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Monday, June 29, 2020

Sally Ramirez to leave KHOU 11

KHOU's Sally Ramirez to executive produce CNBC's “The News With Shepard Smith”

Executive News Director Sally Ramirez to leave KHOU 11

Executive News Director Sally Ramirez will leave KHOU 11 at the end of the summer 2020 according to an internal memo from channel 11 President and General Manager Robert Springer obtained by

This was a difficult headline to write and I am sure it is equally difficult to read.

After 22 years at TEGNA, Araceli (Sally) has decided to leave KHOU.

In the four-plus years she has led our journalistic efforts, she has left an indelible mark on KHOU.

While she will be forever remembered as one of the leaders who carried the station through the upheaval of Hurricane Harvey, our time at Houston PBS’ facilities that graciously gave us a temporary home and the triumphant move into a brand-new state of the art facility – I firmly believe Araceli’s greatest contribution to our news operation is the culture she fostered as our leader. It is this legacy that she should be most proud of.

The KHOU newsroom is much, much stronger today as a result of Araceli’s leadership.

We have a culture of innovation and the courage to try new things thanks to Araceli.

We have the technology and tools in our operation thanks to Araceli’s vision for how we could best cover all the incredible stories of the Houston region.

Araceli has offered to continue leading the newsroom through COVID and hurricane season, until I hire our next news director.

We will find ways celebrate and thank Araceli over the course of the summer. In the meantime, reach out to her and share your memories and gratitude, I know she would love to hear from you.


KHOU 11 4pm anchor Russ Lewis to retire

No doubt that Ramirez just happened to come work for KHOU at one of the most difficult time in the Houston CBS affiliate's history.

In 2017, she had to evacuate the staff during Hurricane Harvey. Then setup a new KHOU workspace at Houston Public Media. Then find a new studio and have that designed and built.

- KHOU 11 reveals what happened during Harvey evacuation
- KHOU ND Sally Ramirez gives "Wisdom from women who run newsrooms"
- KHOU 11's video tribute to ND Sally Ramirez

In 2016, Ramirez came to KHOU from sister-station TEGNA’s KGW Portland where she was assistant news director.

During her Ramirez's time at KHOU, the station won various awards including multiple Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards.

In 2019, Ramirez took home "TV News Director" of the year from the Media Alliance of Houston.

Ramirez is married to KHOU 4pm anchor Russ Lewis who is retiring from broadcasting. They have two daughters.

Ramirez started her television news career as a producer at KTSM El Paso.

Her producing career took her to KVOA Tucson, Arizona and WRC Washington, DC.

She later worked as an executive producer at WGN Chicago and a special projects producer at KCRA Sacramento, California.

Ramirez joined KGW in 1998 as an executive producer working her way up to management.

A Chicago native, Ramirez graduated from DePaul University.

UPDATE JULY 17, 2020
Russ Lewis tells Kristi Turnquist of the The Oregonian that while he is retiring, his wife, Sally Ramirez is not:

“As anyone who’s worked with Sally can tell you, she has journalism in her blood. She is committed and passionate and the hardest-working person I’ve ever known. She feels so badly about leaving during a pandemic AND hurricane season that she resigned, and then offered to stay another three months to lead her staff through the most dangerous stretch of storm season. That’s the type of person she is. So, she’ll probably stay in Houston a bit longer than me. Yes, she will stay in the news business. Sally gets lots of unsolicited calls and opportunities. Once the right fit comes along, she’ll be ready to conquer the next challenge.”

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