KVUE meteorologist Jared Plushnick leaving at week’s end

KVUE weekend evening meteorologist Jared Plushnick is leaving the station at the end of this week, bound for Tennessee.

Plushnick, who joined KVUE in 2014 after working at the NBC affiliate in College Station, announced on Facebook that he’s been hired to be the morning meteorologist at WKRN in Nashville.

His final broadcast will be Friday, when he fills in on KVUE’s 11 a.m. newscast.

From his Facebook post: “To all of our loyal viewers…. I want to say THANK YOU for being the best! It is bittersweet that I announce that this will be my final week with KVUE. I have enjoyed each day working here and living in Austin. My wife and I made many life long friends. Texas will be very close to our hearts. Also, you….our fans, viewers, supporters have made my time here incredible.”

Jared Plushnick (KVUE photo)

KVUE adds morning traffic reporter

Anavid Reyes (KVUE photo)

KVUE’s morning team will be back at full strength soon with the addition of a new traffic anchor.

Anavid Reyes starts Monday, arriving from Abilene, where she worked for the city’s NBC and Telemundo affiliates. Her first day on air will be sometime in April, KVUE said.

“Getting to work in a city like Austin, which is growing and thriving at such an incredible rate, is riveting,” Reyes said. “I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in all that is Austin.”

She’ll join “Daybreak” news anchors Yvonne Nava and Bryan Mays, as well as recently hired meteorologist Erika Lopez.

“Anavid is a fantastic addition to the ‘Daybreak’ team,” Nava said. “She has such a positive and upbeat attitude and brings a lot of energy to our newscasts. We are so happy to have her join us.”

KVUE had previously relied on out-of-studio traffic reporters who were heard talking over maps, but never seen. More recently, the station’s meteorologists have been pulling double duty, temporarily handling both weather and traffic.

“Anavid walked into our studio for her interview and walked out with everyone’s respect,” KVUE news director Mike Redding said. “We all instantly knew she would be a great fit.”

February TV ratings: KXAN wins mornings and evenings

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

KXAN continues to be Austin’s No. 1 choice for TV news, winning virtually every head-to-head competition in February, according to the latest Nielsen ratings.

The city’s NBC affiliate took the top spot at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

At 4:30 a.m., KXAN and KVUE tied, while KVUE is home to Austin’s top-rated midday newscast.

KXAN’s margin of victory, in most cases, was well into the double digits, averaging 54 percent. Its 6 p.m. newscast had 80 percent more viewers than the No. 2 station and was watched by more people than the No. 2 and No. 3 stations combined.

Those numbers make KXAN one of the highest-rated NBC affiliates in the country, the station said.

“Each story KXAN investigated in February uncovered valuable information viewers couldn’t get anywhere else,” KXAN news director Chad Cross said. “This critical reporting affects your investments, safety and well-being. Viewers trust KXAN as their source for local news because we focus on what affects their lives.”

In primetime, NBC was the English-language network to beat in February, followed by CBS, ABC, Fox, The CW and then MyNetworkTV.

February Nielsen ratings

Each ratings point equals 7,712 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.

  • KXAN: .5 / 6 / 3,856
  • KVUE: .5 / 6 / 3,856
  • KTBC: .3 / 3.3 / 2,314
  • KEYE: .1 / 1.3 / 771

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.4 / 12.5 / 10,797
  • KVUE: 1 / 8.9 / 7,712
  • KEYE: .7 / 6.1 / 5,398
  • KTBC: .6 / 5.2 / 4,627

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.7 / 16.2 / 20,822
  • KVUE: 1.8 / 10.7 / 13,882
  • KTBC: 1.7 / 10.1 / 13,110
  • KEYE: .8 / 5.1 / 6,170

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 2.3 / 11.2 / 17,738
  • KNVA: .3 / 1.4 / 2,314

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 2.1 / 9.2 / 16,195

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.9 / 8.1 / 14,653
  • KEYE: .9 / 3.9 / 6,941 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 2.6 / 10.1 / 20,051

Noon

  • KXAN: 2.1 / 7.9 / 16,195
  • KTBC: 1.2 /4.6 / 9,254

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1.4 / 5.4 / 10,797 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.6 / 14.7 / 43,187
  • KVUE: 3.7 / 9.7 / 28,534
  • KTBC: 2.5 / 6.2 / 19,280
  • KEYE: 1.6 / 4.1 / 12,339

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 7.2 / 16.5 / 55,526
  • KVUE: 4 / 9.1 / 30,848
  • KEYE: 1.7 / 3.8 / 13,110

6:30 p.m.

  • KEYE: 1.6 / 3.3 / 12,339

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 3 / 5.3 / 23,136
  • KNVA: .8 / 1.4 / 6,170

9:45 p.m.

  • KNVA: .6 / 1.1 / 4,627 (‘KXAN Sports: More Than the Score’)

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6 / 11.8 / 46,272
  • KVUE: 4 / 7.9 / 30,848
  • KEYE: 3.1 / 6 / 23,907
  • KTBC: 2.4 / 4.7 / 18,509

KVUE’s new morning meteorologist debuts

Erika Lopez (KVUE photo)
Erika Lopez (KVUE photo)

A new face popped up today on KVUE’s two morning newscasts.

The city’s ABC affiliate has hired Erika Lopez to serve as meteorologist for its “Daybreak” and “Midday” broadcasts.

Lopez, a self-described “ultimate weather nerd,” arrives in Austin after a stint at Denver-based WeatherNation TV, a national cable network. Before that, she worked at a TV station in Victoria.

“We spent a long time looking for Erika,” KVUE news director Mike Redding said. “We needed a meteorologist who is accurate with forecasts but also strong with the kind of severe weather we see in Texas. Erika wakes up with a smile on her face and looks forward to helping our viewers get ready for their day.”

On “Daybreak” and “Midday,” Lopez will join news anchors Bryan Mays and Yvonne Nava.

She fills the spot vacated by Albert Ramon, who became KVUE’s chief meteorologist after veteran forecaster Mark Murray took a voluntary buyout last year.

“We found a great meteorologist with a bright personality and strong work ethic who wants to make Austin her home for many years to come,” Ramon said.

Lopez made her Austin debut the same day another local TV station said farewell to its morning meteorologist. CBS Austin’s Jordan Steele is bound for Seattle, where he’ll work at NBC affiliate KING.

KVUE hires Tyler Sieswerda’s replacement

Mike Rush (KVUE photo)
Mike Rush (KVUE photo)

Look for a new face to pop up soon on KVUE’s evening newscasts.

Mike Rush has been hired as co-anchor of the ABC affiliate’s 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts, the station said Thursday. He starts work March 20.

A Houston native, Rush arrives from St. Louis, where he was an anchor and investigative reporter for KSDK.

Both KVUE and KSDK are owned by McLean, Va.-based Tegna.

Rush will be teamed with Terri Gruca at 5 p.m. and Quita Culpepper at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be joining Quita, Terri and the rest of the KVUE team anchoring in the city where I’ve always wanted to live,” he said. “This is quite literally my dream job.”

Rush replaces Tyler Sieswerda, who departed the station in May of last year.

“I’m excited to share the anchor desk with Mike,” Culpepper said. “He’s an honestly good guy, and I’m thrilled to have him bring his wit and talent as a journalist to the table. Mike is ready to embrace life here in Central Texas, and I think our viewers will welcome the newest member of our KVUE family.”

Prior to St. Louis, Rush worked for TV stations in Lake Charles, La.; Mobile, Ala.; and New Orleans.

“We are incredibly lucky to have someone with Mike’s level of investigative storytelling join our team,” said KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales. “He’s the kind of journalist who literally changes lives with his reporting.”

“Our goal was to hire someone who cuts straight to the truth, who is intellectually aggressive, and just as comfortable being in the field asking difficult questions as he is behind a desk,” KVUE news director Mike Redding said. “The fact that we did and he is from Texas is amazing. Mike Rush is the perfect fit for KVUE and Central Texas.”

KVUE anchor swap: Terri Gruca, Quita Culpepper trading spots

Quita Culpepper (KVUE photo)
Quita Culpepper (John Gusky/KVUE photo)

Two of the city’s best-known news anchors are swapping shifts.

Quita Culpepper, anchor of KVUE’s 5 p.m. newscast, will add the station’s 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts to her workload on a permanent basis starting next week.

She’ll also continue to do her popular “Does It Work Wednesday” consumer segment.

Terri Gruca, who currently anchors those two newscasts, will co-anchor with Culpepper at 5 p.m. She’ll focus the remainder of her time working on the ABC affiliate’s Defenders team, where she’ll take on a larger role in putting together investigative reports for KVUE’s evening newscasts.

“KVUE is lucky,” president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “We have two incredibly talented anchors who are beloved by our community. This scheduling shift allows Terri Gruca and Quita Culpepper to fully pursue their individual passions.”

KVUE is still looking for a co-anchor for Culpepper at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. That spot’s been vacant since Tyler Sieswerda left in May 2016.

Culpepper joined KVUE in 1998 and served as a reporter, weekend morning anchor and weekend evening anchor before getting the 5 p.m. gig in 2012.

Gruca was hired as co-anchor of the station’s evening newscasts in 2008, arriving from the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis.

“Terri Gruca has the desire and skill to be a more active investigator for our Defenders unit,” KVUE news director Mike Redding said. “Working dayside and anchoring the 5 p.m. newscast will allow her the time it takes to dig up and report the stories that matter to our viewers. Quita Culpepper will continue to be a mainstay out in in our neighborhoods, advocating for the good people of Central Texas.”

Terri Gruca (KVUE people)
Terri Gruca (John Gusky/KVUE photo)

 

September TV ratings: KXAN wins most news time slots

KXAN's morning team features David Yeomans, Sally Hernandez, John Dabkovich and Amanda Dugan.
KXAN’s morning team features David Yeomans, Sally Hernandez, John Dabkovich and Amanda Dugan.

KXAN’s winning streak continued in September, finishing first in most head-to-head news competitions.

The city’s NBC affiliate was No. 1 at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. last month.

ABC affiliate KVUE was the top-ranked station at 4:30 a.m. and middays.

NBC’s “Today” was the first-place network morning show and “NBC Nightly News” is the nighttime network newscast to beat.

In primetime, NBC is the frontrunner, followed by CBS, then ABC, Fox, The CW and MyNetworkTV.

September Nielsen ratings

Each ratings point equals 7,456 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: .6 / 5.3 / 4,474
  • KXAN: .5 / 4.6 / 3,728
  • KTBC: .4 / 4 / 2,982
  • KEYE: .2 / 1.7 / 1,491

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.2 / 9.7 / 8,947
  • KVUE: 1.1 / 8.9 / 8,202
  • KTBC: .7 / 5.3 / 5,219
  • KEYE: .5 / 3.8 / 3,728

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.9 / 15.5 / 21,622
  • KVUE: 1.7 / 9 / 12,675
  • KTBC: 1.4 / 7.2 / 10,438
  • KEYE: .9 / 5 / 6,710

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.7 / 7.2 / 12,675
  • KNVA: .5 / 2 / 3,728

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.6 / 6.6 / 11,930

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.5 / 6 / 11,184
  • KEYE: .7 / 2.9 / 5,219 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 2.1 / 7.8 / 15,658

Noon

  • KXAN: 1.7 / 7.5 / 12,675
  • KTBC: 1.1 / 3.8 / 8,202

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1 / 4.4 / 7,456 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.6 / 14 / 41,754
  • KVUE: 4.3 / 10.8 / 32,061
  • KTBC: 2.2 / 5.5 / 16,403
  • KEYE: 1.3 / 3.3 / 9,693

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.8 / 15.3 / 50,701
  • KVUE: 4 / 9 / 29,824
  • KEYE: 1.8 / 4 / 13,421

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 2.5 / 4.4 / 18,640
  • KNVA: 1 / 1.8 / 7,456

9:45 p.m.

  • KNVA: .7 / 1.3 / 5,219 (‘KXAN Sports: More Than the Score’)

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.5 / 13.2 / 48,464
  • KVUE: 3.5 / 6.9 / 26,096
  • KEYE: 2.5 / 5.2 / 18,640
  • KTBC: 2.2 / 4.4 / 16,403

It’s official: Albert Ramon is KVUE’s new chief meteorologist

Albert Ramon
Albert Ramon

Albert Ramon has spent the past six months filling in as KVUE’s chief meteorologist.

Now, the gig’s officially his.

The city’s ABC affiliate said Friday that Ramon, who had previously been the featured weathercaster on the station’s morning and midday newscasts, has been promoted.

He replaces former chief meteorologist Mark Murray, who took a voluntary buyout earlier this year.

“Albert is a market-leading talent with the vision and drive to lead the KVUE Storm Team into the future,” KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “We are very excited that he will continue to serve KVUE’s viewers on all of our platforms.”

Ramon joined KVUE seven years ago. In an interview with the American-Statesman earlier this year, he said Murray was “my friend, my mentor, someone I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.”

Before coming to Austin, Ramon worked for a TV station in Corpus Christi.

“Albert is tremendously popular in Austin and has grown into a real leader at KVUE,” news director Mike Redding said. “We are proud to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

July TV ratings: KXAN remains No. 1 in most time slots

KXAN's morning team features David Yeomans, Sally Hernandez, John Dabkovich and Amanda Dugan.
KXAN’s morning team features David Yeomans, Sally Hernandez, John Dabkovich and Amanda Dugan.

Another month, another ratings win for KXAN.

Austin’s NBC affiliate continues to have the most-watched newscasts in most time slots, according to July figures from Nielsen.

KXAN is ranked No. 1 at 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The station’s 6 p.m. broadcast remains the city’s top-rated newscast, regardless of time period, drawing more viewers than its competitors combined.

ABC affiliate KVUE took the top spot at 4:30 a.m. and middays.

In primetime, NBC was the network to beat, followed by ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW and MyNetworkTV.

July Nielsen ratings

Each ratings point equals 7,456 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 / 5.3 / 3,728
  • KXAN: .5 / 5.1 / 3,728
  • KTBC: .3 / 2.8 / 2,237
  • KEYE: .2 / 2.1 / 1,491

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1 / 9.2 / 7,456
  • KVUE: .8 / 7.5 / 5,965
  • KTBC: .6 / 5.2 / 4,474
  • KEYE: .4 / 4 / 2,982

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.6 / 16 / 19,386
  • KTBC: 1.5 / 9.1 / 11,184
  • KVUE: 1.4 / 8.8 / 10,438
  • KEYE: .6 / 3.8 / 4,474

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.8 / 8.1 / 13,421
  • KNVA: .4 / 1.5 / 2,982

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.7 / 6.8 / 12,675

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.5 / 5.9 / 11,184
  • KEYE: 1 / 3.7 / 7,456 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 2.7 / 9.4 / 20,131

Noon

  • KXAN: 2.1 / 6.8 / 15,658
  • KTBC: 1.2 / 3.8 / 8,947

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1.2 / 4.2 / 8,947 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.4 / 13.6 / 40,262
  • KVUE: 3.7 / 9.2 / 27,587
  • KTBC: 2.6 / 6.2 / 19,386
  • KEYE: 1.6 / 4 / 11,930

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.5 / 14.3 / 48,464
  • KVUE: 3.9 / 8.6 / 29,078
  • KEYE: 2.1 / 4.7 / 15,658

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 1.8 / 3.3 / 13,421
  • KNVA: .9 / 1.6 / 6,710

9:45 p.m.

  • KNVA: .4 / .7 / 2,982 (‘ATX Uncensored(ish)’)

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.3 / 10.6 / 39,517
  • KVUE: 3.8 / 7.7 / 28,333
  • KEYE: 2.5 / 5.3 / 18,640
  • KTBC: 2.1 / 4.1 / 15,658

KVUE hires new news director

Mike Redding
Mike Redding

The search for a new boss to lead KVUE’s news team has come to an end.

The city’s ABC affiliate has hired Mike Redding to serve as news director.

His first day will be Aug. 16.

Redding comes from Maine, where he headed up the newsrooms at the NBC affiliates serving the cities of Bangor and Portland.

Just like KVUE, those two stations, WCSH and WLBZ, are owned by Tegna.

“Mike is a gifted storyteller and leader who has been awarded some of the highest honors in the field of journalism,” KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “He has the vision and experience to lead KVUE news into future successes and grow our digital properties.”

Before Maine, Redding worked on camera and behind the scenes for stations in Greensboro, N.C.; Roanoke, Va.; Springfield, Mo.; and Charlotte, N.C.

He replaces Frank Volpicella, who left the station in April after 16 years. Volpicella is now news director at WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.