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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Courtney Zubowski returns to Houston TV


Courtney Zubowski

Courtney Zubowski has returned to Houston TV as host of the weekly Public Affairs program "Texas & Me" airing on MeTv Houston KYAZ 51 Sundays at 7am.

Houston television viewers will recognize Zubowski from her time working as a reporter for KPRC 2CBS News and KHOU 11

How did I find out about the "Texas & Me?"  Zubowski was kind enough to ask me on as a guest for my efforts in battling Alzheimer's disease.  By the way, you can support Dayna Steele's and my "Steeleworkers" Alzheimer's Association Walk team by clicking here!

Zubowski has been the first-ever host of the Houston show since the Spring of 2022 which not only features non-profits like the Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter, but also Crimestoppers of Houston,  Heroes for Children, the SPCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston and the Children’s Museum of Houston.  There are similar shows on MeTV stations in other states like California, Seattle and Colorado. 

Mike McGuff: How is it going from being a local TV/network reporter to hosting your own show? 

Courtney Zubowski: The show is an incredible opportunity because outside of a few parameters I can choose the topics, the guests and really highlight all the wonderful and quite frankly heroic efforts of the many non-profits in Houston.   Plus, I am still able to continue with other freelance work

MM: Is hosting your own show something you have ever wanted to do?

CZ: Yes. I’ve always loved a little bit of everything when it comes to TV news- reporting, anchoring, field producing, etc.  This is different in that it’s 26 minutes on one topic. You really get to dive into the ins and outs of the organization and at the same time let others know how they can help. Plus, the heart of the show comes from the guests. They share their personal stories about how a particular organization has in some cases changed their lives or at least given them a better quality of life. 

It has inspired me to do more for our community. Listening and learning to the work some of these volunteers do and the differences that they make in people’s lives motivates you to do more. 

There are so many amazing non-profits in Houston that deserve attention. In a typical news story they may get one or two 12 second sound bites. This show allows the stories to breathe.

MM: Looking back in your news career, are there any particular stories that stand out as the most memorable ones?

CZ: July 27, 2007 working at KTVK in Phoenix, AZ. We were at lunch and all photographers received a page to call the assignment desk. We were sent to Steele Indian School Park where our news helicopter crashed after a mid-air collision with another news helicopter. Four of our friends and colleagues died that day. For the next several hours we stood at the park covering the story with the mangled helicopters behind us. I will never forget that day. 

And of course I will never forget hiding behind a Walmart in a satellite truck covering Hurricane Ike, the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs and Sante Fe, jailhouse interviews which led to confessions of now convicted killers, and the story of the Berry Children who have turned tragedy into triumph. 

MM: Do you have any funny stories from your career that come to mind? 

CZ: When I was working at KHOU, my photographer (Keith Tomshe) and I were on our way back from a news story when I got a call from my boss (Bill Bishop) telling me we had to go to a northwest Houston hospital. There was breaking news involving a big rig truck. I remember being annoyed because it was the end of the day and I was ready to go home. When I got to the hospital there were no police, no breaking news, nothing except my future husband down on one knee. That’s what you call teamwork! 

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