garfias will anchor on Sundays at 5 p.m. Meteorologist Lauren Due will deliver the weather reports on Saturdays and Sundays.

A veteran journalist, Shipp has more than 30 years of experience in local news, including 22 years as an investigative reporter with WFAA-TV in Dallas. One of the most decorated television reporters in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, his investigative reporting has earned him several career accolades including three Peabody Awards and multiple regional Emmy Awards. Shipp left WFAA in 2017 to make a brief run for Congress before starting his own media company, Brett Shipp Media.  

Divins, a Dallas native, returns to his Texas roots and joins Spectrum News 1 after six years as morning anchor at WDSU-TV in New Orleans. Prior to WDSU, he was the host of NBC’s LXTV “1st Look” and KNBC’s “YourLA” in Los Angeles, and he also served as a co-host of the nationally syndicated morning show, “Daily Buzz.”

Spectrum News 1 will be available exclusively to Spectrum video customers on channel 1. Spectrum’s award-winning local news and original content also is available on the recently launched Spectrum News App, available to all Spectrum residential customers including internet-only. The Spectrum News App combines reporting from existing newsrooms, original content by dedicated digital journalists, and curated content from partner news organizations. The app also showcases the linear feeds of all Spectrum News networks, giving customers the ability to read, watch or listen anytime, anywhere, based on their geographic preferences.

About Spectrum Networks
Spectrum Networks is a series of 24/7 news and sports networks owned and operated by Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR), a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 30 million customers in 41 states. Spectrum Networks carry distinct, comprehensive, and exclusive local programming on over 30 networks across Charter’s footprint. More information on Spectrum Networks is available at spectrumlocalnews.com. 

(This post was taken from a Charter press release)



Mike Capps: From KPRC to WFAA, ABC and CNN

Mike Capps is the play by play voice for the Round Rock Express, but you should hear about his reporter life before baseball working for KPRC 2, WFAA 8, ABC News and CNN


We are celebrating 15 year of the mikemcguff.com blog this week if you can believe that.  

So to honor this anniversary,  we talk to legendary journalist Mike Capps who worked his way up from KPRC 2 in the 70s, to WFAA 8 in Dallas - Fort Worth, ABC News and CNN.

All the Round Rock Express fans who now listen to Capps's play by play work, might not realize his deep history in broadcast journalism.

Mike McGuff: Take us back to the early days of your time at KPRC (please include dates when you were there).  From your memory, how did the three stations rate back then? 

Mike Capps:  Hi Mike, thanks for the invitation and for spending time with me. I feel honored you thought of me. Ray Miller hired me out of the CBS affiliate in Beaumont, Texas to become the night police reporter in August of 1974.  I spent the next six years at Channel 2, mostly under the tutelage of Miller, then Larry Weidman before a fellow named Mike Casserly took over and purged the place. I was asked to leave by Casserly almost 6 years to the day from when Miller hired me.  

As much as I hated to leave, it turned out to be for the best career-wise, but the beautiful thing about all that is...we still have those friendships and camaraderie from those days at Channel 2.  As a result, Lyn Salerno a former staffer, heads up Channel 2 Reunions in January of each year and we really, I am afraid to say, behave a lot like we did when we were kids.  Joyous reunions they are.  And so many great stories, most of which are true, always fly back and forth amongst us.

  Look, Mike, in those days when you're 23 years old, and a young reporter in Texas, everyone like me already knew what a kick-ass legend Ray Miller was in that great town, at that great station...AND ANYBODY WITH ANY SPARK OR SALT WANTED TO WORK FOR HIM.  When he hired me, the hiring ranks in the top three biggest thrills I had in my 22 year news career. I mean died and gone to heaven thrilled! 

Legendary begins the tale of Miller.  Consummate, demanding, relentless, tireless, hot tempered, fearless, but as competitive as they come, and always looking for ways to improve himself and all of us.  In those days, we found ourselves in a nose to nose battle with KTRK, Channel 13 and Marvin Zindler.  Back and forth and back and forth in the ratings, and talk about pressure.  Wow!  Every single time we beat them on a story meant bragging rights for us and vice versa.  Big time rivals, BIG time!   But so much fun.  

Remember these years featured the Joe Campos Torres death at the hands of the police, riots at Moody Park where our Jack Cato and Phil Archer were stabbed covering violence during Cinco de Mayo, police officers and some police brass in trouble for various and sundry things.  Police chases, mass murders, I ran at least two dozen drug raids with Houston Police and Harris County Sheriff's officers, discussions, sometimes heated with one of the best human beings I ever met, former Houston Police Chief Harry Caldwell, Skylab's return to earth, and a thousand other stories I was so fortunate to cover.  

Great people to work around, besides Ray and Larry Weidman, like Archer, like Cato, Napoleon Johnson, Alan Parcell, Ted Shaw, Doug Johnson, Fred Edison, Paul Flannagan, the late Bob Brandon, Charley Scott, John Treadgold, Ron Stone, Larry Rasco, Bill Worrell...what a great group of top flight professionals for a young kid like me to work around.  Hard to hang with the likes of those folks at first, but being with them made so much of a difference in the way my career played out, and the competition with KTRK was a huge part of the fun of being there in those days.

What was it like working for the Hobby family?  

I had the good fortune to work for two of THE greatest families in the history of Texas television; the Hobby family at Channel 2, and the Dealey family that for years ran WFAA in Dallas.  I thought Olveta Culp Hobby was such a dear, wonderful and supremely accomplished woman, who supremely valued journalism as witnessed by the Hobby ownership of both the Houston Post and KPRC.  

There's a great story about one of my ALL TIME greatest screw ups and unfortunately...or fortunately it involves Mrs. Hobby.  Early, early one summer morning a fire broke out in downtown Houston at a chemical warehouse, where Toyota Center now stands.  Fire went to four alarms quickly, then got completely out of control.  I was using a film camera in the days right before Channel 2 went all video cameras, and when help arrived, I raced down the Southwest Freeway to drop off film for processing for the morning newscasts.  I pulled into the breezeway housing the huge trucks used for football games at the dome, parked my news car and ran inside.  Was not in the station for more than ten minutes and as I came back out, someone in a big black Lincoln Continental (I believe) had hemmed me into the garage and I couldn't escape.  I was probably 25 years old, with a spring loaded case of the red ass and a temper to match and at that point of the morning was adrenaline charged because of the fire, and needed to get back down to the action.  I threw open the door of the station screaming something like, "Who is the______hell was so stupid they parked their_____, _____vehicle behind ME???"   Mrs. Hobby stuck her head out from behind the door to the newsroom and said, "My, my Michael, are we a little upset this morning?  "Well, excuse me, but it was me," she said,  "and I will have the car removed so you can get on with your business."  No sarcasm, not upset, not riled at me and my fit, and the next time we saw each other she laughed as she talked about it.  But boy, I tell ya.  When I left the place that morning and headed back to the fire, I just knew she'd get me fired..but no sir, she didn't. WHEW!   No one like Mrs. Hobby.  Ever.

When you worked at WFAA, it was one of the top stations in the country.  Based on your website resume, it looked like you travelled to wherever the stories were (even if not in DFW that day).  You also appeared to supervise a large staff.  Talk about the legacy, resources and news ratings that station had.  

Mike, WFAA went through years of news doldrums in the 60s and 70s because the CBS affiliate in Dallas at that time, KRLD-TV had a terrific staff led by a fellow named Eddie Barker who was a dear friend of my dad's, and along with Bill Mercer who was a reporter there, and later the original voice of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys...those two guys were great newsmen and great people and even greater friends with my dad. Their news shop was first rate, and they hired the first female anchor in Texas, I believe it was in 1967, a lady named Judy Jordan who is no longer with us, but a great reporter and news reader and a ratings hit.

  BUT...WFAA's fate changed in 1973 when they hired a fellow from CBS in New York, a news manager and University of Missouri grad named Marty Haag.  Haag went to work recruiting the best news people he could find, gave them beat reporting assignments just like newspapers in those days.  He also, insisted to management that not only would his people cover Dallas - Ft. Worth news like a blanket, but because of WFAA's cable penetration all over Texas, into Oklahoma, Arkansas, parts of New Mexico and Louisiana, they'd compete all over the southwest and chase stories that involved people from the southwest all over the world.  And that's what happened.  

Haag first brought in a group of people from the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City who had investigative reporting experience, and he hired anchors both male and female that were really first rate, and they all went to work building what turned out to be a juggernaut.  George Foster Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards out the wazoo...and by the time I got there (my first day was the day Reagan was shot in DC), in early 1981, they were rolling.  We'd send crews to stories all over the U.S. in Learjets, just like the networks and often beat the networks on stories we were covering alongside them.

As intense as Ray Miller was, Haag was just as intense if not more so.  Reporters were required to generate their own stories from their beats.  Haag created competitive tension in that shop and while some folks didn't like it, I thought it was a huge motivating tool and apparently it worked.  Some pretty well known names from that shop, 22 of us in all, went to networks from WFAA.  And gosh, the reputation just built from that. 

After you were the first affiliate reporter to lead ABC World News Tonight on both coasts for your WFAA Hurricane Alicia coverage, how much did this play into your hiring at ABC as the Deputy Bureau Chief/Assignments Manager of its Midwest Bureau in the mid 80s?  

After that Hurricane Alicia coverage, I received a phone call from Peter Jennings who was extremely laudatory about those pieces from Houston I did. And then two days after I got back, a dear fellow and then ABC VP for News, George Watson, flew to Dallas and took me to dinner.  And we came close to a correspondent's deal, but for one reason or another, it never worked out.  

That said, I think the real key to me going to CNN had to do with Marty Haag's relationship with a fellow named Ed Turner (no relation to Ted) who ran CNN's day to day operation at that time.  Ed, had seen my work, the ABC piece on World News Tonight, and because WFAA was also carrying an affiliation with CNN then, saw me on some of the stuff I did at WFAA.   

When I went to Atlanta to sign my deal with CNN, Ed mentioned the Hurricane Alicia story and wanted to tell me some details about it...but I have to be completely honest here:  Had I not worked at KPRC, Channel 2 for those years as a cop beat reporter, and had I not known the streets of Houston and Galveston like the back of my hand, that report that played on ABC might never have happened.  The ABC charge producer happened to see my piece being fed up to Dallas from Houston, took me aside, had me record a "Mike Capps, for ABC News, Houston," tag line and that was that.  I don't think it was great reporting that sent that piece to air on ABC as much as it was the luck of having worked at Channel 2 and knowing my way around.  Lucky more than good.  Wow.  That's the REAL story.

As far as the ratings went...television news in those days was so different from what we have now.  Essentially in markets like Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth, St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul...you had three network affiliate news departments competing for ratings superiority.  More importantly, our viewership wasn't watered down by 200 cable or internet channels running dozens and dozens of different types of programming 24 hours a day.  Local news in those days carried a huge amount of import in cities across the country than it does now. People watched and talked about it...called in to complain.  If people had a gripe about something, we heard about it, and sometimes while having dinner at local restaurants.    I just have the feeling that local anchors especially were bigger celebrities in our day than now.  Both local newspapers in Dallas-Ft. Worth had TV and radio critics and they covered all of us like a blanket and fired salvos at us whenever they disagreed with anything they saw on the air.

Here's the other thing...the ratings battle in Dallas- Fort Worth in those days was essentially WFAA leading, but early in my years there (I was in Dallas-Ft. Worth, at WFAA, off and on for 10 years), the race involved us and KDFW, formerly KRLD-TV, the CBS affiliate then (now it's FOX). They had Chip Moody as their main anchor, and folks remember him fondly from his days first at KXAS, the NBC affiliate at DFW...then with us and then to Houston.  We had Tracy Rowlett, Iola Johnson and John Criswell as the main anchors...and the ratings were always close...the audience percentages were high....sometimes we'd have a 40 share and win it by two points....sometimes they'd win...and sorta like in the Houston days with channel 2 and 13...always extremely competitive.  But the audience percentages were huge then given what they are now...toward the end of my run...right before I left for CNN...KXAS really became more competitive and that fact really tightened the race.

CNN was growing fast when you worked there.  What was that explosive growth like as a reporter working there?  

Mike, it was exciting.  When CNN first got started a lot of folks in the industry used pejoratives, calling it "Chicken Noodle News," etc...but I will tell you this, I knew it was special when Ed Turner told me their mission statement on the day he hired me, and once we hit the road (first story was a tanker explosion off Galveston...another great, 'Capps lucks out deal,' because I knew all the folks in Galveston who could lead us to the right spots, to the right people, and the story became better because of it).

 And then, that same year, going to Wichita, Kansas and Baton Rouge for the abortion-anti abortion battles on the capital steps in both cities...was a huge eye opener when dozens of people would come up to me the next day making comments (some printable, some not) about "CNN's coverage."  

But one more exciting factor that told me CNN was there with the big boys, came on my first junket overseas covering the runup to the Gulf War.  At the airport in London...CNN on all the terminal television sets.  In Saudi Arabia--CNN.. Amsterdam, Paris...people coming up to me asking if I was going into or out of the war zone.  

Hey, I never got in the news business for the self aggrandizement, but these people knew who I was...which told me two things.  1). They knew who I was because they were watching CNN ALL the time, and 2) That meant CNN was on people's minds all over the world.

CNN really became a big news player during the first Gulf War, talk about your experiences covering this.

   Mike, I went to Saudi Arabia in November of 90 during the runup to the war called Desert Shield.  We travelled all over Saudi doing stories on U.S., Saudi, and Egyptian military preparations for the war, spent nights in the desert with shave-talk Marines, some 19 years old, scared to death.  

We had a run-in with the Saudi social police who tried to harass the female producer and the female photographer who was working with me.  We somehow avoided an international incident after I had grabbed a social policeman, when he tried to push one of the females to the ground.  He went to the ground.  Flat....but I guess the Ministers of Information who accompanied us, decided we were not going to put up with such, and I never saw another one of those guys again.  We covered stories about Saudi families preparing for war, small, quaint little towns getting ready, kids in schools.  

Then I was mustered out in January, missed the 44 hours of the war itself, but was sent back less than two weeks after I came back to the states, to the mountains of northern Iraq, covering the plight of the Kurdish refugees who had been forced out of their homes by the Republican Guard, and onto those mountains.  It was cold up there...a lot of older people and babies died...and we did stories on all of that with Medicines San Frontiers. 

And then there were numerous pieces on the Kurdish Militia, the Peshmerga.  These young Kurdish men, trained by the British Royal Marines, took on Republican Guard in firefights...wild and wooly.  In conversations with these kids the Pesh, they'd tell us how much they valued helping freedom come back to their mountains, how they loved Americans and wanted to become Americans...some of them died, unfortunately, but all extremely brave.  Then on the last day in theatre, several of us from different news organizations showed up at a northern Iraq town that supposedly had been liberated, but when we arrived on the outskirts of the town, we were stopped and turned around by Republican Guard.  

Probably twenty of us...me and two others from CNN, NPR, BBC, Sky News, CBS, CBC and others...we all met up on the main road, and within minutes, two truck loads of Republican Guard, with bayoneted AKs, surrounded us, and I thought for all the world we'd be killed or taken captive.  Over one of the hills came two WartHog, tank fighter jets, scared those guys away...we got in the car and hauled ass to Ankara and headed home. End of the story of the Gulf War for me....and lucky to still be alive.

(Capps also just contributed to my Branch Davidian standoff remembered by Texas TV journalists who were there in Waco post.  He was working for CNN at the time. You can click the headline link to read his memories from that Texas tragedy.)

Please talk about your broadcasting career for The Round Rock Express.  What was it like moving from hard news to sports calling?  

Mike, I suffered some extremely serious stress issues as a result of seeing people blown apart for years and it finally caught up to me. 

 I woke up in the middle of the night, with the bed post in my hand, and had busted my head wide open.  I had suffered from stress, anger issues, etc., and needed help.  If you think there's not a God in Heaven--the therapist who helped dig me out of the mental morass was a 4 tour-Vietnam side gunner on a helicopter, and licensed Presbyterian Lay Minister.  We had to break it down to basics, mentally, and start all over.   

In another life, I played baseball in junior college and the game never really left me.  I worked as a part time scout for Red Murff, the man who discovered and signed Nolan.  I helped him with tryout camps, and took assignments looking at players, when he needed me and I had time off from news.  I repeatedly told him that one day I was going to shut it down in the news business and write a book with him.

After I got into therapy, I left CNN, wrote the book, The Scout: Searching for the Best in Baseball, with Red, and away we went.  Promoting the book in Spring Training '96 in Arizona, we had Red on the air with Bob Starr, the late Angels broadcaster and Bob did a magnificent job working Red's interview in and out of the play by play and I swear I kept hearing a voice in my head..."you can do this, you can do this."  In between innings I asked Mr. Starr, I said, "I love your work, I'm 45 years old, and I too old to get started?"  His response, "you are a puppy at 45, no you are not too old."

Two phone calls later I got a job broadcasting Independent ball in Tyler, the next year I was in AAA in Nashville, the next year, 1998, I started doing fill in MLB work on ESPN and I worked in Sioux Falls, SD, '99 Independent ball again in Atlantic City, and started in Round Rock in 2000 and have been there since. 

The work fits me perfectly. I dearly love the game, the players, coaches, managers and fans...and have developed tons of friends throughout the years...Have done fill in work for both the Rangers and Astros and still at my advanced age (70 on December 19, 2020) dream of that full time MLB chance.  

But you know what...I still have the greatest baseball life ever.  My wife Karen, 3 daughters, 1 step son, 7 grandchildren between the ages of 17-4 all love the game, love Cappy's role in the game, and along with spending time with them, taking care of two dogs, Archie and Molly and two cats, Penny and Lylah...and supporting Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Austin Sheltie Rescue, Austin Pets Alive, Austin Humane Society and RBI Austin, is what we do.

https://cappspbp.com/


Monday, October 05, 2020

Houston social media stars September 2020


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

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.

Houston Media
  1. abc13 KTRK
  2. KHOU 11
  3. FOX 26 KRIV
  4. KPRC 2
  5. Univision 45
  6. Houston Chronicle
  7. Telemundo 47
  8. Houston Press
  9. CW39 Houston
  10. CultureMap Houston

Top 5 individuals
  1. Steve Campion - abc13 KTRK
  2. Erica Simon - abc13 KTRK
  3. Samica Knight - abc13 KTRK
  4. Dominique Sachse - KPRC 2
  5. Isiah Carey - FOX 26 KRIV

KPRC 2
  1. Dominique Sachse
  2. Amy Davis
  3. Britta Merwin
  4. Syan Rhodes
  5. Eric Braate

KHOU 11
  1. Brandi Smith
  2. Chita Craft
  3. Blake Mathews
  4. Tiffany Craig
  5. Bill Bishop (Managing Editor)

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

FOX 26 KRIV
  1. Isiah Carey
  2. Melissa Wilson
  3. Mike Iscovitz
  4. Kaitlin Monte
  5. Mark Berman

CW39 KIAH
  1. Shannon LaNier
  2. Maggie Flecknoe
  3. Maria Sotolongo
  4. Courtney Carpenter
  5. Sharron Melton

Univision 45 KXLN
  1. Deysy Rios
  2. Suheily Lopez-Belen
  3. Albert Martínez
  4. Karina Yapor
  5. Anthony Ortiz

Telemundo 47 KTMD
  1. Ruby Guzmán
  2. Carlos A. Robles
  3. Antonio Hernández
  4. Ubaldo Martínez
  5. Augusto Bernal

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

DISCLAIMER: No Houston radio stations are listed in the Share Rocket database.




Saturday, October 03, 2020

Taniya Wright shows us a drive-thru COVID-19 test


Ever wonder what a drive-thru COVID-19 test is like in Houston?

Taniya Wright had a drive-thru coronavirus test in August.

In the above video, Wright shows us how long the it takes to take the test and what it's like.

She says the best thing is you do NOT even leave your car to get the COVID-19 test.

Here is where she registered online: https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/


Thursday, October 01, 2020

Texas TV news and radio job moves September 2020


Send tips for the monthly Texas media job list here

DALLAS - FORT WORTH 

NBC 5 KXAS anchor/reporter Katy Blakey returns to work after her daughter, Harper Jane, was born in May.

A Big D Upgrade In Play For WFAA 8.

'Kidd Kraddick Morning Show' Co-Host Big Al Mack Launches 'Let's Be Single... Together!' Podcast.

Dallas Weekly’s Best of Black Dallas 2020 media.

Former ‘Bachelorette’ and Dallas native Rachel Lindsay named ‘Extra’ correspondent.

From its origins airing the banter of bored firefighters to its robust classical programming today, Dallas’s WRR-FM has filled an unusual niche on the airwaves for nearly a century.


HOUSTON 

94.5 The Buzz KTBZ Rally’s Around Former Rod Ryan Show Cast Member Dinah Powers And Her Fight Against Cancer.

After 30 years, Marilyn Marshall retires as the Houston Defender editor. (Thanks Susan Farb Morris)

100.3 The Bull KILT's Erin Austin was let go from Entercom Radio in a nationwide restructuring of the company.

KPRC 2’s Frank Billingsley honored with Admiral’s Commission in Texas Navy.

VYPE/KPRC Local 2 Sports enter content partnership.

KPRC 2's Houston Life executive producer Katie Rae Meyers leaves for a new job at WPIX New York. 

SportsTalk 790 KBME morning host Sean Salisbury starts new evening show on 95.7 The Game KGMZ San Francisco.

Emily Foxhall takes over the environment beat at the Houston Chronicle. 

Former Houston TV reporter/personality Roseann Rogers has moved to Nashville, TN and is joining the sales team for iHeart Media-Nashville. 

Former KPRC 2 reporter Brendan Keefe is profiled in this TVNewsCheck profile showing his leadership of the investigative team at WXIA Atlanta, and his work as a corporate trainer for all 60 Tegna stations.

John McClain is closing in on 4 1/2 decades covering the NFL for the Houston Chronicle. 

Freddy Cruz celebrates my 15 years at 104.1 KRBE.

Comedian Chinedu Ogu marks three years at KHOU 11.

Lauren Gilley moves from directing at CW39 KIAH to KHOU 11. (Thanks Susan Farb Morris)


SAN ANTONIO 

MMJ Holly Stouffer announced she is officially a KENS 5 traffic anchor now.

KENS 5's Bill Taylor voted the San Antonio Current's Best Meteorologist 2020.

KABB Taps Blackmagic to Report Weather From Home.

WOAI's Martha Buchanan becomes 1st woman prime time TV news anchor in Texas back in 1972.


AUSTIN 

93.3 Austin Flips To CHR “New Music Now.”

Educational Media Foundation To Acquire KFMK Austin.

John Aielli, host of the iconic KUT turned KUTX program Eklektikos has temporarily signed off after suffering a stroke.


AROUND TEXAS 

FOX 44 KWKT Waco-Temple-Killeen's Loving Living Local Central Texas host Brian Glenn (formerly of WFAA 8 DFW) contacted me to say he was fired from the station after posting about COVID-19 numbers on social media. Nohely Mendoza takes his spot to host with Amanda Tatom.

KWTX 10 Waco-Temple-Killeen has parted ways with sports anchor Tyler Bouldin. 

KXXV 25 Waco-Temple-Killeen news director Josh Eure has left the station. 

Donnie Tuggle joins KBTX Bryan-College Station as a reporter/MMJ.

KEWL/Texarkana, TX Flips From Classic Hits To '90s Alternative.

On Texas Campuses, Student-Run Newspapers Have Become Crucial Sources of Coronavirus News.


REMEMBERING

Remembering Richard Connelly, Former Houston Press Staff Writer and Columnist.

Remembering Jan Reid, the longtime Texas Monthly contributor who introduced the Austin music scene to the rest of the world.

Remembering Wick Allison, Founder of D Magazine, a Fierce Critic and Champion of Dallas.





Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Collin Myers: Where was his abc13 goodbye?

Collin Myers

 

We have seen three popular abc13 KTRK personalities leave this month, two received on-air goodbyes, but one did not.

Earlier in September, longtime reporter Deborah Wrigley got a big send off to retirement including  "Deborah Wrigley Day," a channel 13 car parade and a news story.

This week, departing weekend sports anchor Bob Slovak had multiple times to say goodbye to viewers on air, plus a news story.

Today, former weekend morning meteorologist Collin Myers took to his Facebook page and his 91,000 followers to deliver his dismay that he was not given an opportunity by KTRK to say goodbye to them on television.

Here is what he posted for those of you not on social media:

"I wanted to wait until after all recent events to share more of my personal thoughts with you. After three years, my time at KTRK-TV has come to an end. Although I had hoped for the opportunity to say goodbye to you on-air, it was not in the cards. I was surprised by the station’s decision making and surprised by no “goodbye” from anyone, but respect it in all class, and trust in God. 

It is through a lens of pride that I view my last three years here at 13. From covering catastrophic storms like Tropical Storm Imelda, to competing on Millionaire in Las Vegas, while representing Houston. it’s hard to believe it all happened in just three years!

I’ve made some lifelong friends here and I had to post this to finally give them credit. My people, from Chauncy Glover, Mayra Moreno, and Erica Simon, to David Tillman and our Tornado chasing days. Erik and Ilona, you’ve always been a joy to see for the 4pm show. Art and Mel, I’ve enjoyed our laughs together, mostly on the air at 11am! And who doesn’t laugh at jokes from Tom and Samica? I’ve appreciated every early morning with you and Katherine. And yes, I still keep up with Tim Heller. Tim, I appreciate the faith you had in me from the start. I’ll text you soon. 😉

I’m thankful for some of my closest producers and directors. Jeff, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen you take a day off, ever. Robert, our serious talks were always welcomed. Mike, I’m still jealous of your Jeep. And Felix, no matter what, I’ll still always be bitter about my Chiefs’ loss to your Pats in the ‘18 AFC Championship. 

I’m also proud to have been a major part of our weather team in America’s fourth largest city. David, Elita, Travis, and Rachel, stay in touch. (Just don’t forget to update the web text post when you read this! 😅)

Here’s the harder part. I’m most thankful for you. Thank you for waking up so early with me in the mornings. When offered a shift change, I still don’t know why I didn’t take evenings. Haha!

I’m ready for change (and vacation). I couldn’t be more excited. I’m excited to once again have the freedom to embrace my future. You CAN continue to follow me on all social media, as I am keeping them for my next adventure.

•Joshua 1:9 { “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” }

‭‭Collin"

I've certainly received an angry earful from the Myers faithful about his sudden departure. Then again, it seems some channel 13 viewers aren't happy about Bob Slovak being off air either.


Two FOX 26ers celebrating 20 years!

FOX 26 KRIV Houston

UPDATE:

On this week that I profiled newly promoted 5pm FOX 26 KRIV anchor Rashi Vats, we also had two big milestones for other on-air staffers at the Houston channel.

Congrats to morning anchor Melissa Wilson and morning meteorologist Mike Iscovitz, who this week, both celebrate 20 years at the station!

In the topsy turvy world of television news, two decades on the job mean something!


If you scrolled down this low, then take a moment to view the "Pet Parade: Meet the pets at FOX 26" the station posted this week.