Fox 7 hires new weeknight news anchor

Rebecca Thomas (Twitter photo)
Rebecca Thomas (Twitter photo)

KTBC’s Mike Warren is getting a new co-anchor.

Rebecca Thomas will join Warren for the Fox-owned station’s 5 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts beginning Sept. 21.

She fills the spot vacated by Christine Haas, who left earlier this summer to start her own business.

Most recently, Thomas was at KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix. She also worked for Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV, as well as stations in Palm Springs, Calif.; and Yuma, Ariz.

Thomas is a graduate of San Diego State University.

“Storytelling is my passion and I look forward to telling the stories of the people in this vibrant community,” she said.

KEYE to return to Dish Network lineup

KEYE airs CBS and Telemundo programming in Austin. (Image courtesy of KEYE)
KEYE airs CBS and Telemundo programming in Austin. (Image courtesy of KEYE)

Dish Network says it has reached a new deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group, clearing the way for more than 100 local TV stations nationwide to be restored to the satellite provider’s lineup.

In Austin, Dish Network customers lost Sinclair-owned KEYE, leaving them without access to CBS and Telemundo programming.

Terms of the new agreement were not released.

The blackout, which lasted about 24 hours, affected stations in 79 cities, according to Dish Network.

Austin broadcasters react to murders of Roanoke reporter, photographer

This morning’s horrific murders of two journalists during a live broadcast have sent shockwaves through the tight-knit TV news business.

Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed by a former co-worker, according to published reports. They worked for WDBJ-TV, the CBS affiliate for Roanoke, Va.

Journalists across the nation took to social media to mourn the two, including many news managers, anchors and reporters in Austin.

Here’s a sampling:

KEYE gone from Dish Network lineup

KEYE airs CBS and Telemundo programming in Austin. (Image courtesy of KEYE)
KEYE airs CBS and Telemundo programming in Austin. (Image courtesy of KEYE)

Dozens of local TV stations nationwide, including Austin’s KEYE, have been dropped from the Dish Network lineup.

The stations are operated by Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The move leaves a number of Central Texans without access to programming from CBS and Telemundo, which KEYE carries on a digital subchannel.

Cable and satellite TV providers must get permission to carry local stations via a retransmission agreement. Typically, the agreements require companies such as Dish to pay stations a monthly per-subscriber fee.

The deal between Dish and Sinclair actually expired earlier this month, but the two sides had agreed to a brief extension. That extension ended at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to posts on several Sinclair websites.

In addition to Austin, several other Texas cities have lost Sinclair stations, including San Antonio, where the company operates the NBC, Fox and CW affiliates.

KBVO to televise 11 Austin-area high school football games

The Westwood High School football team practices on Aug. 11. (Henry Huey photo / For the Round Rock Leader)
The Westwood High School football team practices on Aug. 11. (Henry Huey photo / For the Round Rock Leader)

The fall schedule for Austin TV station KBVO includes a heaping helping of high school football.

The MyNetworkTV affiliate will air 11 games this season, kicking things off this Thursday with the Taco Shack Bowl featuring McCallum and Anderson.

Roger Wallace, sports director for sister station KXAN, will call the games alongside Steve Gideon and Keith Moreland.

The broadcasts will also be live-streamed at kxan.com.

The full schedule:

  • Aug. 27, 7:30 p.m.: McCallum vs. Anderson
  • Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m.: Westwood vs. Anderson
  • Sept. 10, 7 p.m.: Cedar Park vs. Westwood
  • Sept. 17, 7 p.m.: Hendrickson vs. Westwood
  • Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Bastrop vs. Travis
  • Oct. 1, 7 p.m.: Waco High vs. Connally
  • Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.: LBJ vs. McCallum
  • Oct. 15, 7 p.m.: Rouse vs. McNeil
  • Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.: Del Valle vs. Austin High
  • Oct. 29, 7 p.m.: Rouse vs. Stony Point
  • Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.: Del Valle vs. Bowie

Austin radio host lands on-air gig at Longhorn Network

Alex Loeb (ESPN photo)
Alex Loeb (ESPN photo)

Austin radio host Alex Loeb is heading to the Longhorn Network.

It’s a return to TV for Loeb, who has previously worked for ESPN, which operates the Austin-based cable channel. For the past year, he’s been heard middays on 104.9 The Horn.

Loeb’s first day at LHN will be Aug. 31.

His duties will include hosting “Longhorn Extra: Upon Further Review,” the network’s football post-game show airing Monday nights. He’ll also handle play-by-play for some of the 175 live University of Texas sporting events carried each year.

“Alex has established credibility with the Texas fan base and terrific skills as an in-depth interviewer,” said Tom McCollum, LHN’s coordinating producer. “He fits a unique skill set required to serve Longhorn Network viewers.”

Loeb joins an on-air team at LHN that includes host Lowell Galindo, who has been with the network since it launched in 2011, and reporter Jane Slater.

Fun fact: Loeb is married to KVUE morning and midday anchor Yvonne Nava.

New Longhorn Network ads debut today

With college football season just around the corner, the Longhorn Network today rolled out a slate of new commercials to promote its offerings.

The Austin-based cable network created the four ads featuring Charlie Strong, Shaka Smart, Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and Roger Clemens in collaboration with Preacher, a locally based ad agency. They were filmed in the Hill Country.

“We wanted to build upon the spirit of last year’s award-winning ‘All the Live Long Day’ campaign by incorporating head coaches and more Longhorn legends that fans love,” said Jill Husak, LHN’s director of marketing. “These folks brought authenticity and personality to the campaign, while the fans’ passion on set brought The 41st Acre to life. Longhorn fans will enjoy seeing the coaches and legends in unexpected and fun ways.”

Check them out:

5 p.m. anchor Jim Bergamo retiring from KVUE

Jim Bergamo (KVUE photo)
Jim Bergamo (KVUE photo)
Jim Bergamo will retire from the TV news business next week, wrapping up a 36-year broadcast career.

His final day on the air will be Aug. 21. The following week, he’ll start a new job with the Pulte Group, working as a sales consultant in Georgetown’s Sun City development.

“I’m eagerly looking forward to the next chapter,” Bergamo said. “I’m very happy with what I’ve been able to do over the years and I’m very blessed to have KVUE be the last stop in my run.”

For the past nine years, Bergamo has worked at KVUE, where he currently co-anchors the 5 p.m. news with Quita Culpepper and serves as the station’s medical reporter. Before jumping to KVUE, he worked at two other Austin stations: KEYE and KXAN.

Bergamo got his start in 1979 as the weekend sportscaster at station KPLC in Lake Charles, La., where he – coincidentally – worked alongside Robert Hadlock, who now anchors KXAN’s evening newscasts. Other stops on Bergamo’s road to Austin included cities such as New Orleans, Houston and Miami, as well as network broadcasts on ABC and ESPN.

“KVUE has been wonderful to me. The management here has been wonderful,” Bergamo said. “But a lot of businesses are changing – not just broadcast news – and I feel like this is no longer a business for a guy like me. I feel like it’s time to go in a different direction.”

After a career spent bouncing around the U.S., Bergamo says he’s excited to be able to stay in Central Texas – a part of the country he’s grown to love.

“The viewers here have always been wonderful, so receptive,” he said. “That’s why my wife and I decided a long time ago to stay in Central Texas.”

Fox 7 hires new weekend meteorologist

chelsea
Chelsea Humphrey (Facebook photo)

Fox-owned KTBC has wrapped up its search for a new weekend meteorologist.

Chelsea Humphrey will join the station later this month, taking over the spot vacated by Scott Prinsen, who left for a job outside the TV business.

Prinsen had been at the station for almost 11 years.

Humphrey has worked as a meteorologist at KTXS, the ABC affiliate in Abilene, but most recently she served as a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation.

“Growing up in Marion, Texas, I would watch the weather every day with my grandmother,” Humphrey said. “There was nothing more exciting than the rush I’d feel right before a thunderstorm swept in. Central Texas has everything a meteorologist could ask for: springtime thunderstorms, occasional ice and snow, tropical systems, and of course, the heatwaves. I’ve been fascinated by it ever since I was a young girl.”

Humphrey, a graduate of Texas A&M, is set to make her on-air debut on or around Aug. 24. She’ll be seen on the weekend editions of “Good Day Austin” from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, as well as the station’s weekend evening newscasts.

July TV ratings: KXAN is the station to beat

KXAN's newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
KXAN’s newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

In depth. Investigative. And now firmly in the lead.

NBC affiliate KXAN, which has built a reputation in recent years for its investigations and special reports, was the station to beat in July, with the top-rated 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts in Central Texas, according to Nielsen.

Last July, the story was much different, with KVUE leading in three of those time slots – at 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. This time around, the ABC affiliate’s only outright win was at 4:30 a.m.

Middays, KXAN and KVUE are essentially tied.

Also worth noting:

  • ABC’s “Good Morning America” is the network morning show of choice in Central Texas, followed by NBC’s “Today.” Meanwhile, the audience for “CBS This Morning” continues to grow, with the broadcast posting some of its strongest numbers in recent memory.
  • “NBC Nightly News” rules the 5:30 p.m. time slot, followed by “ABC World News” and then “CBS Evening News.”
  • At 9 p.m., KTBC’s newscast leads KNVA’s broadcast, but the gap is narrowing.
  • NBC is the top-rated network in primetime in Austin, followed by ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW and MyNetworkTV.

July is one of four “sweeps” periods each year. The others are February, May and November. Ratings during these months are used to set advertising rates.

July Nielsen ratings                                                  

Each ratings point equals 7,293 Central Texas households. The first number is ratings points, the second is share (the percentage of in-use TV sets tuned to a particular channel) and the third is total households.

4:30 a.m.

  • KVUE: .5 / 4.7 / 3,647
  • KXAN: .4 / 4.3 / 2,917
  • KEYE: .3 / 2.9 / 2,188
  • KTBC: .3 / 2.9 / 2,188

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.3 / 10.7 / 9,481
  • KVUE: 1.2 / 9.5 / 8,752
  • KTBC: .6 / 4.8 / 4,376
  • KEYE: .4 / 3.5 / 2,917

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.3 / 14.4 / 16,774
  • KVUE: 1.7 / 10.8 / 12,398
  • KTBC: 1.7 / 10.5 / 12,398
  • KEYE: .6 / 4 / 4,376

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.7 / 8.8 / 12,398
  • KNVA: .2 / 1 / 1,459

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.4 / 7 / 10,210

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: .9 / 4.5 / 6,564
  • KEYE: .9 / 4.3 / 6,564 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 1.8 / 7.5 / 13,127

Noon

  • KXAN: 1.8 / 7.1 / 13,127
  • KTBC: .7 / 2.6 / 5,105

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1 / 3.8 / 7,293 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5 / 13.7 / 36,465
  • KVUE: 3.6 / 9.7 / 26,255
  • KTBC: 1.6 / 4.1 / 11,669
  • KEYE: 1.4 / 3.9 / 10,210

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.1 / 15.3 / 44,487
  • KVUE: 4 / 10.1 / 29,172
  • KEYE: 1.7 / 4.3 / 12,398

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 1.9 / 4.1 / 13,857
  • KNVA: 1.1 / 2.3 / 8,022

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 4.3 / 10.2 / 31,360
  • KVUE: 4 / 9.4 / 29,172
  • KEYE: 2 / 4.8 / 14,586
  • KTBC: 1.6 / 3.8 / 11,669