Monday, March 30, 2020

KPRC 2 photojournalist John Treadgold talks 44 year Houston TV career

John Treadgold in 1979 and present (Present photo credit Scott Myers)

After 44 years, KPRC 2 photojournalist John Treadgold has retired. Oh the stories he must have! I caught up with Treadgold to get a glimpse of his expansive career.

Mike McGuff: What year did you start at KPRC and what was your first position?

John Treadgold: Started in 1976, as film courier and then as weekend overnight police beat working out of the old Police Station. We drove Mach 1 mustang cars and that is still the coolest car ever.

MM: What was it like working for the Hobby family back then?

JT: The Hobby family owned KPRC radio/TV and The Houston Post newspaper. They were very interested in political coverage; and we had city hall, Austin and Washington bureau and also covered lots of “beat systems”. Courts, crime, space, education all had dedicated reporters.

MM: Give me your thoughts on how the job of the photographer has changed throughout your career?

JT: When I started there was a 1 hour 6pm newscast and Ron Stone Scene at 5 which was more feature segments. A live broadcast took a long time and lots of people to set up. We had the first Instant News live truck which made it easier; but we can now go live with a little back pack. Today we have continuous coverage and often have multiple live camera coverage across the region.

MM: What are some of the big stories you covered that stand out to you?

JT: The biggest exclusive story I broke was the horrible Andrea Yates drowning of her children in their bathtub. I had the only video of her being arrested. This was covered in 2 books. "Breaking Point” by Suzy Spencer by Suzy Spencer and “Are you there alone” by Suzanne O’Malley.

MM: As someone who has covered many big events, how do you compare those to coronavirus?

JT: Covering Harvey was more physically demanding and keeping gear operating was harder, but you could see the threat and try to avoid danger. The Virus is invisible and has killed over 1,500 in the US alone so far.

MM: Anything else you want to add?

JT: From shooting silent 16mm film to instant live video I am thankful for these years of covering the small and large events of our city.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Morning Dose returns to CW39 Monday away from studio

After being off the air Friday, CW39 KIAH's Morning Dose returns Monday

Morning Dose returns Monday morning on CW39 KIAH, but from now on, like many of the other Houston TV stations, will have at least some of its anchors and reporters from home.

Channel 39 viewers notified me Friday that Morning Dose did not air that day. Instead episodes of Friends were on the air with a "Viewer Notice" scroll saying due to circumstances beyond their control, Morning Dose would not been seen that day.

A running list of ways the Houston media is affected by coronavirus

I told you Sunday that FOX 26 KRIV has already tested doing remote newscasts away from the station if that becomes necessary.

abc13 KTRK 3pm and 6:30pm anchor Chauncy Glover is the first known positive test for COVID-19 that I am aware of. Glover announced it on social media last week. He also released a video to address his loyal viewers about his current condition.

Stay safe.

FOX 26 KRIV tests remote broadcasts

Weekend anchor Tom Zizka posted photos on Facebook of FOX 26 KRIV conducting broadcasting tests from its transmitter location.

"At the foot of the FOX 26 Houston transmission tower, in Missouri City ...where we're preparing a remote studio... Just In Case our normal facilities are unavailable. #CoronaVirus," Zizka posted.

Someone comments on Zizka's post with, "What AREN'T you saying, Tom!!!????"

He replied, "Nothing ... just that a plan is in place IF someone at the station contracts the virus and we had to stay out of the building."

A running list of ways the Houston media is affected by coronavirus

As I blogged about last week when abc13 KTRK anchor Chancy Glover tested positive for COVID-19, WBBM Chicago also tested remote newscasts from the street in case the station was compromised.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Rachel Briers has baby

abc13 KTRK weekend meteorologist Rachel Briers has her baby

abc13 KTRK meteorologist Rachel Briers had her baby just a few days shy of her expected April due date.

"Tenley made her debut, a little early, on March 26... all 5 pounds, 5 ounces of her," Briers posted to Facebook. "Our family of three is doing great! A huge thank you to all the amazing nurses and doctors who took care of our family!"

Kevin Roth joins abc13 KTRK

Friday, March 27, 2020

TEGNA takes over KTBU 55

MegaTV leaves KTBU 55 as TEGNA brings in Quest

TEGNA, the owner of KHOU 11 along with a lot of other stations across the US, has officially taken over KTBU 55 Conroe.

Byron Allen Makes $8.5B Cash Bid For Broadcaster Tegna

A message at the bottom of the screen reads "KTBU-DT | 55 CONROE | BRINGS YOU" and the programming is TEGNA owned Quest network.

Then a banner beneath that says:

"Attencion: MegaTV ya no esta disponible en la television en Houston. Viste en linea."

The translation to English is (and yes I used Google Translate so don't blame me if it isn't perfect):

"Attention: MegaTV is no longer available on television in Houston. Visit online."

Last January, I blogged how TEGNA was buying channel 55 KTBU for $15 million from Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS). Got to that post for the history of KTBU including how Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church formerly owned the station.

At the time of this publishing, the OTA (over the air) guide still shows MegaTV programming.

And if you are a huge fan of Quest, you can watch it both on 11.4 and 55.

So if you can't get enough Modern Marvels or Ax Men, at this moment, you have two places to watch in Houston.

The sub-channels appear to still be in place with same programming, although some came up blank.

Reader Kevin Wilson tweets me that KHOU added a fifth digital channel to its lineup - CIRCLE on 11.5.

(Thanks Mike)

Producing videos from home

Here is some of the equipment I used to produce my Alzheimer's fight thank you video

Since I wasn't able to attend the Alzheimer's Association Forum in Washington DC this year because of the coronavirus, I made this video thanking Representative Lizzie Fletcher, for her work on fighting the disease.

As an Alzheimer's Association Ambassador, I represent Fletcher's district, Texas District 7 of the United States House of Representatives.

We were scheduled to meet with the congresswoman at her Capitol Hill office to thank her in person, but since we can't, this was the next best thing.

Making this video got me thinking of all the Houston TV folks broadcasting from their homes.

Houston media members affected by novel coronavirus

It was a good activity for my kids. Kept them busy for a while. My youngest son told me he was going to stick with me till we were finished. He is ready for the production world one day with that attitude!

This was the first time they seemed interested in production work.

People have been asking me about the technical aspects of shooting video at home. This was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Savage Lavalier wired Microphone, Sunpak - LED 448 19" Bi-Color Ring Light and Ikan DH5e-DK-C monitor.

If you don't have this stuff, don't worry, a phone works well to. You can even plug a Lav mic into a phone while using a ring light for good looking video. This is how some of the TV people are doing it.

Since 2013 or so, I have been editing with Final Cut Pro X, but have just now started transitioning to Adobe Premiere since that seems to be what lots of people are using these days. Both are great programs, but I do miss the ease of the Ken Burns effect when using Premiere.

Here are the equipment specs if you are interested in this type of thing.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Chauncy Glover tests positive for COVID-19

abc13 KTRK anchor Chauncy Glover tests positive for novel coronavirus

Chauncy Glover, 3pm and 6:30pm anchor for abc13 KTRK, announced today he has tested positive for coronaviurs and is self-quarantining.

Here is what Glover said on Facebook:

For days I anchored the news telling viewers about Coronavirus, also known as Covid19.

I talked about new cases and gave viewers detailed info on how to stay safe.

Last week I had to take my own advice after waking up in the middle of the night disoriented, in a horrible sweat. I had a tightening in my chest, was hot with a temp of 101 and had horrible body aches. I called my doctor.

I did a virtual visit with a specialist. That doctor referred me to get tested for Covid19.

I self quarantined as I awaited my results.

A week later, I got the call saying I tested positive for the Coronavirus. I’m now home recovering.

Thankfully, I’m feeling better, and through the worst part. I’m so blessed. God was with me. He always is! Please take this seriously friends.

Stay home, take care of yourselves and if you’re showing symptoms—CALL YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY.
Love y’all.

A running list of ways the Houston media is affected by coronavirus
- TV anchors broadcast from home

KTRK and other stations have been keeping crews apart to stop the virus from spreading if/when a staffer tested positive. Some crew members are assigned to work together in the field, some at home and some are spread across the station to keep a large healthy distance.

WBBM Chicago recently tested doing the newscasts from the street in case the station was locked down.

Glover joined KTRK from WDIV Detroit in January 2015.

For days I anchored the news telling viewers about Coronavirus, also known as Covid19. I talked about new cases and gave...
Posted by ABC13-Chauncy Glover on Thursday, March 26, 2020

Stephanie Whitfield is pregnant

KHOU 11 reporter Stephanie Whitfield announces she is expecting a baby

Now for some non-related corona virus news...KHOU 11 reporter Stephanie Whitfield took to the social world to say she is having another baby.

"Still getting dressed to #WFH since maternity dresses are all that fit now #21weekspregnant," Whitfield posted on Instagram.

Well, I guess it is still COVID-19 related since she did mention she is working from home. Face it, this pandemic is hard to shake.

Whitfield joined channel 11 in 2015.

Her son, Patton, was born in summer of 2017.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Live Radio Performances Pay Off for Texas Country Artists

You Need the Music, They Need the Money

(Houston, Texas) Texas Musicians have seen their livelihood dissolve with the closure of the food and beverage industry, and with it, the live music venues across the state. Made in Texas Radio with support from Tito's Handmade Vodka and Vitadrip IV Therapy Inc. have put together a Social Media Live Streaming series with half of the sponsorship fee going directly to the musicians.

"Texas Country Music is on fire, but now, the Corona Virus outbreak has separated artists from their fans like never before. Our talented Texas musicians who live by playing live, are suddenly without a source of income. Made in Texas Radio found a way to help," said Keegan Lucas, Operations Manager for Made in Texas Radio. "Our sponsors are making this possible with 50% of the total sponsorship from Tito's Handmade Vodka and Vitadrip IV Therapy Inc. going directly to the artists to help supplement lost income. We look at this as Texans Helping Texans."

Tune into Made in Texas Radio for the next scheduled broadcasts of our Texans Helping Texans Series. Each show is a professional level LIVE performance directly from back porches, practice studios or secret performance spaces where real Texas musicians thrive and play. It's an unusual peek behind the curtain and an intimate performance experience during these otherwise stressful times. The live audio/video performances are then rebroadcast the following evening to Texas music fans everywhere on line and via the TuneIn mobile app.

Made in Texas Radio, Vitadrip IV Therapy Inc. and Tito's Handmade Vodka support Texas and the Texas Music Scene. Each hour-long performance is live streamed on Facebook Live and Instagram Live before the on-air rebroadcast. Additionally, the performances will be archived in HD on the Made in Texas Radio You Tube channel.

About us: Brand-built Streaming Radio for Business by RFC Media LLC
Made in Texas Radio is owned and operated by Houston-based RFC Media, LLC, the leading producer and publisher of content-rich, structured digital radio channels for brands, events and ideas.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by RFC Media LLC)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Fort Crockett under San Luis Resort Galveston

Fort Crockett was a military installation on Galveston Island before being split up after World War II and becoming - among other things - the foundation of the San Luis Resort.