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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

'Dave Ward's Houston' to launch on abc13 KTRK

Iconic anchor launches history segment "Dave Ward's Houston" this September on abc13 KTRK

In May of 2017, we watched legendary anchor Dave Ward sign off from abc13 KTRK anchor desk, now we learn he is returning to TV and launching a new segment with the Disney ABC Television Group station.

Called Dave Ward's Houston, the weekly feature, which launches in September, will take a look back each week at a topic in Bayou City history that even natives like myself might not be familiar with.

"I have thought about doing this for quite some time and mainly because there are whole generations of young people in Houston who aren't aware of some of the history of this great city and how we got here and how we grew and what the future looks like," Ward told

Ward says in his five decades at KTRK, he reported on what was happening in Houston and around the world that day. Now he can report on the past and go in-depth on one of his personal passions - history.

In all my years of blogging, I have never seen a main anchor launch a new chapter of his career by returning to his former station, when frankly he doesn't really need to. He's clearly earned his spot in history with his awards and achievements. In fact his online bio reads like a man who has already lived many lifetimes.

The idea of producing Houston history segments after leaving the anchor desk has been in Ward's mind for awhile now. To him, it is a thank you gift to longtime viewers who tuned in every night, gave him the opportunity to interview five US Presidents and travel the world telling stories.

"I feel that I owe a lot to the viewers who kept me on the air down there for the 50 years I was there," Ward emotionally told me. "And if I could, in some way repay them by giving them some information, the history of this beautiful city that they did not know, I think that it will make me feel good."

If memory serves correctly, he did repeatedly say he was not totally retiring.

So now enjoying the slower pace of his new life, Ward will not have to pull the long, late hours required in his previous anchoring career.

In fact he will even be changing where he works in the KTRK studios. After 50 years, he will no longer sit at his desk in the hectic Eyewitness Newsroom, but work out of the quieter world of the KTRK programming department under Vice President/Program Manager, Kim Nordt-Jackson.

Since leaving television, the longtime TV friend of Houston has been as busier than ever. Ward donated books to veterans, appeared in a new legal TV campaign, served as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade’s grand marshal, took the Rockets “First Shot”, was profiled in a magazine, shared a nice moment concerning former first lady Barbara Bush and threw out the first pitch at as Astros game with longtime friend Jeff Bagwell.

Ward has also taken time to indulge one of his other passions, trains. Earlier this summer he travelled to Chicago on the Sunset Limited.

"I've always loved taking a long distance passenger train, and so I've done that several times," Ward said.

Now viewers can jump on board the Dave Ward train again and take a trip to the past where they might gain a better understanding of today's Houston and why so many want to call Space City home today.

"I've researched a lot of topics, a number of topics, and one of the first ones is the tie between the Astrodome and the channel 13 studios," Ward told me.

Some other topics in consideration for Dave Ward's Houston:

- Why the Colt .45s changed their name to the Astros
- Just where is the statue of Sam Houston in Hermann Park pointing?
- What Bob Hope thought of Houston?
- The history of the Johnson Space Center (Ward covered it from the beginning)
- How President John F. Kennedy spent his last night in Houston
- The tragic tale of William Marsh Rice

Ward says you can submit ideas to his Facebook page (which has more than 28,000 fans) or his website, in the meantime.

According to a press release issued earlier today, the station says the segment launches in September, but gave no details on which newscasts it will air.

And as far as the auto-biography Ward hinted about during his 2017 KTRK sign off, Ward would only say this.

"Well, Mike...stay tuned."

So there you have it. If Ward promised his viewers a book, then they will be getting a book.