Friday, April 24, 2015

UH media star alums to be honored

University of Houston Alumni Association Announces 2015 Honorees - some from the broadcasting world

The University of Houston Alumni Association will present its annual awards to several successful Coogs.

Among those earning Distinguished Alumni Awards are Rockets announcer Bill Worrell, Steve Harvey producer Rushion McDonald while ESPN broadcaster Robert Flores will earn the Rising Star award.

Here is more from the release:

The University of Houston Alumni Association (UHAA) has announced its 2015 Alumni Awards recipients, which include nationally and locally prominent leaders in their fields—from CEOs to radio and television personalities— as well as individuals who have a history of service to the University and community. Honorees will be recognized at the 61st Annual Awards Gala on May 2, 2015, at the Westin Houston, Memorial City.

Distinguished Alumni Awards are given to individuals whose professional accomplishments bring prestige to the University. Five people are being honored in 2015:

Aylwin Lewis (‘76, M.B.A. ‘90) is the president and chief executive officer of Potbelly Corp. and is a board member at the Walt Disney Co. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Bill Worrell (‘69) is in his 32nd season as the play-by-play announcer for the Houston Rockets. In 2011, he was honored with a Lone Star Emmy for best play-by-play announcer.

Rushion McDonald (‘83) is the executive producer of the Emmy-winning “Steve Harvey Show.” He is a co-founder of the Neighborhood Awards show (formerly the Hoodie Awards), a tribute to the best leaders and organizations in local neighborhoods throughout the nation. McDonald was listed as one of Showtime Network’s top 50 U.S. comedians for three consecutive years.

Ken Bailey (‘69, J.D. ‘72) is a founding partner of the civil litigation law firm Bailey Peavy Bailey, PLLC. While at the University of Houston, he was the starting quarterback during the 1967-1969 seasons and, in 1968, was a recipient of the Charles Saunders Award for an Outstanding Athlete. He has held numerous volunteer positions, which include serving on the UH Law Center’s Law Foundation Board and co-chairing the UH Athletics Director Search Committee in 2009.

Dominic Ng (‘80) is chairman and chief executive officer of East West Bancorp Inc. and East West Bank. His numerous volunteer positions include director and former chairman of the Committee of 100 Inc., member of the University of Southern California’s board of trustees, committee member on the Resnick Institute advisory council at the California Institute of Technology, member of the Bowers Museum board of governors, and board member of the Southern California Asia Society Inc.

The 2015 UHAA Distinguished Service Award recipient is Laurie Rutherford (‘86, M.B.A. ‘91, M.S. ‘04), director of Enterprise Risk Management at CenterPoint Energy. This award is given to UHAA Life Members who are set apart by a history of service to the association and University. Rutherford serves as president of the UH CenterPoint Energy Alumni Association and is a former member of the Houston Cougars women’s basketball team.

John T. McNabb and Drue DaSilva (‘93, M.S. ’99) have been named Outstanding Volunteer Award recipients. The Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizes alumni and University supporters who exemplify a spirit of volunteerism to advance UHAA’s mission. McNabb is chairman and chief executive officer of the Willbros Group, as well as senior advisor and former vice chairman of corporate finance at Duff and Phelps Corp. He is a former member and chairman of the dean’s advisory board at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business, where he developed and taught a course in leadership. DaSilva is manager of inside sales at ShoreGroup and is an active volunteer with many alumni organizations including Moores School of Music, the University of Houston’s College of Technology and Chi Omega.

Sports journalist and ESPN anchor Robert Flores (‘92) has been named UHAA’s Rising Star, which honors motivated young alumni who have excelled beyond the norm early in their careers. Flores hosts ESPN2’s “Fantasy Football Now” and is co-host of SportsCenter’s “Top 10 of the Month” on ESPN.

In 2015, the University of Houston Alumni Association will recognize the extraordinary efforts being made by the current student body. The student body has been named the 2015 Chairs Award recipient, which honors non-alumni who have consistently and voluntarily given extraordinary support to the University of Houston. UHAA is awarding the student body the Chairs Award for the significant role students have played in making improvements to the University’s culture, diversity, experience and external profile over the past five years.

The Outstanding Volunteer award is nominated and selected by the UHAA/alumni relations staff. All of the other honorees are nominated by alumni and the general public and presented to the UHAA awards committee, which selects the honorees and presents them to the UHAA Board of Directors.

For more information on UHAA or any of its programming, please visit www.houstonalumni.com or call 713-743-9550. For more information on the 61st Annual Awards Gala, please visit http://houstonalumni.com/awards.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Maria Corrales gone from FOX 26 KRIV

FOX 26 KRIV multimedia journalist Maria Corrales exits station

Maria Corrales
Maria Corrales
It appears that FOX 26 KRIV multimedia journalist Maria Corrales is no longer with the FOX owned Houston television station.

Her bio has been wiped from the station's website, her station Facebook page deleted. There has been no activity for a few days on her Twitter account.

Corrales joined KRIV in February of 2014 after more than eight years with Univision 45 KXLN where she worked both as a reporter and producer.

Before that, Corrales worked as a media specialist/bilingual spokesperson for Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston. She interned for both Telemundo 47 KTMD and KTRK abc13.

She was raised in Houston, graduating from Milby High School and the University of Houston.

I contacted KRIV reps a few days ago to find out more information. Will let you know if I hear back from them.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Media tour of New York

Photos of stuff from NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN in New York

If I'm going to Manhattan, then you can expect me to hit some of the big time media hot spots! Here are some of my Instagram favorites from the past week.

A photo posted by mike mcguff (@mikemcguff) on

A photo posted by mike mcguff (@mikemcguff) on

A photo posted by mike mcguff (@mikemcguff) on

A photo posted by mike mcguff (@mikemcguff) on

A video posted by mike mcguff (@mikemcguff) on


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Houston TV anchor in space, Chronicle wins Pulitzer plus way more


MORE VIDEO
- Britt McHenry Berates Parking Lot Clerk, ESPN Reporter Insults Tow Attendant
- Chita Johnson plays with Darby Douglas' most valued possession
- The News is Broken
- Dallas TV Stations Help Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer
- News 4 SA Today Mug 2015
- Anthony Yanez debuts augmented reality weather

Meteorologist Julie Bologna leaves Gannett8
WFAA 8 meteorologist Julie Bologna is mapping out a new course and has left the Dallas-based station after a three-year stay.

CBS11 vet Stephanie Lucero soon will no longer be reporting for duty
CBS11 reporter Stephanie Lucero, who joined the D-FW station in 1997, has “decided to follow my heart and move in a new direction,” she said on her Facebook page.

Dallas anchor in selfie heaven
WFAA anchor Shelly Slater meets stars at American Country Music awards were in Dallas.

You Stay Classy, Dallas
How a Texas Sports Anchor Became an Internet Sensation.

Former WFAA reporter Janet St. James diagnosed with breast cancer
Janet St. James, who spent nearly 19 years as a medical reporter with WFAA, has been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

WFAA's Carla Wade on loss and the Oklahoma City bombing
WFAA's Carla Wade on loss and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Chris Ryan Leaving KEGL
CHRIS RYAN, the PD/midday host for iHEARTMEDIA Classic Rock KEGL (97.1 THE EAGLE)/DALLAS, announced his departure from the Rock station he's been heard on for the past 20 years.

Crystal Vasquez joinS DFW TV sports team
FOX 4 KDFW is adding to its sports department with the hiring of Crystal Vasquez. She arrives from Amarillo’s KVII-TV.

WBAP's Alan Scaia blogs about car-crash recovery
You may or may not recall that in December, Alan Scaia, morning-drive reporter for WBAP/820 AM, was one of three people injured in a head-on collision in Wise County.

KDGE's Jessie Jessup Drawings Turned Into Toy Dolls
IHEARTMEDIA Alternative KDGE (102.1 THE EDGE)/DALLAS afternooner JESSIE JESSUP has a new obsession in BUDSIES.COM, which turns drawings into actual toy dolls.

The Dallas Morning News is building data (and sources) through its new Rolodex tool
The open-source tool lets reporters contribute contacts to a centralized newsroom collection of sources — but it can also be used to build larger reader-facing data products.

Will Gannett's Decision to Split Pay Off in the Future?
For quite some time now, Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Analyst Report) has been making endeavors to expand its presence in broadcasting and digital products with the aim of lowering its dependency on soft print media business and traditional advertising, therefore reducing susceptibility to economic conditions.

Chronicle's Falkenberg wins Pulitzer for Commentary
Houston Chronicle Metro columnist Lisa Falkenberg was named winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, one of 14 awards announced Monday in the most prestigious contest in American journalism.

Houston Anchor Takes One Big Step for News
Forget going “big market,” KHOU‘s Lily Jang can say she’s anchored in space.

CultureMap makes personnel changes, refines news coverage
Shelby Hodge has been promoted from editor-at-large to executive editor-at-large, and Eric Sandler, who covered restaurant and bar news for CultureMap, has been promoted to food editor for Houston.

Bo Money To Program iHM's KQBT
iHeartMedia/Houston has announced that Bo Money is the new Program Director at Urban KQBT-93.7 FM The Beat.

Hot 97/New York Lands Megan Ryte For Middays
EMMIS Top 40/Rhythmic WQHT (HOT 97)/NEW YORK inks DJ, radio and television personality MEGAN RYTE to handle middays at HOT. RYTE relocates to NEW YORK from HOUSTON, where she has worked for several RADIO ONE stations since 2013, including KMJQ and KBXX.

Former Houston radio show host Edd Hendee injured in plane crash
The pilot is former KSEV radio show host Edd Hendee. He and his two passengers were taken to a Lufkin hospital for treatment.

Good audience on Root Sports Southwest, ESPN for Astros opener
The Astros’ first regular-season game telecast on Root Sports Southwest, which made the games available to DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers for the first time since 2012, paid immediate audience dividends.

LAFF Rolls Out Across Multiple Platforms
Nation's First Comedy-Driven Broadcast Television Network Licenses Spin City, Launches in Houston (KTRK abc13) NY, LA, Chicago & Other Major Markets

Disney/ABC Television Group Announces Transition to an IP-Based "Virtual Master Control" for Linear Broadcast Operations
This marks a significant evolution in Disney/ABC Television Group's (owner of KTRK abc13) broadcast operations, and establishes a foundation for how broadcast programming could be made, moved, managed, and monetized in the coming years.

S.A. anchors quietly tie the knot
TV anchor lovebirds Isis Romero of KSAT and Phil Anaya of KENS recently tied the knot in San Antonio in a fun but intimate ceremony with about 80 family members and close friends in attendance.

KVUE becomes first Austin TV station to win Peabody Award
KVUE became the first television station in Austin to be honored with a Peabody Award.

Lamas named EP at KEYE
Ana María Lamas has started a new job as Executive Producer at KEYE-TV, the Sinclair-owned CBS affiliate in Austin.

Fonseca hired as MMJ at KVDA
Daniel Fonseca has left KAKW-62 Univision Austin, where he was Executive Producer for the past year, to take on a new job as an on-air Multimedia Journalist at KVDA-60 Telemundo San Antonio.

Chiecchi starts at El Paso Times
Dino Chiecchi is now Managing Editor for presentation and website for the El Paso Times.

Amarillo Station to Debut New Look
Viewers of Amarillo ABC affiliate KVII will see a new look, signaling larger changes at the station.

Lufkin sports anchor goes to prom
Hudson (Texas) Prom 2015 will be one to be remembered for members of the Hornets' Boys Basketball team, but in particular for their manager who took KTRE Sports Director Laura Sadler to prom.

MOVING

Denise Davis leaves the KTRK abc13 assignments desk after more than 15 years to become the assignments desk manager at KHOU 11.

Marisol Gonzalez joins KZTV Action 10 News Corpus Christi as a reporter.

KTXS Abilene's Dora Miller joins CBS 2/Fox 28 Cedar Rapids, IA as a reporter.

Univision Local Media announced the appointment of Angela Navarrete to general manager and director of Sales of Univision stations in El Paso.

REMEMBERING

Bert Shipp, legendary WFAA-TV newsman, dies at 85
Bert Nicolo Shipp and Dallas broadcast journalism came of age together in the 1960s. He was a pioneer who helped shape the medium as it evolved.
- Legendary WFAA newsman Bert Shipp dies at 85

UH Mourns Loss of Professor William Hawes
William Hawes groomed a number of broadcasters including KPRC Ch. 2 anchor Dominique Sachse, Houston Rockets announcer Bill Worrell, film producer Terry Jastrow and sports commentator Jim Nantz.

Alfred T. "Fred" King III,
Alfred T. "Fred" King III worked at The Houston Post as a copy editor and assistant editor of the editorial page for 18 years. Fred also was a public information officer for the Houston Police Department from 1994 to 2000, and he was the communications coordinator at the Harris County District Clerk's Office from 2000 to 2008. He was a communications specialist and manager at the Harris County Tax Office from 2008 to 2011.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Where is Dominique Sachse?
- KBTX 3 Bryan-College Station announces new anchor lineup
- Russ McCaskey joins CBS 11 KTVT DFW
- Phillip Mena leaves KPRC for ABC News
- Seeing a space shuttle in NY, mourning Houston's loss
- Keli Rabon joins KTRK abc13 from KMGH
- I got offered munchies from a CNN NY marijuana truck #highprofits
- 'Sabado Gigante' ends run after 53 years on the air
- Jeremy Desel is leaving TV news
- KHOU's Jack Acosta becomes KENS San Antonio news director



Monday, April 20, 2015

KHOU's Jack Acosta becomes KENS San Antonio news director

KHOU 11 assistant news director Jack Acosta heads to San Antonio for KENS news director job

Jack Acosta
Jack Acosta
KHOU 11 assistant news director Jack Acosta is leaving Houston for the news director gig at KENS San Antonio. Both stations are owned by Gannett.

"KENS is a great station with great people and a great history," Acosta told mikemcguff.com. "I'm excited to be part of what is going to be a great future."

Acosta is really into news. While at a wedding in Maryland this past weekend, he tweeted video of a shooting incident aftermath. Then back in Houston on the way from the airport, he tweeted video of the big storm we saw last night.

TV management has been criticized in the past for mandating social media coverage, but having no clue how to do it themselves. Acosta clearly knows TV news and social media.

Acosta originally came to KHOU as a producer in 2005, worked his way to EP and then assistant news director. Before KHOU, he was a producer at WABC New York. Before the Big Apple, Acosta was at Houston's KTRK abc13 as a producer.

As I blogged here in 2013, Acosta was voted in as the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters (TAPB) TV Vice President.

Acosta replaces Triston Sanders who left KENS to be a consultant for Frank N. Magid Associates.

RELATED
Jeremy Desel is leaving TV news


Friday, April 17, 2015

Jeremy Desel is leaving TV news

KHOU 11's Jeremy Desel is leaving TV for NRG

Jeremy Desel
Jeremy Desel
Houston TV is losing one heck of a reporter.

KHOU 11's Jeremy Desel is leaving the television biz after covering big stories and earning a ton of journalism awards for his work.

I never met Desel personally, but always admired his storytelling ability.

That part of his craft earned him 21 EMMY awards (including four for best writing), a national Edward R. Murrow Award, more than 50 Associated Press awards in Texas and a host of various reporter of the year awards.

Now Desel will take storytelling into the public relations world as a communications executive for NRG.

"I cannot express my excitement about this new endeavor with NRG," Desel told mikemcguff.com. "Telling a new story in a new way will be amazing. The experiences and stories I have been blessed to tell in my 16 years at KHOU will never be forgotten."

"This is a great chance for him to try something fresh and devote himself in a new way to his family," KHOU Executive News Director Philip Bruce said in an internal memo obtained by mikemcguff.com. "Anyone who knows Jeremy recognizes that he’s always put them first. Now that he’s leaving the circus and becoming a normal person, it should be a lot easier for him and them."

Desel probably needs more normal hours for his family too. As you've probably read on my blog, Desel and his wife have four kids!

Before Houston, Desel worked as a reporter/anchor at KATU Portland, KDRV Medford, OR and WAGM Northern Maine.

RELATED
- Secrets on how to jump from media to PR from those who've successfully done it
- PR pro offers advice for journalists entering public relations
- KHOU's Jack Acosta becomes KENS San Antonio news director

'Sabado Gigante' ends run after 53 years on the air

Don Francisco's legendary Sabado Gigante ends run after 53 years

Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, today announced that after an incredible run of more than 53 years, Univision Network’s top-rated variety show, “Sábado Gigante” (Giant Saturday), hosted and created by Don Francisco, will end its current cycle on Sept. 19, 2015 to coincide with the end of the 2014-2015 broadcast television season.

Don Francisco will continue contributing to the Univision Network with new projects and by hosting entertainment specials and campaigns such as “TeletónUSA,” which is held every year on behalf of disabled children. He will also take part in Univision’s ongoing efforts to look for and develop new on-air talent and professionals.

Ever since “Sábado Gigante” first launched in 1962 on Chile’s Channel 13, Mario Kreutzberger (Don Francisco) has been capturing the hearts of his loyal viewers, making important contributions to the development of families and delivering entertainment as creator and host of a program that has beat all broadcasting longevity records.

Thanks to the tireless work of Don Francisco and his team of professionals, who have creatively adapted to the changes in television over more than half a century, the show is still No. 1 on Saturday nights among Hispanics and has made history in the U.S. television industry. There’s no doubt that the dynamic mix of humor, amateur talent contests, audience games, human-interest stories, celebrity interviews, emotional family reunions, and the presence of some of the biggest Latin music stars have granted “Sábado Gigante” over the past five decades the privilege of becoming an indisputable milestone in the history of international television.

“During my 40 years in the industry I have met few people with the same energy, creativity and passion for television and the audience as Mario, and I join in celebrating him and his team at ‘Sábado Gigante’ for the great success and the milestones achieved in broadcast television,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc. “Mario is an important part of the Univision family, and his knowledge of the industry and commitment to innovation will help us to continue defining the future of the media industry.”

Alberto Ciurana, president of Programming and Content for Univision Communications Inc., commented, “Mario is one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world and has been an innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career. Mario’s uncanny ability to connect with audiences has transformed how we look at variety shows and allowed ‘Sábado Gigante’ to endure the test of time, making it not only Univision’s longest-running program, but also the longest-running variety series in television history. For so many in the Spanish-speaking community, Don Francisco’s weekly three-hour show defines Saturday evening entertainment, and I want to thank him and the incredible team for their outstanding work.”

Ciurana continued, “We are so thankful to have Mario as part of the Univision family. We are grateful that he will be continuing his relationship with us on upcoming Network specials and through ongoing support of our talent development programs. ‘Sábado Gigante’ will forever be a staple in Hispanic television history, and we join Mario’s fans in wishing him all the best as he enters his next chapter.”

Said Mario Kreutzberger, “I’m excited to share with the audience this announcement, with which we’re starting to bring to a close the 53-year cycle of ‘Sábado Gigante,’ 30 of which were possible thanks to Univision in the United States. There is no doubt that they have been fundamental in my professional development and in my personal and family life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Católica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our ‘Sábado Gigante’ into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week. I have no words to thank our viewers for the support, loyalty and enthusiasm with which they have honored us through the years and which have allowed the show to become an unprecedented success in the history of this medium. Special and warm thanks to the outstanding production team, technicians, artists and behind-the-scenes collaborators, because without their efforts and sacrifice, we would have never reached this impressive goal. Over the past five decades, hundreds of professionals have been part of our ‘Sábado Gigante’ team, which allowed for the first 24 years of accolades in Chile, and the following 30 years of success in the United States and the world.”

Kreutzberger added: “From the start we made sure to ask, ‘What does the audience want?!’ And we have worked tirelessly for precisely that audience, with the utmost dedication, humility and deep respect. I have no words to acknowledge all the recognition and applause that we have received over the years. When we began in the United States in 1986, we told them that we were ‘separated by distance and united by the same language.’ Today I can say with great pride and satisfaction that that distance turned into closeness and affection. To all those who joined us by tuning in to ‘Sábado Gigante’ with their constructive criticism, work and loyalty, I would like to say from the bottom of my heart and in capital letters, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”

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



Thursday, April 16, 2015

I got offered munchies from a CNN NY marijuana truck #highprofits

Cannabis meets capitalism: CNN brings out New York weed truck to promote series "High Profits"

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I continue to take a bite out of the Big Apple this week with a total surprise.

As I walked along the perimeter of Central Park from the Upper West Side to midtown Manhattan Monday morning, I noticed an odd looking delivery truck in the shadow of the CNN New York building.

What could have been a former UPS or FedEx van was sitting there with marijuana leaf graphics on it. Turns out it was a big promotion for an upcoming CNN series this Sunday night called High Profits.

Two men inside had on aprons with the name of the show on them and offered me munchies like chips and a brownie. No, I don’t think these were “medical” in nature.

The man pictured above, Nick Stetz, is an account executive with Modern Communications. The agency creates this type of pop-up marketing. He said they would be moving it around the city to promote the show.

Houston doesn't get this level of promotion often, although I have spotted a few instances in my time. I'm guessing since New York and Los Angeles have such giant populations, you’ll see more of these kind of stunts in TV markets number one and two than most other places.

You can keep track of what I’ve seen in New York through my Instagram or Facebook accounts.



Keli Rabon joins KTRK abc13 from KMGH

KTRK abc13 grabs Keli Rabon (formerly of KVUE) as investigative reporter from KMGH Denver

Keli Rabon
Keli Rabon
In the last few years, it's been a rough road for the 13 Undercover unit. After the ratings highs and big time journalism awards earned during the 27 year run of the Wayne Dolcefino era, came the lows after Wayne-O's messy divorce with KTRK abc13.

The station tried replacing Dolcefino with WOAI's investigative guru Brian Collister but that relationship only ended up lasting around a year. Collister hightailed it out of the Disney ABC Television Group station to Austin's KXAN.

------------
UPDATE
A reader wrote in about Ted Oberg and why I did not mention him in this post originally. Oberg is a great reporter and does fantastic investigative work, but he also covers other issues, and is not branded as 13 Undercover. I've always felt Oberg is his own entity, separate from Dolcefino and Collister.
------------

Now to get the 13 unit back on track, comes Schulenburg, TX raised investigative reporter Keli Rabon (if ever in Schulenburg, stop by Frank's Restaurant).

Rabon is wrapping up her time at Denver's KMGH where she's been a part of the CALL7 Investigators team since 2012. Denver must be quite the investigative TV market, since KPRC hired KUSA 9News' Jace Larson in 2013.

“I was having to choose between one family and another family,” Rabon told Denver Post television critic Joanne Ostrow. “In the end, Houston was where I felt like I need to be. It was the hardest decision of my life. I haven’t had a good night sleep in weeks.”

If the name Rabon sounds familiar to readers of my blog, that's because before Denver, she was the Chief Investigative Reporter at KVUE in Austin for less than a year.

Before Austin, Rabon worked as an investigative reporter for WREG Memphis. She was also previously a reporter at WLOX Biloxi/Gulfport/Pascagoula in Mississippi.

Rabon interned for both Fox News and WOAI San Antonio and is a graduate of Texas Lutheran University.

The Denver Post reports we should, "keep an eye out for Rabon's reporting to turn up on ABC in the future."

Maybe Rabon will follow in KPRC weekend anchor Phillip Mena's ABC News laid footsteps.

Tough Questions from Keli Rabon on Vimeo.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seeing a space shuttle in NY, mourning Houston's loss

Houston battled to bring home a space shuttle, but lost to New York

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As you might have read earlier, it’s mikemcguff.com from New York this week. You can keep track of what I’ve seen through my Instagram or Facebook accounts.

One of my Big Apple missions was to see the one that got away. I’m not talking about a girl, but a space shuttle.

What? A guy from Houston, home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which served as mission control for the space shuttle program, has to go all the way to NYC to actually see one?

That would be the case. And the Enterprise, the shuttle in NY, is actually just a prototype. Still, good enough for Houston.

Don’t get me wrong, Space Center Houston now has a full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the shuttle called Independence. It's better than nothing, but don't you think the home of JSC should have an actual one?

First off, this is not an attack on New York. I love the city. And there is certainly nothing wrong with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum where Enterprise now lives.

The museum is housed in a former World War II era aircraft carrier that survived several kamikaze attacks. There is a cool multimedia exhibit that brings this part of its history to life. You can also see vintage helicopters and jet fighters like the F-14 Tomcat, you know, the one Maverick flew in Top Gun.

So among these vintage helicopters and planes is the space shuttle.

In 2011, Our politicians waged a valiant fight to bring a shuttle home to Houston as the program was being retired. Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett held a rally to gain support.

There was even a war of words between Houston Congressman Ted Poe and New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The powerful Senator won that battle.

"And I say to the people in Houston, when people all around the world in London and Tokyo and Paris and Buenos Aires say, 'Gee, I can't wait for my trip to Houston,' then you can have a shuttle," Schumer told a group of reporters back then. "Until then it's staying in New York."

The Enterprise is inside a hangar on top of the aircraft carrier museum. You have to pay extra to see it. Sunday evening, when I tried to buy a ticket, the museum’s staff actually told me I should just come back Monday. I persisted and finally got a ticket along with the other would be patrons behind me.

Heading straight to the shuttle building on the top deck, I noticed one of the first words you see upon entering is the name "Houston" mentioned in the inescapable space slogan associated with our fair city.

Once inside, the majesty of the Enterprise is very apparent. You have to climb stairs to get to the top level to be eye level with the cockpit. While you can’t go inside, this is your chance to really see it up close and get a photo.

Once you get your selfie, you go back down the stairs to see the exhibit which is directly underneath the shuttle. It includes facts and dates about the shuttle program and even an old Russian Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft.

The entire exhibit looks good and serves as a introduction to the retired space vehicle program, but I couldn't help but think a tour of NASA’s JSC could go really well with this experience.

Clearly I wasn't the only one thinking about my hometown when I left the exhibit. I heard a kid say over and over to himself “Houston” as we were going down the stairs.

Couldn't agree with you more kid.