Thursday, November 20, 2014

Courtney Zavala to leave KPRC 2 and TV

KPRC 2 anchor Courtney Zavala is saying goodbye to TV and KPRC 2

Courtney Zavala
Courtney Zavala

KPRC 2 weekend morning Courtney Zavala is calling it a career at the Houston NBC affiliate.

"It's time for me to bow out gracefully and go out the way I want to go out instead of them telling me it's time to leave," Zavala told "It was not an easy decision, it was several months in the making."

Zavala, who joined KPRC back in 2003, tells me her contract was up and the station offered her another, but she chose to leave. With no future career plans, she's going to hang out with her husband and two boys, Connor and Andrew, who are seven and three and a half.

"I feel like I missed so much of my family life, that I'm just ready to be present," Zavala told me.

She says the family is certainly excited to have her home, especially with Christmas coming up.

For nine years, Zavala has been waking up at 2am for five days a week. She says you never fully get used to it, but her husband's support made it easier - especially with the kids.

And speaking of the boys, Zavala said there was the guilt of never being there for activities. Soccer games were only witnessed through photos, rarely in person.

Before KPRC, Zavala worked in Salt Lake City at KSTU Fox 13 as a fill-in anchor/reporter. She started TV in Texas at KMID in Midland.  A Chicago native, Zavala is a gradate of St. Xavier University.

Fans of Zavala will get to have one more Saturday and Sunday with the channel 2 anchor as her last two newscasts are this weekend.

The Zavala family will remain in Houston.

Craig Hlavaty is biggest media turkey 2014

NewsFix kept the turkey title in the family

Mike McGuff is back from the sick bed. It's been a horrible few days, but things are turning around! You know I'm sick if there are no posts here or to social media.

In one of my feverish dreams, I went to Johnathan Winter's house for a party. In his upstairs, which was way too large for the size of the house, there was a hallway full of paintings. Some of them were kid painted watercolors of Marvin Zindler. And standing there looking at them was Marvin Zindler himself. KTRK abc 13 anchor Gina Gaston poked her head in, took a photo of Zinder, then left.  You know I have writing about Houston media for too long when this happens.

So back on topic, I posted a photo or two on Twitter and Facebook about this past weekend's TXU Houston media turkey calling contest.

There you found out the Houston Chronicle/NewsFix's Craig Hlavaty knocked Grego from his roost and took the crown for biggest media turkey 2014!

I am happy to report I came in second - which counts for something since I only cover the media, but am not really apart of it anymore. Thanks YouTube for the calling help. I also used a quick prop (my wife's sock) to make myself even more of a gobbler. You can see how in the photos below.

The event promotes the upcoming TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot, which helps Neighborhood Centers, Inc. deliver services to thousands of Houston-area children and seniors.

Hlavaty will get a tree planted in his honor thanks to TXU.

Here are the other fine members of the media that got their turkey strut on:
Ron Trevino - KHOU-TV (CBS)
Doug Miller - KHOU-TV (CBS)
Craig Hlavaty - Houston Chronicle
Todd Freed - KUBE-TV
Grego - NewsFix/CW39
Brien Straw - SportsRadio 610 KILT
Caitilin Espinosa - Fox 26 KRIV

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Root Sports replaces CSN Houston today

Out of the ashes of CSN Houston, rises the ROOT Sports Southwest regional sports network

It looks like the Comcast SportsNet Houston drama is coming to an end. And out of the ashes rises ROOT Sports Southwest regional sports network. Here is the full release.

ROOT Sports Southwest regional sports network officially made its debut on the air this morning. The new television home of the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets began broadcasting today at 6 a.m. CT.

ROOT Sports Southwest will carry Astros regular season and Spring Training games beginning in March of 2015.

ROOT Sports Southwest, which is under DirecTV and AT&T ownership, will produce all Astros and Rockets coverage exclusively in high-definition. A full comprehensive schedule will be released in the upcoming weeks.

"We are extremely excited that ROOT Sports Southwest is on the air," said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. "Our goal has always been to secure a deal that will both provide broad coverage of Astros games for the fans and provide the financial revenue to enable us to compete for championships.

"We truly appreciate the patience that our fans have shown throughout this process. We are pleased that fans across our entire region will now have the chance to watch this young and exciting team."

The Astros television broadcast team of the last two seasons (2013-14), consisting of Bill Brown, Alan Ashby, Geoff Blum and Julia Morales, is scheduled to return for 2015. The upcoming season will be Brown's 29th calling Astros games.

Channel Information

ROOT Sports Southwest is now available to AT&T U-verse subscribers on channels 758 in SD and 1758 in HD and DIRECTV customers on channel 674. Local Comcast cable customers will see ROOT Sports Southwest in place of CSN Houston on channels 39 in SD and 639 in HD. The new network's programming schedule is available on

In addition to ROOT Sports Southwest, DIRECTV also operates three other ROOT Sports networks in Pittsburgh, Denver and Seattle.

FullyRaw Kristina talks YouTube empire & healthy eating

Houstonian Fully Raw Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram reveals how she has a global audience on YouTube - I'm calling her the future of media!

In continuing my Snap Kitchen #21DaysforGood challenge, I offer this video interview I did with Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram aka Fully Raw Kristina.

Kristina is a worldwide, hugely popular raw vegan YouTuber. With a massive audience, her videos have easily reached viewers into the millions. In fact single videos of her's have racked up a million views by themselves!

In Houston, she is the founder of Rawfully Organic which is the largest raw, organic produce co-operative in the U.S.

We talk about how Kristina grew her YouTube empire and why she went raw in the first place. Plus how you can do it too.

So how is my diet going? Well, last week on social media I posted that I had lost 7 pounds so far! Feel great.  The above video was shot on the third day off my diet so there wasn't much of a change.  Going into week three today, I think you can see results now .  At least I want to think I can see the pounds coming off in this photo taken a few days ago.

Wanna be sexy like Houston TV news anchors? - VIDEO

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Houston talk hosts invade Dallas' Talk Radio 1190

Dallas' Talk Radio 1190 gets some Houston talkers in Michael Berry and Matt Patrick

Looks like 740 KTRH/950 KPRC radio talkers Michael Berry and Matt Patrick are getting syndicated in Dallas-Fort Worth on Talk Radio 1190 starting today. Berry is already syndicated in several markets around the US. Here is the full release from IHeartMedia DFW:

Matt Patrick
Matt Patrick
iHeartMedia Dallas/Ft Worth today announced the launch of its new station, Talk Radio 1190, effective Monday November 17, 2015. The station will deliver the area up to date talk and news programming, airing local and Texas based syndicated talk shows including The Russ Martin Show, The Michael Berry Program and The Matt Patrick Show.

Talk Radio 1190 will provide a fresh approach for Dallas/Ft. Worth radio by blending local talk radio with national shows, showcasing a variety of views. The station will primarily focus on a wide array of popular current talk shows ranging in topics from lifestyle to politics, and includes live and local news, traffic and weather updates.

Michael Berry
The Russ Martin Show will lead weekday mornings from 7a-11am, followed by Texas based syndicated shows with hosts Matt Patrick from 2-5pm and Michael Berry from 5-7pm. The remainder of the day will showcase local and national talk shows.

“We are thrilled to bring this talk intensive format to the DFW airwaves,” said Patrick Davis, Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Dallas/Ft Worth. “We hope to evolve the news format to represent today’s modern consumer.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Houston media tries to make turkey out of Grego

Mike McGuff admits, he really is just a turkey - gobble, gobble

You might remember me talking about the TXU Energy Houston Media Turkey Calling Contest a few years ago on the old blog. Well this year I'm competing in it. The knock Grego (last year's champion) off his perch.

The event promotes the upcoming TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot, which helps Neighborhood Centers, Inc. deliver services to thousands of Houston-area children and seniors.

The winner of the media contest gets a tree planted in their honor thanks to TXU.

It all goes down at 10 a.m. on the Butterfly Stage in the Children’s Zoo at The Houston Zoo.

And if you are so inclined, you can come on down and jump on the stage too. If you are a real turkey, then you could win some prizes.

Here are the folks I'm trying to out turkey (more media types might be added):
Ron Trevino - KHOU-TV (CBS)
Doug Miller- KHOU-TV (CBS)
Craig Hlavaty - Houston Chronicle
Cowboy Dave - The New Bull @ 100.3 KILT
Todd Freed - KUBE-TV
Grego - NewsFix/CW39
Brien Straw - SportsRadio 610 KILT

Basically my plan is to watch Grego's performance from last year and copy him. That outlaw is going down!

- PICS: Anna-Megan Raley is the biggest Houston media turkey!
- Andy Cerota
- Lily Jang
- Casey Curry
- Natalie Bomke
- Craig Hlavaty

Greg Thunder gone from New Bull @ 100.3 KILT

Greg Thunder, who lost partner Corey Foley earlier this year, is now gone from the New Bull @ 100.3 KILT

Corey Foley and Greg Thunder 2010
Corey Foley and Greg Thunder 2010

Greg Thunder, host of the New Bull @ 100.3 KILT morning show, is no longer with the station CBS Radio has confirmed to

Listeners started reporting to me Thunder wasn't on air this week and there was no mention of him being on vacation. His information has also been pulled from the station's website

Thunder has been solo since partner Corey Foley left KILT last April.

Greg Thunder (along with Corey Foley) came to KILT and Houston four years ago. Before that he worked at KS-95 in Minneapolis. He's worked multiple formats around the country such as KMPS Seattle, KDWB Minneapolis, KALC Denver, WQHT New York and WPLJ New York.

This morning I tuned in to hear Nick Russo doing mornings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What happened to KTRK shooting suspect?, Austin anchor takes off and more

- Wanna be sexy like Houston TV news anchors?
- Steve Smith's Lone Star Emmy Awards tribute video
- WFAA promos: Dale Hansen vs fake Jerry & Ron Corning's Movember [VIDEO]
- Austin TV newscast opens from early 80s to present
- Watch This News Anchor Dance To T.I.’s ‘Where They At Doe’
- Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel was not caught with his pants down
- Reporter takes a licking and keeps on ticking
- Reporter Runs Red Light During Liveshot
- The story behind the KXVO Pumpkin Dance
- Hilarious kid completely owns weatherman's segment
- No camera, no problem going live
- Tom Brokaw breaks live studio rule
- Michael Quinn anchoring the KNWS 51 morning news in 1998
- Squatting on the Squatter
- Megyn Kelly slips up in an F-bomb manner on Fox News show's name

Cynthia Izaguirre on the record
WFAA's Cynthia Izaguirre on her biggest blooper, Ron Corning's antics.

It’s official
Texas Rangers moving radio broadcasts to 105.3 FM The Fan

Listen to an hour of KLIF from March 1968, when the Mighty 1190 was playing ‘the music that makes Dallas go ’round and ’round’
Today’s Dallas-radio flashback — as always, digitized and offered by the great George Gimarc — is a particularly special offering from the archives: close to an hour from The Mighty 1190′s broadcast night on March 28, 1968.

Television’s Life Lessons
Lots of life’s little instructions are learned over the span of a long TV career.

#6 Houston-Galveston TX
October 2014 Portable People Meter 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid (Updated: 10-27-14)
- Classic hip-hop goes ‘Boom’ in early ratings
- Radio One takes The “Boom” To Philadelphia

KTRK shooting suspect found not guilty
A woman who fired shots at Channel 13's studios has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

93Q Country's Recipe For Successful Radio
According to the station, more than 1.3 million people listen to 93Q during an average week. This kind of success comes at a time when some people regard FM radio as passe, given the plethora of music-delivery options available to consumers, first with satellite radio and especially now that streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have also gained a foothold in the marketplace.

Former KUHF anchor is first licensed Uber driver
The first licensed Uber driver just happens to be an easily recognizable name and voice to longtime listeners of News 88.7 – Rod Rice.

Sam Morton Named VP, Dir./Sales For CBS Radio/Houston
CBS RADIO/HOUSTON has tapped SAM MORTON has been named VP, Dir./Sales for the six-station cluster which includes Hot AC KHMX, Sports KIKK-A, Country KILT, Sports KILT-A, Top 40 KKHH and Spanish KLOL. MORTON’s position is effective NOVEMBER 24th.

KSBJ Hires Troy West As New APD/MD
TROY WEST has been selected as the new APD/MD at KSBJ EDUCATIONAL Contemporary Christian KSBJ (89.3)/HOUSTON.

Disney sells KMIC Houston
Radio Disney has sold off the first of its pending 23 divestitures as it sells 1590 KMIC Houston to DAIJ Media for $3.2 million.

Houston Public Media’s Lisa Trapani Shumate elected to PBS board of directors by member stations across the country
Houston Public Media’s Executive Director and General Manager Lisa Trapani Shumate was recently elected to serve as a professional director on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) board of directors. Member stations from across the country cast their ballots in August to elect Shumate and two other first-time directors to the board.

Bianna Golodryga speaking in Houston
Bianna Golodryga is coming to #H-Town to speak at the 2015 Jewish Federation of Greater Houston COLLAGE Luncheon on Tues. Jan. 20 at the Westin Galleria. She's the former weekend co-anchor for Good Morning America Weekend and current Yahoo anchor for news and finance. If you'd like to attend, contact Susan Farb Morris, susan [@]

News 4 photographer competes in Ringside SA
News 4 photographer Fabian Juarez competed against District 8 councilman, Ron Nirenberg. Fabian won by technical knockout during the second round.

KEYE Anchor Deeda Payton Leaving TV News
Deeda Payton, anchor/reporter at Austin CBS affiliate KEYE, announced via Facebook she’ll be leaving the station–and television news at the end of the month.

The Texas Tribune is 5 years old and sustainable. Now what?
The Austin-based news nonprofit has success and a measure of stability with its business model, raising almost $27 million in its first five years. But now the Tribune has to figure out how it grows its audience outside the capitol
- Trib, Times Will End Partnership


Robert Paniagua joins Telemundo Houston KTMD as an assignments desk editor.

Sara Patterson is leaving KPRC's social media producer gig for life outside of TV.


Goodbye to a newsroom friend
Paula Blesener, a longtime staffer at the Waco Tribune-Herald succumbed to the cancer.

- Mike McGuff's diet challenge goal to be hot like Houston TV anchors
- Syan Rhodes upped to KPRC weekend anchor
- The media's report card on big stories
- Astroworld memories 1968-2005
- Jessica Holloway leaves KTRK abc13 for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector office
- KHOU 11 crowns The Woodlands College Park High School Marching Band
- KTRK abc13 reporter claims assault by Dan Patrick supporters
- Angela Chen joins KTRK abc13
- Dave Ward to step down from KTRK ABC13's 10pm news

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dave Ward to step down from KTRK ABC13's 10pm news

Dave Ward to start 2015 with reduced workload; his last 10pm will be December 23rd

Yesterday, KTRK abc13 anchor Dave Ward celebrated his 48th anniversary with the Houston ABC owned station. Today, the station issued a press release saying Ward will cut back on newscasts with the start of 2015.

Here is the full release:

Dave Ward
Dave Ward
Dave Ward, who has anchored ABC-13 Eyewitness News for nearly fifty years, announced today that he will reduce his workload later this year. Ward, a trusted journalist who successfully steered KTRK’s news broadcasts to new heights, told the Eyewitness News team that beginning in 2015, he will only anchor ABC-13's 6:00 p.m. newscasts. His last regularly scheduled 10:00 p.m. newscast will be December 23rd, though he will occasionally join the 10:00 team for Special Reporting on topics of interest.

Dave Ward: “You have invited me into your hearts and into your homes, you have trusted me with the day’s news, and I have trusted you to be there, and you have been, for almost 48 years. I am honored and humbled to still be doing the work I love, anchoring ABC-13 Eyewitness News. So let’s be clear...I’m not going anywhere! I’m just going to go home a little earlier, that’s all.”

ABC-13 Eyewitness News has long been Houston’s most-trusted and most-watched source for local news; and Ward’s leadership helped pave the way. Today, ABC-13 broadcasts 42 hours of news a week and is Houston’s largest broadcast news website serving over sixty million pages and 4 million videos each month.

Wendy Granato, KTRK-TV Vice President and News & Digital Content Director: “Dave’s dedication, commitment, and professionalism set high standards that have been a tradition in our newsroom. And even though we will miss Dave at ten, that tradition isn’t going to change.”

Henry Florsheim, KTRK-TV President and General Manager: “Our news team is second to none. And we won’t miss a beat at ten.”

Anchors Gina Gaston and Ilona Carson, Chief Meteorologist Tim Heller, and Sports Director Greg Bailey, supported by the city’s largest reporting staff, will continue serving 10:00 p.m. news viewers.

Dave Ward: “The 10:00 team will continue reporting with the same level of comprehensiveness, accuracy and integrity that has become the standard of Eyewitness News.”

To several generations of Houston news viewers, Dave Ward’s commanding presence and trusted voice are synonymous with local TV news. In the most recent Nielsen audience measurement period ending in October, the newscasts Ward anchors at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. finished first in Households and Adults 25-54.

Henry Florsheim: “Over four decades anchoring a top-rated newscast for a major market network affiliate is virtually unheard of and unprecedented. Dave Ward is a Houston News Institution and it’s my privilege to say that Ward is part of the best news team in town.”

Dave Ward joined KTRK-TV in 1966 as the station’s only news reporter. In early 1967, he was named anchor of Channel 13's weekday 7:00 a.m. newscasts. Later that year, he became the first host of the popular "Dialing for Dollars" program. A year later, in January of 1968, Ward was promoted to anchor of Eyewitness News at 6 and 10. He quickly led the news broadcasts to number one in Houston and, to this day, Ward remains Houston’s most-watched news anchor.

Currently, Dave Ward serves as board-member for the Houston Police Foundation and the Houston Children’s Charities. From early in his career, Ward has taken an active role in ABC-13’s reputation as a leader in the community, whether it’s the station’s live coverage of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Parade or Share Your Holidays Food Drive. He has served as President of the local Easter Seals Society and hosted their TV Telethons; Ward Chaired the Public Affairs Advisory Board of the Houston Business Council; was a member of the Public Information Committee for the American Cancer Society; served as a member of the Leukemia Society Board of Directors; and as a Board Member of the Houston Press Club of Houston. Dave Ward’s significant role in the establishment of the Houston Crime Stoppers Program became the model of excellence for similar programs across the nation.

- Dave Ward's lost 1972 promos FOUND!
- How old is KTRK abc13's Dave Ward?
- Can you imagine Houston TV after Dave Ward?
- KTRK 13's Dave Ward: "They’ll probably carry me out of here feet first"
- PICS: KTRK 13 anchor Dave Ward's 45 year party

Steve Smith's Lone Star Emmy Awards tribute video

Former KHOU 11 anchor Steve Smith honored with Silver Circle Award and video; how he owes Bob Schieffer his career in a way

Steve Smith Lone Star Emmys Tribute from Nathan Kvinge on Vimeo.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
When former KHOU 11/KPRC 2 anchor Steve Smith was honored at the 12th annual Lone Star Emmy Awards with the Silver Circle Award this year, it was hard to see his tribute video at the beginning of the webcast.

Fortunately I have obtained the video which was produced/edited by KHOU staffers Nathan Kvinge and Doug Miller (video above).

 In the video, there are appearances by KTRK abc13's Dave Ward, KPRC 2's Bill Balleza, KHOU 11's Neil Frank and former KHOU sportscaster and Lt. Governor-Elect Dan Patrick.

"2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the two smartest decisions I ever made - marrying my wife, Vicki, and accepting the late, great Ray Miller’s offer of a job at Channel 2," Smith told "Bob Schieffer had turned him down for the same job a week or two earlier. This award is sort of like the icing and the candle on the cake. Houston was better to us than we ever deserved over the years, and the Lone Star Emmy Organization’s award continues and reinforces that trend."

Smith retired from KHOU and the TV news world in May 1999. These days you might spot him in TV commercials and hear his voice at places like Moody Gardens.

"These days, I still work a little, volunteer my voice and presence when asked, fish when I can, devour books on my Kindle, travel a bit, and, with the help of the good doctors in our great medical center, try to fight off the encroachment of age," Smith said.

- Steve Smith, former KHOU 11 anchor, talks KPRC 2 newscast 'Scene at 5'
- KPRC Channel 2 documentary from 1965