Tuesday, September 30, 2014

KIAH & KDAF to lay off master control staffs

KIAH 39 Houston and KDAF 33 DFW to hub master control out of Denver

In what is becoming a trend in the broadcast industry, I got a tip that KIAH 39 Houston and KDAF 33 Dallas-Fort Worth are laying off master control staffs.

The tip added Tribune Media is apparently outsourcing its master control duties to a hub out of Denver.

Well, a Tribune station representative confirms to mikemcguff.com this is all true.

 The transition will begin in November.

- KTRK and ABC stations to start central master control hub
- KHOU 11 experiences layoffs

Monday, September 29, 2014

Haley Hernandez is new KPRC health MMJ

KPRC 2 revives its health franchise with MMJ Haley Hernandez of WCBD Charleston, South Carolina

Haley Hernandez
Haley Hernandez

I thought full-time health reporting was a goner in Houston after the retirement of KTRK abc13's Christi Myers earlier this year.

Luckily I was only partially right.

Turns out KPRC 2 has given life support to the Healthbeat by reviving it as a multi-media journalist (MMJ) position. The NBC affiliate has hired Clear Lake raised Haley Hernandez from WCBD Charleston, South Carolina.

Hernandez worked at the Charleston NBC affiliate for the last three and half years where she served as the weekend morning anchor and a reporter.

In 2010, Hernandez worked at NBC on the "Nightly News with Brian Williams." Before that she was a production associate with CNBC. Hernandez was also a page at NBC and CBS. As a result, Lester Holt even did a promo for Hernandez's anchor debut at WCBD (see below).

Hernandez attended the University of Oklahoma.

The last health reporter I can remember at KPRC was Krista Marino and that was years ago (TV factoid: Marino is married to abc13 KTRK Ted Oberg).

Today is Hernadez's debut in the Healthbeat role.

- James Starks joins KPRC 2 as sports anchor/reporter
- Jessica Holloway lands KTRK abc13 reporter gig
- Amanda Perez leaves KPRC 2 for Fort Bend ISD
- Melissa Hawkes joins KPRC 2
- Kaitlin McCulley joins KTRK 13

From the late 1970s on, your favorite Saturday morning cartoon opens

Watch these cartoon open classics with a bowl of sugary cereal to really feel nostalgic

In the days before 24 hour kiddie cable networks, Saturday mornings were the Holy Grail of cartoon viewing. The latest and greatest cartoons hit the airwaves on the major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC) from 7am till sports programming came on.

Let's remember this time by watching the opens to some of these classic (and forgotten) shows.

- Saturday Morning Cartoon Openings (part 4 of 5) 1988-1989

The fifth video was blocked due to copyright claims.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kaitlin McCulley joins KTRK 13

Kaitlin McCulley joins KTRK 13 from WIAT 42 Birmingham, Alabama

Kaitlin McCulley
Kaitlin McCulley
Melissa Hawkes over at KPRC 2 wasn't the only new reporter to hit the Houston TV airwaves recently. So did reporter Kaitlin McCulley who joined KTRK abc13.

Previously, McCulley was an MMJ/reporter at WIAT 42 Birmingham, Alabama where she worked since 2011. Before that she interned at MSNBC's Morning Joe in 2009 and WWSB-TV, Tampa.

McCulley is a gradate of Samford University in Birmingham.

I've covered WIAT Birmingham in the past. That's because former KHOU 11 and KTRK abc13 meteorologist Gene Norman now works there.

Melissa Hawkes joins KPRC 2

Melissa Hawkes, formerly of Fox 23 KOKI Tulsa, joins KPRC 2

Melissa Hawkes
Melissa Hawkes
Melissa Hawkes flew into Houston under the radar and started reporting on KPRC 2 yesterday (thanks to the readers who alerted me).

Hawkes grew up in Katy and first appeared on Houston TV when she was 14 years old. It was a meeting with the White Knight in Blue Shades that led her to her present day career.

"I first developed my passion for news while competing in pageants," Hawkes once wrote on Facebook. "I visited KTRK in Houston for an award show with Marvin Zindler when I was a junior in high school. I knew right then and there I wanted to be part of the action."

Recently, Hawkes has been running a business called Made for Media Marketing.

Before that, she was a morning reporter for Fox 23 KOKI in Tulsa for about two years until January of this year. Previously, she was an MMJ and fill-in anchor at KATC TV3 in Lafayette. She interned at KXAS 5 DFW while attending TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism.

Kaitlin McCulley joins KTRK 13

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

KHOU 11 rebroadcasts CBS Evening News at 6pm

What is Scott Pelley doing anchoring during KHOU 11 News at 6pm?

It's right in the middle of the KHOU 11 6pm newscast right now, but I'm not seeing Greg Hurst or Lisa Hernandez (who just got married and probably off anyway). Instead, it is a rebroadcast of the CBS Evening News.

KHOU 11 viewers are taking to the station's Facebook page and saying stuff like:

Why is CBS news with Scott Pelley on again at 6p? Something got messed up!

Don't y'all watch the news? You are showing a repeat of broadcast news!

I had heard rumors the Gannett station was installing automation systems - meaning computers run everything. Guess they are live. We've seen stuff like this before at other Houston stations.

In fact, on September 4 I tweeted that KHOU ran 10 minutes of commercials during its noon news. Don't know if that is connected to tonight's issue.

I'm waiting for a comment from KHOU, if I get one, I will let you know what it says.

I never got a direct response from KHOU, but the station did let Greg Hurst explain it at 10pm. As we figured, it was "technical problems." Here is the video:


(Thanks Steve)

Houston TV & radio job moves

What went down in the Houston media job scene while I was on my blogging break

Qui West leaves 97.9 The Box KBXX
Qui West in his first interview since his departure from 97.9 The Box, he talks his new projects, his podcast “Qui West Uncut."

This actually just happened...WBRZ news producer Brittany Rivas Aucion is heading to KHOU for the same job she announced on Twitter.

Charlotte ND Returning to Houston, WWOR Station Manager to Help Out in Interim
WJZY-WMYT news director Geoff Roth has announced he’s leaving the Charlotte FOX owned station and going back to KRIV in Houston. Face it, Houston is better than anyplace else.

Michael Shiloh Named News Dir./Morning Drive At Salem Radio's Houston Cluster
MICHAEL SHILOH been named News Dir./morning drive for SALEM RADIO’s cluster of News-Talk KNTH (1070 THE ANSWER)/HOUSTON, Christian teaching KKHT (100.7)/HOUSTON and Business News KTEK (1110) /HOUSTON.

KPRC's Joe Campos retires
He was at KPRC 2 since 1974, and now photographer Joe Campos has retired.

The Houston Chronicle names a senior editor
Maria Carrillo has been named the Sunday senior editor and a senior editor of enterprise at the Houston Chronicle.

Jessica Holloway lands KTRK abc13 reporter gig
Former KVUE 24 reporter/fill-in anchor Jessica Holloway starts reporting at KTRK abc13.

James Starks
James Starks
James Starks joins KPRC 2 as sports anchor/reporter
James Starks comes to KPRC 2 as a sports anchor/reporter from WLTX Columbia, South Carolina.

Don Kobos retires from KTRK abc13
Assistant news director and former reporter Don Kobos to retire from KTRK abc13.

Wendy Granato is KTRK abc13 news director
Wendy Granato gets newly expanded role of KTRK abc13 Vice President of News and Digital Content.

KTRK abc13 EP Jerry Vazquez to be KTMD news director
From KTRK to KTMD, executive producer Jerry Vazquez becomes Vice President of News.

Amanda Perez leaves KPRC 2 for Fort Bend ISD
KPRC 2 reporter Amanda Perez will graduate to the PIO world at FBISD.

Steve Fixx leaves Houston radio
Former 93.7 The Arrow and Rock 101 KLOL DJ Steve Fixx leaves radio world.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Steve Fixx rocks the energy world

Former 93.7 The Arrow and Rock 101 KLOL DJ Steve Fixx leaves radio world

We seem to be losing a lot of Houston media members to the PR world. The latest is longtime Houston radio rocker Steve Fixx.

Fixx started at 101 KLOL in 1996 and was on the air through the end of 2013 on 93.7 The Arrow KKRW (he also served as program director for the Clear Channel IHeartRadio station).

You might remember Fixx had a soundbite that yelled his last name when he came on the mic. I had to ask him, where did that come from?

"I was working in Austin (98.9 KUTZ) and a co-worker, Sharkmann, would jokingly yell my first name when I came on his show," Fixx told mikemcguff.com. "I wanted to uniquely define myself when I got to KLOL, so I asked our talented imaging person, Victor Lisle, to create the audio piece you've heard since where he yells 'Fixx!' It ended up being my on-air signature as well as a rim shot for horrible jokes."

Well, Fixx has given up the microphone to be Senior Manager of Internal Communications at Direct Energy.

"I coach our senior executives to be effective communicators and help our employees get important messages," Fixx said. "Plus, I go up to people and force them to listen to Bob Seger’s ‘Old Time Rock and Roll' every hour whether they want to or not. So, not much has changed."

Fixx says he had been considering a move to the energy business for quite some time.

“Being part of Houston radio was 14 of the best years of my career, the only problem is I did it for 16,” joked Steve. “All kidding aside, I had a lot of great and memorable experiences. I got to meet and sing with my favorite band, ‘The Police,’ interview everyone from Bill Cosby to Ozzy Osbourne and work with and manage some outstanding people. However, what I might value most of all is each person in the Houston area who took the time to listen. It’s hugely flattering when people say they like something you did or you made them laugh.”

Jumping from the media to corporate communications is a big topic for readers of the blog. Fixx says value the skills you've been developing throughout your media career.

"I am very happy where I am now and I love the people I work with,” says Steve. “A lot of those in the media don't realize how valuable their skill set is. While communication techniques might come naturally to them, that's not the case for a lot of people in other industries. A great idea isn't worth much if others don’t understand what you’re talking about. Simply put, people need help getting their point across and media and digital people know how.”

You can find Fixx on most social media accounts with his on-air name. You can also email him at stevefixx [@] gmail.com.

"I'm happy to take your questions and compliments," Fixx said. "However, I'm not accepting any complaints until early 2024.”

In the last few months in Houston alone, we've seen KPRC 2's Mary Benton and Amanda Perez leave for the other side. KTRK abc13 special projects producer Justin Sternberg even joined Fixx in an Internal Communications role at Direct Energy.

Austin TV job moves

What went down in the Capitol City TV job world while I was on blogging break

Natalie Stoll signs off at KXAN
After nearly six years forecasting Austin weather and reporting on environmental stories for KXAN, meteorologist Natalie Stoll is moving to a job off-camera. Thursday is Stoll’s last day on air.

Jessica Holloway
Jessica Holloway
Former KVUE reporter Jessica Holloway lands KTRK abc13 reporter gig
Former KVUE 24 Austin crime and criminal justice beat reporter, Jessica Holloway, showed up as a reporter at KTRK abc13 during my blog break time.

Univision 62 hires new news anchor
Univision 62 is expanding its news team with the addition of a new evening co-anchor. Hugo Chavez Montes is joining Regina Rodriguez on KAKW’s 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. weeknight newscasts.

KEYE's news director leaving for Florida gig
News director Greg Turchetta is leaving KEYE and heading back home to Florida for a new gig.

Ex-KVUE anchor Jessica Vess lands new gig
Former KVUE anchor Jessica Vess has a new gig.

KVUE meteorologist Andrew Chung leaves KVUE
Weekend evening meteorologist Andrew Chung is also set to depart KVUE, in search of a chief meteorologist gig elsewhere. Chung’s replacement is Lynae Miyer, a Baylor graduate who has previously worked for stations in Victoria, Lubbock and Waco, as well as Salt Lake City.

Elizabeth Saab joins Fox 7 KTBC
Elizabeth Saab will be a general assignment reporter for FOX 7. Effective August 27th, Saab will report for the 5, 9 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Most recently, Saab served as reporter/anchor/producer for FoxNews.com. Prior to that, she was a digital content consultant for Hermedia Group,LLC in New York. She was also reporter/anchor/producer for News Corporation’s The Daily. Earlier in her career, Saab was a news reporter/video journalist for FiOS1 News in Rye Brook, New York and Video Photographer / Field Producer / Desk Researcher for NY1 News in New York. She has also been a contributor for Huffington Post Live and The TV Guide Channel. A graduate of Hollins University, Saab holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Studio Art.

Nick Spinetto joins fox 7 KTBC's "Good Day Austin"
Nick Spinetto will be a reporter for “Good Day Austin.” Effective August 27th, Spinetto will report for the weekday morning newscast. Most recently, Spinetto served as a general assignment reporter for WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH. Prior to that, he was a general assignment reporter for WINK-TV in Fort Myers, FL for six years. Earlier, Spinetto was a reporter/anchor for WSHM-TV in Springfield, MA. He began his career as a reporter/anchor for KRHD-TV in Bryan, TX.A graduate of Emerson College, Spinetto holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lisa Hernandez gets hitched, DFW reporters quit & hospitalized, plus more

- TV Reporter Quits On-Air To Fight For Marijuana Legalization
- How's this for an TV honest promo?
- Oopsy
- WGN Celebrates ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ Just Like it Always Does
- TV reporter rescues armadillo from flood waters

Gannett8 tabs Monica Hernandez for reporting staff
Monica Hernandez, from New Orleans’ WWL-TV, will be the latest addition to WFAA Gannett8’s reporting staff.

Reporter Lari Barager leaving Fox4 after 15 years
One of Fox4’s best and most seasoned reporters, Lari Barager, is the latest to chart a new course and leave the daily pavement-pounding grind.

FOX4 sports anchor, reporter Max Morgan dies at 59
The man who greeted viewers with “Hello Dallas-Fort Worth… let's talk sports" has died. Max Morgan started every one of his KDFW sportscasts with that saying, along with a smile and a magnificent baritone voice.

Former KDFW-TV meteorologist Ron Jackson seriously hurt in crash, expected to recover
The former KDFW-TV (Channel 4) meteorologist Ron Jackson, who was seriously hurt in a single-vehicle wreck Friday night, is expected to make a full recovery.

KTVT reporter, former The Fan host Jane Slater joins Longhorn Network
Jane Slater is headed to Austin to work for Longhorn Network where she will be a studio host and reporter.

DMN Managing Editor George Rodrigue Leaving for WFAA
When current editor Bob Mong announced his retirement (effective sometime in 2015) and Rodrigue was not immediately named his replacement, the newsroom suspected its longtime ME would move on. He joins WFAA in one week.

KHOU 11's Lisa Hernandez gets married
KHOU 11 anchor Lisa Hernandez got married to Houston Rockets radio announcer Joel Blank over the weekend. (Thanks to PR Fairy @farbulous)
- KHOU 11's Lisa Hernandez engaged thanks to the Goo Goo Dolls?

Sexy Univision weather anchor turns heads in Houston in a form-fitting sheath dress
While Univision viewers will recognize Laura Sierra as the weather anchor for the network's Houston morning news show, CultureMap first met the glamorous native of Medellin, Colombia, at Hotel ZaZa where she was amid the va-va-voom crowd that turned out for image and style consultant Pedro Abasolo's annual bash for his best clients.

Joel Osteen excited about new adventure in radio
As pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church Joel Osteen is a busy man and he's about to get even busier with the launch of a new radio program.

Meet Inside Edition’s hottest bachelors of Houston
Houston media members Nick Anderson, 47, Houston Chronicle editorial cartoonist and Mike Valdez, 50, radio personality on 93Q are among Houston’s Hottest Bachelors.

Houston station ‘reinvents’ the wheel with hourly forecasts
KHOU-TV, the Gannett CBS affiliate in Houston, has a new gimmick for its weather forecasts — the “Weather Wheel.”

A true story
How David Barron helped drive up CSN Houston’s legal bills

Thrilled S.A. TV anchor welcomes first baby
San Antonio KABB morning anchorwoman Monica Taylor said she was “over the moon” after giving birth nearly a week early to the baby she tagged her “Taylor tot.”

Patti C. Smith celebrates 15 years as president, general manager of KVUE-TV
On Sept. 16, 2014, Patti C. Smith celebrated 15 years as president and general manager of KVUE-TV.

Amarillo Pub Puts TV, Radio In Crosshairs
Les Simpson, publisher of the Morris Communications-owned, 30,000-circulation Amarillo Globe-News, sees a not-distant future where local TV and radio have been just as roiled by disruptors as newspapers.

TX Radio: Townsquare Names Stew Sawyers OM
Townsquare Media/Tyler-Longview, TX. has named Stew Sawyers Ops Manager for its cluster.

Texas Station Group Adds News Director
Amie Hudspeth has been named news director at the Victoria Television Group in Victoria, Tex.

- 2014 Lone Star EMMY nominees list
- DFW anchor arrested, WFAA hires a cop to do morning news, plus other DFW TV job moves
- Comcast SportsNet Houston could have layoffs; new name
- Houston Secret Society Media Awards
- Amanda Perez leaves KPRC 2 for Fort Bend ISD
- San Antonio TV job moves
- KTMD Houston to add 4:30pm newscast
- KHOU 11 launches “The Battle of the High School Marching Bands”