Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sofia Ojeda joins KPRC 2 weekends

Sofia Ojeda joins the KPRC 2 weekend morning anchor desk from WNEP northeastern Pennsylvania

Sofia Ojeda
Sofia Ojeda
Sofia Ojeda joins the KPRC 2 weekend morning anchor desk station management has confirmed to

She will be reporting three days a week.

Ojeda comes from WNEP northeastern Pennsylvania where she worked the last five years. For The Office fans, her station was located in Scranton. Hopefully the station's staff exclusively used Dunder Mifflin paper products.

She was the station's weeknight 7, 10 and 11pm anchor - working her way up from reporter and then weekend anchor.

According to her bio, Ojeda also worked as an anchor/reporter for WETM in Elmira, NY and WIVT/WBGH in Binghamton, NY. She started her career in NYC as a WABC desk assistant and freelance reporter for News 12 the Bronx.

Hailing from Lima, Peru, Ojeda moved to the US as a child and grew up in New Jersey. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a degree in Communications.

Amy Bishop named News 88.7 KUHF arts and culture reporter

Houston Public Media has named Amy Bishop as arts and culture reporter for News 88.7 KUHF

Amy Bishop
Amy Bishop
Building on its ongoing commitment to provide high quality local arts and culture content, Houston Public Media has named Amy Bishop as arts and culture reporter for News 88.7.

Her appointment is a new position and part of a broader initiative, made possible by the generous support of Houston Endowment, to significantly expand Houston Public Media's arts and culture content on-air and online over the next three years. Bishop will anchor News 88.7's arts and culture desk and, along with a digital staff member, will focus on bringing Houston Public Media audiences even more stories from Houston's lively arts scene as well as its richly diverse cultural offerings.

“There are so many stories to be told about our dynamic arts and culture community -- we are proud to have a multi-platform approach to tell them," said Lisa Trapani Shumate, executive director and general manager of Houston Public Media. "We are grateful to Houston Endowment for enabling us to broaden the arts dialogue, giving a greater voice to Houston artists and arts organizations.”

Bishop, a native Houstonian, brings an already strong local arts background, having served as an announcer for Houston Public Media Classical 91.7 for two and a half years. Prior to joining Classical 91.7, Bishop lived in Dallas for more than a decade where she worked as an announcer for WRR-FM Classical 101.1 and before that she was reporter and anchor for news radio station, KRLD-AM 1080.

"Amy's strong classical music background and love of the arts, coupled with her experience as a broadcast news reporter and anchor, make her an ideal choice to head up our arts and culture desk," said Jack Williams, news director of Houston Public Media.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by Houston Public Media)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Katherine Whaley's top 5, KPRC 2 Africa, plus way more

- Six words a TV anchor should never say on air
- Why Do People Yell Profanities During a Reporter’s Live Shot?
- Office Space with Michael Bolton
- Reporter mugged on camera
- What Fast Food Chain is the Link Between the Two Latest Local News Bloopers?
- Traffic Reporter Takes On-Air Tumble
- WFAA Daybreak Morning People Campaign
- Fresh Prince C-SPAN prank

Secrets on how to jump from media to PR
Secrets on how to jump from media to PR from those who've successfully done it

Last call for KTXD-TV's The Broadcast
After a little more than two years as a mid-morning, locally produced alternative to WFAA 8’s long running Good Morning Texas, KTXD-TV’s (Ch. 47) The Broadcast breathed its last with Friday’s one-hour show.

Crisco Kidd Gets Hot In Dallas

KDMX Names EJ For MD/Night Duties
iHEARTMEDIA Hot AC KDMX (NOW 102.9)/DALLAS-FT. WORTH PD JAY SHANNON announces the addition of sister Top 40 KHFI/AUSTIN night talent EJ for MD/night duties.

James Aitken Named GM OF KDAF Dallas
Tribune taps the former GM of KREM-KSKN Spokane, Wash., to run its Dallas CW affiliate.

Cumulus Appoints Tom Schurr As SVP/Operations
In his new position with CUMULUS, SCHURR will oversee station operations in multiple U.S. markets, including DALLAS and HOUSTON.

#6 Houston-Galveston TX
February 2015 Portable People Meter 6+ Mon-Sun, 6a-12mid
- #5 Dallas-Fort Worth
- D/FW: KTCK Wins February Sports Battle

Yoga helps anchorwoman Gina Gaston stay focused with busy schedule
So on a rainy day, when the yoga studios at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa were filled to capacity, Gina Gaston showed off her yoga skills in the club's courtyard as raindrops fell on her fresh makeup and hair.

Nefertiti Jaquez Out at WCAU
Former KPRC 2 reporter Nefertiti Jaquez is out at the NBC owned Philadelphia station WCAU.

My Top 5: KTRK anchor Katherine Whaley
KTRK-TV ABC-13 traffic anchor Katherine Whaley shares some of her favorites inside and outside the Loop.

Houston on the Cheap — with Amy Davis
Discovering Houston on the Cheap, a series highlighting ideas for cheap dates, cheap meals, Houston’s best-kept secret and more — all from the perspective of local chefs, media personalities, athletes, and folks in local business.

Wayne Dolcefino – A public discussion on public corruption
It is clear that Wayne had two jobs during his time at Channel 13: (1) investigative reporter and (2) Pseudo-Public Integrity Chief for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District and the local district attorney’s offices, including Harris County.

What is that Houston TV anchor wearing?
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!: Houston TV anchors bring back fashion staple.

KPRC 2's Andy Cerota heads to Africa to see how Houstonians are saving gorillas
KPRC 2’s Andy Cerota and his photographer will board a flight to Rwanda – kicking off a journey to witness what’s putting the gorilla population at risk and how Houstonians can help save this great animal.

2014-2015 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters winners
Here are the TV and Radio 2014-2015 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters winners.
- News 88.7 Wins Big In Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Awards

KARE 11 News Sunrise welcomes new anchor
KARE 11 News welcomes former CSN Houston anchor/reporter Cory Hepola as its new morning news anchor.

A true American hero takes on radio
Eric Baker is the Sales Manager at the Radio One cluster in Houston.

Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider selected for a prestigious fellowship in Germany
Houston Public Media’s News 88.7 business reporter Andrew Schneider has been selected by the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) for a prestigious fellowship in Germany this summer as part of their German/American Journalist Exchange Program. Schneider will have the opportunity to meet with top-level German and business leaders, international journalists, European Union and NATO officials.

Houston CBS Affiliate Reports on Rival Network’s Hit Show
At first glance, it looks like Houston CBS affiliate KHOU momentarily forgot what network it represents...

Sexy S.A. TV personality takes Miami job
You’ve seen her big smile and sexy figure all over San Antonio — on local TV, in fashion spreads and commercials, not to mention at nearly every red carpet event here. Now, Miami television has Rita Verreos.

S.A. TV panic! Where are missing anchors?
It never fails. When viewers notice their favorite anchors have been missing from their usual newscasts for days on end, they push the panic button.

S.A. radio talk host gets sax-y
Most know Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo as a San Antonio talk show host whose political leanings are well to the right, but there’s a whole other side to radio pundit Pags...

KXAN wins Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism
KXAN News was awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

The Fringe becomes Classic 105.3
Previous Format: AAA “105.3 The Fringe” K287FG/KTXX-HD4 to New Format: Classic Hits “Classic 105.3.”

KRHD Bryan/College Station stops local newscasts
Just got word that KRHD Bryan/College Station stopped producing local newscasts in January. The station is airing sister station KXXV's newscasts out of Waco. The BCS staff was laid off.

Going batty in El Paso
The morning news crew at KFOX in El Paso had a studio visitor yesterday morning. Former KTRK abc13 anchor Stephanie Guadian was the anchor.

Lubbock TX Radio: Alpha To Acquire Four From Wilks
Alpha Media of Portland, Oregon has announced they have entered into a definitive agreement to purchase four radio stations in the Lubbock, TX market from Wilks Broadcast Group LLC.

Texas, vast Texas, aims to set a new standard in statewide public media news
Texas Standard, a new public radio collaboration, aims to knit together a state both unitary and diverse.

97.1 The Eagle (KEGL FM) today announced BFD 2015, its annual concert, on May 31st, 2015 at Gexa Energy Pavilion. BFD 2015 will feature Rob Zombie as the headliner, with a strong active rock line up including Breaking Benjamin, Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless, In This Moment, All That Remains, Sons of Texas, and We Are Harlot. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting Friday, March 27at 10 a.m. through the Live Nation mobile app,, the Belk Box Office at Gexa Energy Pavilion and by phone 800-745-3000. Fans can listen to 97.1 The Eagle to 'Win It Before You Can Buy It,' beginning Monday, March 23, through Friday March 27, 2014. Complete show details are available at .


Sonia Azad exits channel 13
Reporter Sonia Azad leaves KTRK abc13 after nearly six years.

Former News 92 web manager Kristy Gillentine moves to Drive West Communications.

Former Fox 26 KRIV sports producer Scotty Spiegel has joined KPRC in the same position. He worked at FOX for two years. Before that he worked at KHOU for almost three years.

KING OF THE MORNING: KTRK abc13 morning TV producer Michael King moved to the web side of the station.


Shane Media CEO Ed Shane Has Passed Away
Everyone at ALL ACCESS is deeply saddened to report the passing of SHANE MEDIA CEO ED SHANE, following a short battle with colon cancer.

Jack Woods, half of KLIF’s beloved ’60s morning show ‘Charlie & Harrigan,’ has died at 80
For a few years, beginning in 1962, Woods and Chapman were known to Dallas radio audiences as “Charlie & Harrigan,” stars at KLIF-AM (1190) when Gordon McLendon’s pop station reigned as Dallas’ most popular.

James Gates
Texas radio and TV broadcaster James Gates passes away.

- KTRK abc13's Rebecca Spera gets hitched
- Sam Malone does radio & video production with 512 New Media
- Enjoy Tuesday, KPRC says don't make plans after that
- PICS: Don Nelson's retirement party

Sunday, March 22, 2015

PICS: Don Nelson's retirement party

KTRK abc13 staff members past and present says goodbye to Don Nelson

Don Nelson has left KTRK abc13 but hadn't had an official retirement bash until Saturday night. It all went down just east of the station at the newly renovated The Marquis II.

Some of the folks I saw include Tom Koch, Melanie Lawson, Casey Curry, Wayne Dolcefino, Bob Martin "The Accountant to the Stars," Miya Shay, Deborah Wrigley, Katie McCall and many more.

From the past to the present, channel 13 employees from over the years showed up to support Nelson. In fact, I got so busy talking, I missed the opportunity to actually photograph Nelson! Well whoever said I was good at the party scene?

 photo DonNelson_3-22-2015-5_zpsnlgogroa.jpg

Don Nelson's last great act at KTRK abc13 - that we know of

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sonia Azad leaves KTRK abc13

KTRK abc13 reporter takes off from abc13; hopefully she won't follow me this time

Sonia Azad
Sonia Azad
KTRK abc13 reporter Sonia Azad is leaving the station. She's been there since June 2009.

In fact, the funny thing about her arrival is that is coincided with my June 2009 departure from the station. I cleared out my desk one evening and she arrived the next day to sit at it supposedly.

Oddly enough, it's not the first time something like this happened. Azad replaced one of my good friends, also named Sonia, behind the anchor desk in Waco at my old station, KXXV/KRHD, a year or two after I left.

Please Sonia, don't follow in my footsteps this time or you'll be wasting your days blogging about the Houston media hoping someone clicks one of your banner ads so you can get a couple of pennies!

Naturally I'm joking, Azad will probably be announcing her next gig soon.

Before Houston, Azad worked for TV stations in San Diego, Chicago, Waco and College Station.

The award winning reporter is a graduate of the University of Texas Austin with a bachelor of journalism and from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a master of science in journalism. Azad also received a master of legal studies from Northwestern University's law school.

Don Nelson announces KTRK abc13 departure

She announced her departure on Facebook:

UPDATE (KTRK deleted her station Facebook is the goodbye message she originally posted)
After 6 years at Channel 13, it has come time for me to start a new chapter in my personal and professional journey. I have had the great fortune of telling the stories and sharing the news of my hometown. I am grateful to have met and worked with some incredible people along the way. Thank you for your trust and for tuning in night after night (or day after day... Or morning after morning... ). I'm looking forward to new and exciting opportunities ahead. Stay tuned!!
Twitter: @SoniaAzadTV
Instagram: SoniaAzadTV

Enjoy Tuesday, KPRC says don't make plans after that

Enjoy today

Lynyrd Skynyrd said "Tuesday's Gone," but according to KPRC 2's weather department, the future is very uncertain after that.

2014-2015 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters winners

Here are the TV and Radio 2014-2015 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters winners.




Monday, March 16, 2015

Sam Malone does radio & video production with 512 New Media

Houston radio legend Sam Malone opens up 512 New Media

Sam Malone
Sam Malone
Being a morning radio talk show host on AM 1070 The Answer KNTH isn't enough for Sam Malone.

The former president of new media for Phonoscope Cable is jumping back into the video world with 512 New Media.

It's a TV/Video production company with a diverse groups of clients ranging from energy companies to energy drinks.

Malone wrote me the history of how the new venture came to be:

"I actually got started making web videos/commercials for clients in '06. A car dealer in Houston had an under performing dealership in another state. We were brainstorming about campaigns. I suggested a funny web video. He said. "OK...can you shoot it?". I said, "Of course". I had to run out and BUY a video camera. Boarded the jet. Shot the video. It was hilarious. Then I was hired to create the web video for a product line by Wolfgang Puck. Flew out to LA for 4 days with a cameraman. And then it just snowballed. I left radio a few years ago and became President of New Media for Phonoscope Cable. Created TV commercials and web videos all day. Then I decided to raise money from investors and open my own company. 512 New Media is barely 6 months old! We actually stream out the video portion of the radio show from the studio in City Center. Then at 10am, the studio switches to commercial projects. The desk and set are on wheels!"

We all agree that the future of radio is combining it with video and all it's platforms & delivery systems. Unfortunately, so many radio companies are teetering on financial ruin that they don't have the capital to make that necessary investment. We must get our radio/video content to smart phones and tablets to remain relevant and profitable. That's why I opened my own media production company/broadcast facility. And I'd be happy to share my knowledge about this with any radio brethren brave enough to make the move :)

At 512, Malone is also joined by Lance Roberts. Roberts is known for his radio hosting, Fox 26 KRIV's 'Wake Up Money,' and numerous appearances on CNBC/Fox Business.

Secrets on how to jump from media to PR from those who've successfully done it

Former members of the Houston TV, newspaper and radio world share their secrets for landing a PR gig

One of the top questions I receive now is how to leave the media world and successfully jump over to PR?

You know, public relations...what journalists like to call the dark side. It's a world some media pros think is a likely move post broadcasting and newspaper reporting.

But is it? And how do you make the jump?

I got the tips/secrets from former members of the Houston TV, newspaper and radio community who have successfully taken the plunge and are very happy with their new careers.

Jerome Gray
Vice President & Senior Press Officer Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO)
(formerly of KPRC 2 & KHOU 11)

1. Connect with your contacts. Stay in touch with people who are close sources to ask them to keep you in mind should they hear of job openings.

2. Reach out to those who have reached out to you in the past to see what’s out there. For example, if you have frequently served as an emcee for any events or volunteered your time touch base with those groups to see if they know of upcoming openings.

3. Have coffee or lunch with key decision makers with whom you have contact to help you decide which areas you would like to target for transition. Or reach out to others who have made the transition from media to get some tips on finding the right job.

Norm Uhl
Director of Communications and Marketing at the Houston SPCA
(formerly of KHOU 11 & News 92 KROI)

Apply for positions at organizations that place a high value on media relations.

You already know which ones those are. As a journalist, you've already encountered them and know which ones are proactive and which ones avoid the media.

Organizations that value proactive media relations also value people with news experience. I doubt many journalists would be happy in a reactive shop.

Lee McGuire
Director of Communications, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
(formerly of KHOU 11 & KVUE 24)

I really have three pieces of advice here. The first is to network (quietly). You have to let key people know you're thinking about making the jump. A good place to start is with former reporters who are now doing communications. Grab coffee, see them on a weekend, whatever works for your schedule -- ask them to keep an eye out.

The second bit of advice is to think deeply about what you really enjoy doing and what you're good at. No one will hire a TV person just because they were in TV -- instead, it's the storytelling talent that matters; the crisis communications; the rapid and high-quality turnaround of accurate and compelling information; the proven ability to work in a team and deliver a consistent, high-quality product; writing, web design and publishing, social media, etc. These are all skills that are absolutely in demand.

A third thing: express a desire to learn new skills and move forward in your career. Communications is very different than journalism. In many ways it is much harder. If you find the right role, it will be just as rewarding if not more so.

Chau Nguyen
Manager of Community Involvement at The Women’s Home in Montrose
(formerly of KHOU)

Well my situation is a tad unique in the sense that I work in non-profit management. And while I do much of the "public" speaking there, my main role is outreach and fundraising.

I will say this, however.
- Being in media is a major asset when transitioning into PR. Sell, sell, sell the fact that you have insider media contacts unlike others.
- You have skills in speaking and writing.
- You know what media need in press releases and story ideas.

Brian Sasser
Director of Communications EPISCOPAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
(former KPRC 2 Investigative News Producer/National Field Producer )

Network — even when it’s painful. I had been in TV news all my life and knew how to network for story ideas and talk to folks to move up inside the business, but I had never really “networked” for a job outside. If your group of friends, PR contacts, story contacts, family, and even current/past media colleagues don’t know you’re looking for a new opportunity, then they can’t help you. They won’t share that job they heard about. They won’t tell one of their colleagues you’d be great for a position.

It can be a slippery slope when you’re still working in the job you want to leave, but you have to start showing your interest and telling people what you do and how you’d like to use those skills in another job. I talked to every PR person I met while doing stories and just asked different questions about how they got their job and what they saw out there. It was subtle, but it was there.

I never was interviewed for a position where I didn’t have some sort of human contact associated with the job. I never got far applying online to a company where I didn’t know anyone or able to exchange an email with someone I knew through some form or fashion. It was often a waste of time on most online applications. Using LinkedIn and going to a happy hour to talk about changing careers can be painful. It’s often even a little humbling. However, it may be that one conversation that makes the difference.

Sell your ability to be an expert storyteller. In every communications job, you’re really just telling a story. Sell your unique ability to know the elements of a good story. Explain how you’ve turned routine news into creative, compelling stories. Show how you’ve been able to tell a story multiple ways — website, TV, print, social media, video, etc.

Sell you ability to meet tight deadlines. No one in the real world really understands how journalists are used to working with tight deadlines. Give specific examples of how you not just completed a project, but executed it well even under a quick turnaround or crappy conditions. This one skill will likely be respected more than almost anything else you do.

Have a good answer to: “Won’t you just be bored here?” Be ready. It came during every interview.

Joe Stinebaker
Director of Communications Harris County Judge Ed Emmett
(formerly of the Houston Chronicle)

Having helped a few others transition to the dark side, I would certainly think that one way to break in is the same way one succeeds in journalism too -- cultivating sources and getting to know people in the business. Even if it has to be done confidentially, let people you trust know that you’re thinking about moving on. There’s also a decent web site locally, through the Houston chapter of the PRSA. It’s

Steve Fixx
Senior Manager of Internal Communications at Direct Energy
(formerly of 93.7 The Arrow KKRW & Rock 101 KLOL)

When I started the career switch process, my resume was set up in a traditional way. A recruiter friend said it works better when switching industries to instead set up the resume as functional.

Media people sometimes feel stuck and as if they don't have all that many transferable skills. In reality, we have a lot to offer as communicators. We know how to take a message and use a channel to reach an audience. The messages, channels and audiences change, but the thinking behind the process doesn't.

A few things that worked for me:
- Network with all the people you know. I was surprised at some of the people who would help me or put me in touch with a friend that could. It's always best when you have an in for a first-hand introduction.
- Focus on LinkedIn and Indeed. An HR friend recommended I mainly used these out of the job search sites.
- Write the resume to the job. It's an extra step, but I think it is difference-making to re-write the résumé to the job you are applying for. Within the job description, look at the first 4 or 5 things listed. (The rest is often fluff) Think about your experience and how it can be worded to apply to the job. Connect the dots and make it obvious for them.
- The #1 fear most people have isn't a fear of yours. You often hear how people dread public speaking and fear it worse than death. The great thing about media backgrounds is we don't share that fear. When you can do something well that others fear, that's a strength.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Houston Press Club entry extended

The deadline for the 2015 Lone Star Awards has just been extended to Friday, March 20

Here is something that will interest all Attention all Texas journalists and PR professionals. More from the Houston Press Club release:

The deadline for the 2015 Lone Star Awards has just been extended to Friday, March 20!
Every year the Houston Press Club honors the best in Texas media and 2015 could be your year.

We are looking for the best of the best, so here is your chance to show off. This is the most affordable statewide contest of its kind. Just $30 per entry for members and $50 for non-members. Student entries are just $15 each. You can become a member by going to our homepage, and clicking 'Membership.' Individual members also qualify for discounted tickets for the Lone Star Awards banquet and the Gridiron Show fundraiser in the fall.

We are also offering an 'Outlet Membership' for organizations which allows for all their employees to be counted as temporary members (although they will not qualify for discounts to the awards banquet.) It is important to notify us by email if you become a member ( so your entries will be discounted.

We have teamed up with BetterBNC to handle the entries, and the process is simple. Just go to, and click 'OPEN CALL LOGIN.' If you have participated in previous years, just log in again, or click 'Create Your Open Call Account' to get started.

The deadline is Friday March 20, 2015.

Good luck to you all!
Mike O'Neill
President, Houston Press Club
P.S. Entry fees and memberships are tax deductible
501(c)3 Tax ID#76-0379553