Judy Maggio returning to Austin’s airwaves

Judy Maggio
Judy Maggio

One of the city’s most-beloved broadcasters is returning to Austin’s airwaves.

In her new role as KLRU’s news and public affairs editorial director, you won’t see Judy Maggio every night on the local PBS affiliate, but she will pop up on special broadcasts from time to time.

“Now more than ever we know our audiences want to see more local news and public affairs programming on KLRU,” said Sara Robertson, the station’s vice president for production and technology. “And as a locally owned and operated media organization we are uniquely positioned to do this. Having Judy on our team will help us do more to serve our community and tell more stories that matter.”

Maggio’s upcoming contributions will augment KLRU’s already robust local programming lineup, which features “Austin City Limits,” “Arts in Context,” “Central Texas Gardener,” “Civic Summit” and “Overheard with Evan Smith,” as well as national PBS news shows such as “NewsHour” and “Frontline.”

Maggio is well known to Central Texas viewers. She anchored at ABC affiliate KVUE from 1981 to 2003, followed by a stint at CBS affiliate KEYE from 2003 to 2014. After retiring from KEYE, Maggio spent time traveling and volunteering for local organizations, as well as heading up the Engage Breakfast Series for Leadership Austin.

“This is a watershed time in journalism,” Maggio said. “Finding and exploring new ways to engage people in news and issues that truly matter in this community is incredibly exciting, especially at a respected PBS station like KLRU.”

The expansion of KLRU’s news and public affairs program was made possible, the station said, by the Still Water Foundation and a gift from Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin.

From the archives: KEYE’s Maggio prepares to wrap up 33-year TV career

Judy Maggio joins Leadership Austin team

Judy Maggio retired from KEYE in May.
Judy Maggio retired from KEYE in May 2014.

After a year of traveling, relaxing and reconnecting with family and friends, former KEYE anchor Judy Maggio is re-entering the workforce.

Maggio, who spent more than three decades delivering the news to Central Texans before retiring last May, has been tapped to head Leadership Austin’s Engage Breakfast Series.

The breakfasts feature a variety of speakers discussing topics of local interest, such as upcoming elections, the economy, education and social services.

“I’ll help take an unbiased look at all the issues facing the city,” Maggio said in a post on Leadership Austin’s website. “We will gather different perspectives and engage the community – just as I did as a reporter.”

Maggio is the perfect pick to lead Engage, according to Leadership Austin CEO Christopher Kennedy.

“Judy is well-versed on the complex issues Central Texas faces, and we’re incredibly pleased she will help make the connections for our Leadership Austin alumni and non-alums with the top experts and policymakers who are tackling these issues,” he said.

Engage is held monthly at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. General admission tickets are $25. For more details, visit leadershipaustin.org.

2014 year in review: Busy year for local TV

Judy Maggio retired from KEYE in May.
Judy Maggio retired from KEYE in May.

It’s been a busy year on the TV beat.

We waved goodbye to well-known newscasters and watched as our friends and neighbors were featured on a host of nationally televised shows, among other things.

Here’s a look at some of the year’s biggest local TV stories.

Judy Maggio retires: After 33 years anchoring the news at both KVUE and, more recently, KEYE, Maggio retired in May.

Since leaving, Maggio has spent the past several months traveling, volunteering and enjoying live music around town.

Hema Mullur, a University of Texas graduate who most recently worked in Denver, was hired to take Maggio’s spot alongside Walt Maciborski on KEYE’s 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Other TV departures: Several other familiar faces also left Austin stations in 2014, including KEYE weekend anchor Deeda Payton, KVUE morning anchor Jessica Vess, KXAN meteorologist Natalie Stoll and KVUE meteorologists Andrew Chung and Ilona McCauley.

LIN Media merger: Austin-based LIN Media, owner of about 50 TV stations nationwide, was gobbled up by Media General, a Virginia-based broadcaster, in a $1.6 billion merger finalized this month.

The deal gave Media General three Austin stations: NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO.

TV news ratings: KVUE and KXAN continue to be the stations to beat in the Nielsen ratings.

KVUE spent most of the year in first place mornings and at 10 p.m., while KXAN is the usual No. 1 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Middays, a spot KVUE typically wins, went to KXAN during the most recent “sweeps” period.

Austin on TV: It’s no secret TV producers love Austin. That was especially evident in 2014, when “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Daily Show” and “Watch What Happens Live” all taped here.

Reality TV, meanwhile, continues to mine our city for talent, with locals popping up most recently on “The Real World” and “Undercover Boss.”

Lifestyle shows: Two Austin TV stations launched lifestyle shows this year.

The shows — KEYE’s “We Are Austin” and KXAN’s “Studio 512” — differ from traditional newscasts, in part, because local businesses can pay to be featured in segments.

Eye-opening tweet: Time Warner Cable News got some unwanted international attention after tweeting out a traffic update that included four images of nude men.

The cable news outlet quickly issued an apology and yanked down the tweet, but not before screengrabs started circulating online. Oops.

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

Next week, we’ll tackle radio.