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Monday, October 21, 2013

Alan Hemberger has died

Houston, San Antonio and Austin TV anchor Alan Hemberger has died

KHOU 11 anchor Sherry Williams just tweeted the news that former Houston anchor Alan Hemberger has died.

Friend Mason Turner told me he had just talked with Hemberger Saturday evening about the Red Sox win.

"When his sons couldn't reach him [Sunday], they had a welfare check made and that's when his body was discovered," Turner told me.

The Houston Chronicle said the anchor, 65, died of an apparent heart attack.

Hemberger worked at KTRK through the 90s as its Live at 5 anchor with Melanie Lawson, a brief stint at KEYE Austin weekends and then last at KIAH 39 (with Sherry Williams) as the main anchor. The Houston Press awarded him best local TV anchor while at KHWB (now KIAH). He also worked at Entertainment Tonight as Alan Arthur and KMOL San Antonio (now WOAI).

Alan Hemberger
Alan Hemberger
The last time I talked with Hemberger was almost a year ago. He was retired in Laguna, California and doing a weekly radio show at 93.5 KXRN a non-commercial station. His show was called 'The Laguna Beach Blues Boy.'

"The Pacific Coast Highway is out one window, the ocean out the other," Hemberger told me last November. "I'm returning to my first love and roots. Hope to do some high school play by play too."

As I've written before, Hemberger was very nice to me when I interned at KTRK in the mid 1990s. I never forgot that and I think it is an important lesson for today's broadcasters.

He will be missed.

Here is a cached bio I found online for him:

Alan earned a Bachelor's Degree in Speech from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He began his career in television at KFDA-TV in Amarillo as News/Public Affairs Director and the 6pm & 10pm anchor.

Alan went on to co-anchor with Dixie Whatley on "Entertainment This Week" for Paramount Television in Hollywood, California. For two years he covered Hollywood movie premieres, and high profile events for "Entertainment Tonight," including the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Grammy awards programs.

Alan came to Houston in 1989 as the midday and 5pm news anchor at ABC's KTRK-TV. For 9 years, he anchored for KTRK-TV's midday news and Live at Five. While at Channel 13, Alan covered many high profile news events including the Luby's mass murder, the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian Compound, US forces in Somalia and the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Alan joins 39 News from the CBS affiliate KEYE-TV in Austin, Texas where he was the primary weekend anchor.


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