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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Six KSAT San Antonio journalists leaving

Mark Austin, Mike Osterhage, Ursula Pari, David Sears, Jessie Degollado, and Marilyn Moritz are all leaving KSAT 12 San Antonio, the Graham Media Group station announced Wednesday. 

The group retirement, as the station calls it, happens on June 26th and July 1, 2024.

Bernice Kearney, the news director of Graham's sister station, KPRC 2 Houston, also left earlier this week. Rick Gevers and Associates wrote her departure as "apparently one of many veteran employees taking a buyout across the company."

The week before that, Frank Billingsley announced he was leaving his position as chief meteorologist at KPRC 2 after nearly 30 years.

KPRC 2 loses 12 staffers in buyouts

As a media blogger for almost two decades, I would like to point out that it's highly unusual for six high-profile on-air talents to retire from television simultaneously. This anomaly is sure to fuel more speculation about the possibility of buyouts as Gevers mentioned. 

For those asking, what is a buyout? defines it:


"When an organization needs to reduce their expenses or workforce, they have several options for ending employment, including buyouts and layoffs. A buyout allows a company to boost the morale of current employees while maintaining positive relationships with those that are accepting a buyout."

KSAT promises to highlight those leaving.

"There is no question of the impact each of these amazing journalists has had, not only in the industry, but also to the next generation of journalists, to our employees, to our viewers, and to our community," said Ashley Parker, Vice President and General Manager of KSAT12 on the station's website. "We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mark, Mike, Ursula, David, Marilyn and Jessie for their exemplary service and dedication to KSAT12. They leave behind a legacy that will continue to inspire us for years to come."

Mark Austin 

Anchor Mark Austin of 'Good Morning San Antonio' and 'GMSA @ 9' just celebrated his 25th year at KSAT in 2024. the Stephen F. Austin State University grad, who also studied meteorology at Mississippi State University, is a two-time  Lone Star EMMY winner.

"I wasn’t always a morning person but, somehow, I’ve made a career out of being one and I wouldn’t trade the crazy schedule for anything," Austin said online. "KSAT12 and San Antonio will always be home for me. I smile when I think about the amazing legacy we leave behind. KSAT12 is in good hands. From the bottom of my sleep-deprived heart, thank you San Antonio… for everything. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me."

Ursula Pari

Ursula Pari anchors KSAT 12 News at Noon and the News at 5 weekdays and joined the station in 1996.  

"It’s been a privilege to be welcomed into homes across South Texas for 28 years, and I am grateful every single day that KSAT12 gave me the chance to join this vibrant and diverse community," Pari said online. "Now I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can do in a new chapter of life. I can’t wait!"

Mike Osterhage

"Good Morning San Antonio" meteorologist and "SA Live" host Mike Osterhage came to Texas in 1995 and previously worked for FOX 13 Memphis WHBQ, FOX 11 WLUK Green Bay, and NBC 25 News WEYI Flint, Michigan.

"I’ve been in TV news for 38 years… 29 of those at KSAT," Osterhage said online.  "That’s unheard of at most stations, but common at KSAT.  It’s a testament to a good product, great co-workers, and faithful viewers. Folks, be sure to keep saying ‘Hi’ in the grocery store! Retirement may be an end, but it’s also the beginning of new adventures."

Jessie Degollado

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984, working as a general assignments reporter. Raised in Laredo and formerly an anchor/reporter at KRGV 5  Rio Grande Valley, the Baylor University grad has a deep understanding of border and immigration issues. An award-winning reporter, she has been a strong advocate for the growth of Hispanic journalists.

"Saying goodbye to my KSAT12 family of 40 years will be difficult, no doubt," Degollado said online. "Yet I am so proud of the work I’ve done covering stories that mattered to our viewers. I’m so privileged to have earned their trust through the years."

David Sears

Anchor/reporter David Sears has been with KSAT for more than 40 years.  The native San Antonian attended Texas Tech University.

"It has been an incredible ride over the last 40 years," Sears said online.  "I walked into KSAT12 as an intern in 1982. I was hired as a part-time sports producer in 1984 by then news director Jim Boyle, then went full time, then started my on-air dream in 1989. I have been given opportunities by management beyond expectations. I cannot thank the viewers enough for allowing me into their homes and their daily lives. They treated me like family. I am looking forward to the next phase but will always look back at my time at KSAT12 and I can assure you I will have a smile on my face."

Marilyn Moritz 

KSAT’s 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter Marilyn Moritz joined KSAT in 1985.  In her nearly 40-year career, Moritz has served as an anchor, investigative reporter, and general assignments reporter. 

"I walked in the door of KSAT one afternoon in 1985 and was reporting live three hours later. And, I’ve been privileged to tell people’s stories ever since," Moritz said online. "Forty-five years is a long time in this industry – 39 at KSAT, and I’m grateful that this career allowed me to witness so many big events and meet so many people. I’m always touched when people stop me in the grocery store to say that something I did helped them. That’s what it’s all been about."

"I have been honored to work alongside Jessie, Ursula, David, Marilyn, Mark, and Mike throughout my career," KSAT12 News Director Mario Orellana said online. "The impact they have made on this industry, this city, and this newsroom is immeasurable. I have learned so much from them and am eternally grateful for the paths they have paved here at KSAT12. As they embark on the next chapter of their lives, KSAT12 wishes Mark, Mike, Ursula, David, Marilyn and Jessie all the best in their future endeavors. Their impact will forever be felt in the community, in the homes of our viewers, and to everyone at KSAT12 who learned, and grew so much from their journalistic knowledge."

(Thanks Daniel)

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