New CBS Austin morning meteorologist starts Thursday

Nicole Hartford (KVII photo)

New CBS Austin morning meteorologist Nicole Hartford starts Thursday.

Hartford arrives from Amarillo’s ABC affiliate, KVII, where she’s spent the past two years.

Both KVII and CBS Austin are owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

A University of Miami graduate, Hartford has also worked in Grand Junction, Colo.

At CBS Austin, she replaces Jordan Steele, who left in February to handle weeknight weather duties at KING in Seattle.

“CBS Austin This Morning” airs from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays.

Jordan Steele leaving CBS Austin for Seattle gig

Jordan Steele (CBS Austin photo)
Jordan Steele (CBS Austin photo)

CBS Austin’s Jordan Steele will soon wave farewell to Central Texas viewers.

Steele, who handles weather duties on “CBS Austin This Morning” and co-hosts “We Are Austin,” is heading to Seattle, where he’ll deliver forecasts weeknights on KING-TV, the local NBC affiliate.

His final day at CBS Austin will be Feb. 28. The decision to leave was tough, Steele said.

“I planned on staying in Austin a long time. My wife did, too,” he said. “We love it here.”

But the Seattle opportunity, when it presented itself, was too good to pass up. In addition to delivering the weather weeknights, Steele says he hopes to do much, much more.

“I’m going to have the ability to be creative,” he said. “They want me to do more than just the weather. I love weather, but I want to keep growing and picking up new skills.”

That could include things such as appearances on KING’s lifestyle show or even specials.

“I’ve got ideas spilling out of my ears,” Steele said. “I’m looking forward to trying something new.”

Steele arrived at CBS Austin almost five years ago, starting on weekends before shifting to mornings about two years ago. The energetic meteorologist says he’ll miss his colleagues on the early shift – Allison Miller, Chris Saldaña and Chrisdyann Uribe – but is confident his replacement, when selected, will be able to slide right in with ease.

“We’ve really built this different morning show,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun. We’re like a family.”

Getting to co-host “We Are Austin” with Taylor Ellison was an added bonus, Steele said. The show explores Austin bars and restaurants, recreational opportunities, events and more.

Steele credits CBS Austin vice president and general manager Amy Villarreal with giving him the opportunity to explore his creative side on the show.

“Being able to be a part of that show has been an amazing blessing,” he said. “I’m able to be my own person, to be me.”

Personally and professionally, Steele said Austin has definitely left its mark on him and on his family.

“From now on, I think when people ask where I’m from, I just might say Austin because it’s made such an impression,” he said.

KXAN adds meteorologist to its weather team

Natalie Ferrari (KXAN photo)
Natalie Ferrari (KXAN photo)

There’s been yet another meteorologist switcheroo at one of Austin’s TV stations.

This time, it’s at KXAN, where Natalie Ferrari signed on over the holidays, handling weekend morning weather.

Ferrari arrives from KBTX, the CBS affiliate in Bryan/College Station. Before that, she spent time at a station in Abilene.

With her arrival, Rosie Newberry, who had been KXAN’s weekend morning meteorologist, slides to weekend evenings. Mark Monstrola vacated that spot when he took a job at the Fox affiliate in Denver late last year.

Ferrari’s hiring is the latest in flurry of weekend weather shifts at local stations in the past year. Newberry, for instance, arrived here in January 2015 from Columbia, Mo.

Over at KVUE, weekend evening meteorologist Lynae Miyer left and was replaced by weekend morning meteorologist Jared Plushnick. Plushnick’s replacement on the Saturday and Sunday early-bird shift is Nathan Gogo, who comes from Waco’s CBS affiliate.

KEYE added meteorologist Collin Myers to its weekend lineup after Jordan Steele shifted to the station’s weekday morning newscast and Fox-owned KTBC hired Chelsea Andrews to replace Scott Prinsen, who, like Miyer, left the TV business.

Got all that? Good.

KEYE names new ‘We Are Austin’ hosts

Jordan Steele
Jordan Steele
Taylor Ellison
Taylor Ellison

“We Are Austin” will get a pair of new hosts next week.

Jordan Steele and Taylor Ellison are set to take over KEYE’s 9 a.m. lifestyle show starting Monday, the station said.

They’ll take the place of current hosts Chris Saldaña and Allison Miller, who begin co-anchoring the CBS affiliate’s revamped morning newscast that same day.

Steele will also be a part of the new “KEYE-TV Morning News,” delivering weather forecasts. He most recently served as the station’s weekend meteorologist, a spot he’s held since 2012.

Ellison joined KEYE in December, and has been a regular “We Are Austin” contributor. Before that, she filed entertainment reports for local CW affiliate KNVA.

“The addition of Taylor and Jordan to ‘We Are Austin’ brings another group of talented hosts to our morning block,” said KEYE vice president and general manager Amy Villarreal. “The combination of their dynamic personalities along with their passion and love for Austin will make for a great show.”

KEYE debuts new morning anchor lineup on Feb. 16

keyeamnewsSome familiar faces will take on new roles later this month when KEYE revamps its morning newscast.

Chris Saldaña and Allison Miller will take over as anchors of “KEYE-TV Morning News” starting Feb. 16, the station said. The two currently co-host “We Are Austin,” KEYE’s 9 a.m. lifestyle program.

Miller also serves as the CBS affiliate’s morning meteorologist, but with her move to the anchor desk weekend meteorologist Jordan Steele will be taking over those duties.

Ericka Miller, the station’s current morning co-anchor, will remain on that broadcast, but take on a new role as the “Happening Now” anchor, handling breaking news and monitoring developing stories.

Hunter Ellis, the station’s other morning anchor, departed in December to focus on making documentaries. Reporter Alex Boyer had been filling in.

Ashley Roberts will continue to serve as traffic anchor while the station looks for a permanent replacement for Erica Brennes, who left earlier this month to take a job with tech startup RideScout.

When “KEYE-TV Morning News” relaunches, the station said it hopes to inject more personality into the broadcast, along with a stronger emphasis on social media.

“We’ll give our viewers what they need in the morning – news, traffic, weather – while adding bursts of what they want – more personality and opportunities to allow viewers to welcome us into their homes,” news director Rob Cartwright said.