Wednesday, November 25, 2015

VIDEO: KTRK abc13 1988 Foley's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Alan Thicke, Don Nelson and Jan Glenn broadcast 1988 Houston Foley's Thanksgiving Day Parade on abc13 KTRK

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In 1988, KTRK abc13 broadcast the Houston Foley's Thanksgiving Day Parade live from downtown with hosts Alan Thicke during the heights of ABC's Growing Pains, with Don Nelson and Jan Glenn who were hosting Good Morning Houston at the time.

KTRK did it big that year and broadcast the parade across Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico.

Thicke, who is Canadian and probably didn't have an issue with working on an US holiday, opened the show with the fact that he was excited about sitting next to Glenn.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Two Houston TV newsers releasing books/albums

Tom Abrahams rolls out new novels; Marci Izard releases first book and album

Here is some big news, just in time for the holidays, about two Houston TV staffers turned authors.

I've been covering KTRK abc13 weekend anchor Tom Abrahams' journey into the literary world since the start of his written journey and he is showing no signs of writer's block.

Tom Abrahams
Tom Abrahams
All three of his ALLEGIANCE books are out in ebook form with a special promotional price on Amazon through the end of the year. It's .99 for ALLEGIANCE (free if you have kindle unlimited), $2.99 each for ALLEGIANCE BURNED AND HIDDEN ALLEGIANCE (also free through kindle unlimited.) All of them are also available for free if you’re a prime member and choose to “borrow” the books. The paperbacks are $16 and available everywhere books are sold.

Allegiance, by the way, reached #87 on all of Amazon in September (out of millions of ebooks) and it was number one in the Thriller Category ahead of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor for a couple of days.

You'll find Texas mentions in all the books. From a sniper atop the George R. Brown Convention Center (the ongoing construction might trip up a sniper these days), chase through the downtown tunnels, a slow speed chase during rush hour on 59, a shootout in Upper Kirby, large fire and explosion along the North Freeway, and a huge scene at the end of the book inside the Astrodome (in its current state of disrepair).

Readers of my blog will appreciate that all three feature a Houston television reporter as a secondary character.

On the horizon, look out for a sequel to SEDITION called INTENTION. It begins with a hip-hop star overdosing after a concert in the Toyota Center and is connected to an international conspiracy involving electronic surveillance and terrorism.

Plus next year, Abrahams will put out a new series which takes place in post-apocalyptic Texas five years after a pandemic pneumonia kills 2/3 of the world’s population in 2032. It's refreshing because there are no zombies (that is if you can find post-apocalyptic refreshing).

Marci Izard
Marci Izard
Marci Izard worked as a freelance reporter at KIAH 39 and continued on with the station as a producer for NewsFix.

 When, not writing the news, Izard has been writing about food.

She's been writing a blog on for years, hosting a cooking segment on NewsFix, teaching yoga and meditation and recently launched a digital mindfulness segment on

All of those experiences have gone into her first book Nourishing Your Whole Self: A Cookbook with Feelings.

Not to be limited by the page, Izard has also dropped an album, Feel for Peace; Guided Meditations (available on iTunes).

So don't say I've never given good suggestions on Christmas morning stocking stuffers!

VIDEO: This Black Friday shopper wins the TV news award

Best Black Friday Shopper Ever

TV newsers in Houston and all around must be scouting for their television market's version of this guy! Marcy Jones of FOX 10 Phoenix wins the prize this year.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

WATCH: Ron Stone and KPRC 2 look back at JFK Assassination

KPRC 2 "The Scene At Five" 25th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

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In 1988, KPRC 2's Ron Stone, Doug Johnson with reporters Ron Regan (now chief investigative reporter at WEWS in Cleveland) and Catherine Smith remembered the 25th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

This look back was done on channel 2's "The Scene at Five" and aired live from the Sam Houston Coliseum - the last place JFK made a major speech before his death.

- WATCH: Ron Stone covers the 80s in 'So Long Urban Cowboy'
- What is KPRC 2's Ron Stone without Doug Johnson?
- VIDEO: KPRC 40 Years - A Houston Essay with Ron Stone
- WATCH: Ron Stone's last KPRC 2 newscast
- VIDEO: KPRC 2's Ron Stone and Doug Johnson sure had on air chemistry
- VIDEO: Classic Houston TV hosts talk about golden age

Saturday, November 21, 2015

VIDEO: Best sports news bloopers of all time

And wouldn't you know it, they pick a Texas station as the thumbnail image!

Hot October TV news bloopers

Friday, November 20, 2015

ROOT SPORTS Houston debuts new set

Photos of ROOT Houston's new sports desk and demonstration set

ROOT SPORTS picked up as the home of the Houston Astros and Rockets where Comcast SportsNet Houston left off last year.

Last night, the sports network had a party to show off its recently re-done studio space in downtown Houston's GreenStreet (formerly known as Houston Pavilions).

Here are photos of ROOT Houston's sports desk and demonstration set.

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Comcast SportsNet Houston set photo

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mike McGuff analyzes media coverage on 88.7's Houston Matters

Got a chance to be on Houston Public Media's Houston Matters on News 88.7 KUHF today and the topic matches this blog because it was all about the media.

After Saturday's media turkey calling contest I started getting sick. Luckily I was feeling way better Wednesday but had to pull back on the meds. Although a loopy McGuff might make good radio...who knows? Maybe better than what actually happened!

It's been a busy stretch for those who cover the news. You may feel some media outlets have done well, and others not so much, while reporting on everything from the terrorist attacks in Paris to recent unrest on college campuses to this month’s election here in Houston.

From time to time on the program we bring together some media watchers to share their thoughts on how major stories here and elsewhere have been handled by media, locally, nationally and worldwide.

Today, we hear the views of Houston media blogger Mike McGuff, Houston Chronicle Assistant City Editor Mike Snyder, and University of Houston Professor of Communications Garth Jowett. We also welcome your thoughts on the news coverage you see, hear, and read.

Listen below:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jeff Ehling is Houston media's biggest turkey

Gobble, gobble. KTRK abc13 reporter Jeff Ehling knows his turkey!

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Last Saturday at the Houston Zoo, the tension could be cut with a turkey knife. That's because members of the Houston media were gobbling it out to see who really is the biggest turkey in the 2015 TXU Energy Houston Media Turkey Calling Contest.

TV anchors, reporters, radio broadcasters, newspaper columnists...all battling it out to see who sounds the most like a real turkey.

FOX 26 KRIV weekend morning anchor Sally MacDonald and I served as emcees of the event, and let me tell you, that is a unique perspective on the whole event.

Last year's winning turkey Craig Hlavaty handed his crown over to newcomer, KTRK abc13 reporter Jeff Ehling!

Below is a sample video of what happened.

Houston's media turkeys really brought their best calls and struts at our annual Turkey Calling Contest! If you weren't there to witness the greatness, we've got proof of how competitive this year's contest was. Share with your friends and let us know who you think had the best turkey call. #HouTurkeyTrot

Posted by Houston Turkey Trot on Monday, November 16, 2015

The 2015 TXU Energy Houston Media Turkey Calling Contest contestants were:

Craig Hlavaty - Houston Chronicle/NewsFix
Jo Jo - Univision Radio 104.9
Kristina Ramey - 104.1 KRBE
Ron Treviño - KHOU 11
Jeff Ehling - KTRK abc13
Joey Guerra - Music Critic/Writer, Houston Chronicle
Joy Sewing - Fashion & Beauty Editor, Houston Chronicle
Simone Eli - KPRC 2
Juan Alanis - The Little Radio Show

The turkey calling contest exists to promote the annual TXU Energy Houston Turkey Trot - the second largest footrace in Houston and a tradition for many families on Thanksgiving morning. More than 20,000 supporters flock the Galleria area to make a difference and support more than 160,000 seniors and children Neighborhood Centers serves each year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

KTRK abc13 and Univision 45 KXLN present runoff candidates in live Houston mayoral debate

Univision 45/KXLN-TV and ABC-13/KTRK-TV have joined to co-host the Houston Mayoral Debate, streaming it live from the University of Houston-Downtown at One Main Street, Houston, Texas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2nd.

The Houston Mayoral Debate will feature runoff candidates Bill King and Sylvester Turner and will be accessible live on-air on KTRK-TV abc13 and online at and

Simultaneous Spanish-language translation will be available on Univision 45’s website and will air the same day at 10 p.m. The debate will be presented in partnership with the University of Houston-Downtown and Mi Familia Vota.

ABC-13’s Erik Barajas and Univision 45’s Rebecca Suarez will moderate the debate. The audience will be by invitation only; however, Houston voters are encouraged to submit their questions in English or Spanish by posting them to twitter using #HOUSTONVOTE.

“We look forward to working with Univision 45 to bring this most important and newsworthy event to Houston in Prime Time so that voters have the opportunity to hear from the candidates, one of whom will be the next mayor,” said Henry Florsheim, General Manager of KTRK ABC-13.

“We are excited to partner once again with ABC-13 to present this mayoral debate. This is an important opportunity for the candidates to present their plans and answer key questions about the future of our city,” said David Loving, General Manager of Univision Houston.

Rebecca Suarez is an award-winning broadcast journalist. She has been a member of the Univision 45 news team since 2011, working as a news anchor and reporter. She is a native Houstonian with expertise in covering local and statewide elections. Erik Barajas has served as a respected 13 Eyewitness News anchor for seven years. A true Texas journalist, he’s worked as a reporter and anchor in several cities across the state.

(This post was taken from a release sent to me by KTRK abc13)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Karla Barguiarena working for ABC News One

Former KTRK abc13 reporter Karla Barguiarena has a gig at ABC News One

Karla Barguiarena
Karla Barguiarena
Last June, Karla Barguiarena left KTRK abc13 and now we see she made a network upgrade.

Barguiarena tells she is now freelancing for ABC News One.

 That means she is filing reports for the ABC owned TV stations like KTRK and all of the other affiliates around the country.

You might also spot her on ABC News shows.

The below video is a story Barguiarena reported on for WABC in New York (you'll see her at the end).