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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Nexstar shows Houston how it competes during Hurricane Laura

Texas-based TV owner Nexstar Media Group flexes its news resources for CW39 KIAH Houston Hurricane Laura coverage

Now Houston TV news viewers are watching how new entrant to our television market, station owner Nexstar Media Group, competes as it starts to cover Hurricane Laura.

Nexstar bought Tribune stations like CW39 Houston KIAH last year, and started making changes to the CW affiliate a few months ago.

Last week, the station stopped the Morning Dose show name on its only Houston newscast, altered its set, and changed the station's overall branding with a new color scheme.

As Hurricane Laura approaches land, Nexstar is using its massive ownership across Texas to supply talent to Houston from its other stations. The company has stations in 13 Texas markets - and in many of those owning multiple stations.

"The #NexstarNation is proud to support @CW39Houston during a critical time for this part of Texas," Director of Digital Content for Nexstar Media Group Austin Kellerman tweeted me. "Similar work being done in Louisiana as #Laura approaches."

For those keeping score about Nexstars reach, the TV company says on its own website:

Upon completion of its acquisition of Tribune Media in 2019, Nexstar became the largest local television broadcast and digital media company in the nation with a portfolio of 196 full power owned or serviced stations in 114 markets reaching approximately 63% of US television households.

While I have never covered Nexstar until recently, the company has a reputation for running stations efficiently and knowing how to share resources. KIAH's hurricane coverage is proof positive of this thought.

With the extra help from Nexstar Texas stations, KIAH is doing news cut-ins throughout the day.

To help add news coverage, feature reporter Maggie Flecknoe is anchoring some of these cutins from what I have seen.

Also added is former FOX 26 KRIV meteorologist Lindsey Day who joined KIAH in 2018 as a fill-in meteorologist for Maria Sotolongo and fitness segment expert.

Helping out from other TX Nexstar stations:
KXAN Austin Capitol Correspondent Maggie Glynn
NBC 23 KVEO Brownsville meteorologist Chris Ramirez
KXAN Texas Capitol Correspondent Wes Rapaport
CBS 4 Meteorologist KGBT Rio Grande Valley Andrew Shipley
KXAN Austin Education Reporter Alex Caprariello
FOX51 KETK Tyler anchor Trent Bennett
Chief Photographer at KETK Tyler William Bethancourt
KXAN Austin Digital Photojournalist Todd Bailey
KXAN Austin Meteorologist David Yeomans
FOX 44 KWKT Waco Operations Director & Assistant Engineer Johnathan Kiker
KXAN Austin Executive Producer Wes Wilson
Director of Digital Content for Nexstar Media Group Austin Kellerman
CBS 4 KGBT Rio Grande Valley reporter Chris Jacobs
News Photographer/Drone Pilot Gage McAllen, TX

SEE ANOTHER NEW FACE?: Let me know any other non-Houston anchors/reporters you see on CW39

Currently KIAH is paying KTRK to run a nightly newscast “ABC13 Eyewitness News at 9 PM on CW39."

Readers are asking me how long will KIAH even need to do that? Will Nexstar being adding new newscasts to CW39?

Stay tuned.

(Thanks David!)

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