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)

 

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.”