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Monday, April 14, 2014

From TV news to Houston parent news

KHOU 11's Len Cannon, Sasha & Bernadette Verzosa

When Bernadette Verzosa and her husband, KHOU 11 anchor Len Cannon, brought daughter Sasha, 6, into the world, the new mom did not expect to launch a parenting website.

"There was so much valuable 'playground chatter' information being passed from parent to parent that was not being recorded," Verzosa told "There were so many amazing family programs and kids’ classes around town that were not being documented or credited with their important impact."

So two years ago, Verzosa launched - The Sharing Tree, to help empower Houston parents with knowledge of everything relevant to family life.

Verzosa's background as a New York City TV special projects and news producer came in handy when creating a new website. But instead of covering the US military presence in the Philippines or travelling to Brazil to report on Carnival in Rio, this time her news gathering focused on parents and their kids.

"I wanted to create a website that was editorially driven - that means helpful articles and substantial information," Verzosa told me. "What I found in Houston were advertising-driven publications that looked like directories – they weren't publicizing some of the best family programs because the programs were not advertising with them.

"ParentsPost is in the style of old-fashioned newspapers with regard to valuable information and integrity. The articles are objective and well researched with interviews with parents and experts and sociological statistics and perspective. It’s not a personal blog - I write about everyone else’s opinions and family experiences – I rarely write about my own opinions or family experiences!"

Verzosa and Cannon met in New Orleans in the early 1990s. They later reconnected at the Atlanta Olympics. She was working at a local TV news station, he was covering the Olympics for NBC. They got married in 1997.

As you might imagine, having a former Dateline NBC correspondent and current Houston TV anchor nearby is a big plus.

"Len is Head Proof Reader of ParentsPost," Verzosa told me. "I’m always calling him to check articles for typos. But really, he helps me in all ways possible – with feedback, suggestions, and by sharing ParentsPost with the people he meets. Also, he takes care of our daughter when I have to work on weekends."

Having journalists for parents is also starting to rub off on the youngest Cannon.

"Sasha has told us she wants to run her own website when she grows up, and she wants to call it," Verzosa admits. "Of course, she amused us with these words, but as a journalist I’m especially glad Len was there and can corroborate my story!"

Mike McGuff talks H-Town parenting on KUHF's 'Houston Matters'

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