Austin’s Univision station launching morning newscast

Univision 62 is launching a morning newscast.
Univision 62 is launching a morning newscast.

Univision-owned TV stations statewide, including Austin’s KAKW Channel 62, will get a new two-hour morning newscast starting next month.

The show, “Noticias Texas Primera Edición” (“Texas News First Edition”), will air from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays beginning April 6.

While KAKW has offered brief news updates during the morning hours, the new broadcast marks the first time it will have a full-fledged morning newscast. And with a 4 a.m. start time, it will be the first local newscast on the air in Austin each morning. KEYE, KTBC, KVUE and KXAN all start their morning news at 4:30 a.m.

“Noticias Texas Primera Edición” will originate from Houston, but will also feature reporters based in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio.

Anchors will be Karina Yapor and Rodolfo Sanchez. Yapor and Sanchez both currently work at the Univision station in Dallas.

The newscast’s Austin-based reporters will be Liliana Soto and David Herrera, who are both already part of the Univision 62 news team.

The Univision network’s “Despierta América” (“Wake Up, America”) will air at 6 a.m., immediately following the new statewide newscast.

“We are committed to bringing our audiences the best news, entertainment and information,” said Univision Local Media president Kevin Cuddihy. “The launch of ‘Noticias Texas Primera Edición allows us to deliver in that regard. Our audiences in this region will be connected to the best content from across the state of Texas, delivered by the familiar faces that they’ve come to trust.”

Former KVUE anchor lands high-profile Minneapolis gig

Cory Hepola
Cory Hepola

Congrats to former KVUE sports anchor Cory Hepola, who has landed a cush new gig in the Twin Cities.

Hepola, who left Austin to work as a featured anchor for the now-defunct Comcast SportsNet Houston, will take over as morning news co-anchor next month at KARE, the Minneapolis NBC affiliate.

A Minnesota native, KARE says Hepola is very familiar with the area, having attended the state’s Concordia College.

Hepola and his wife Camille are parents to a newborn child.

“Cory is a team player with a dynamic and energetic style for our morning audience,” said KARE news director Jane Helmke. “He is a dedicated, creative journalist and hometown guy who can’t wait to get started and contribute to his community.”

“In our search for a morning anchor, we were fortunate to find someone with the commitment and passion that Cory brings to the table,” said John Remes, KARE’s president and general manager. “We’re extremely excited that he’ll be a part of the award-winning KARE 11 family.”

KARE, like KVUE, is owned by broadcast giant Gannett.

Austin Chamber: Jimmy Kimmel is a Small Business Champion

The Austin Chamber of Commerce has named Jimmy Kimmel a Small Business Champion.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce has named Jimmy Kimmel a Small Business Champion.

A few extra pounds aren’t the only thing Jimmy Kimmel picked up last week during his trip to Austin.

The ABC late-night host, who taped a week’s worth of shows at the Long Center for the Performing Arts as part of South by Southwest, has been named a Small Business Champion by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Because Kimmel loves to eat, the award was made to resemble a brisket rib.

The chamber points out that Kimmel and his crew – almost 300 people came to town to help produce the show, according to the Los Angeles Times – had a major impact on the city’s economy. They stayed in our hotels, dined at our restaurants and shopped at our stores, among other things.

Kimmel and pal Matthew McConaughey even made a few cheesy commercials for locally owned Vulcan Video.

North Austin restaurant Chez Zee is among the businesses that benefited from having “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in town.

“We heard Jimmy liked banana creme pie, so we added the pie to our menu and sent him one,” said Sharon Watkins, Chez Zee’s owner. “Not only did the camera crew come back for dinner at our restaurant the next night and took another pie back for him, but we also sold five times as much banana creme pie as any other dessert following Jimmy’s tweet.”

This was the second year Kimmel came to town during SXSW. No word yet on whether he’ll return in 2016.

Host Roger Allen moves to Sun Radio

jwj Roger Allen 037Well-known Austin radio host Roger Allen has switched stations.

Allen, who was the longtime host of “Lone Star State of Mind” on 93.3 KGSR-FM, can now be heard on Sun Radio, which broadcasts on four Central Texas frequencies: 100.1 FM in Austin, 103.1 FM in Dripping Springs, 99.1 FM in Fredericksburg and 88.9 FM in Johnson City.

At Sun Radio, he’s on the air weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We’re pleased that Roger Allen has agreed to join the Sun Radio family as our new afternoon DJ,” Sun Radio program director Denver O’Neal said. “It seems a natural fit given that Roger has been a friend to Texas musicians for 40-plus years, many of whom we play daily on Sun Radio. Roger’s friend and Sun Radio patriarch Larry Monroe always spoke highly of his talents and we can’t wait to hear him on the Sun Radio airwaves.”

Young Austin entrepreneur featured on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Mikaila Ulmer (Courtesy of Sandra Ramos Photography)
Mikaila Ulmer (Courtesy of Sandra Ramos Photography)

Add 10-year-old Mikaila Ulmer to the growing list of Austin entrepreneurs featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

The founder of BeeSweet Lemonade got a sweet offer from Daymond John, CEO of the FUBU clothing line, on an episode that aired Friday night.

John agreed to pay Ulmer $60,000 for a 25-percent stake in her company.

“Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense,” John said. “She’s a great kid with a head for business and branding. She’s got a great idea and I’m happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level.”

BeeSweet Lemonade, which is made with flaxseed and locally sourced honey, is available at Whole Foods Market stores in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as at many local restaurants.

The money from John will be used to increase production, Ulmer said. Two new lemonade flavors – prickly pear and iced tea – are set to debut soon.

“I’m so excited to have someone with as much experience as Daymond on my team,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to have more people try my lemonade.”

SXSW: Kanye West scraps planned ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ visit

Kanye West (Jay Janner photo)
Kanye West (Jay Janner photo)

Kanye West has reportedly canceled his planned appearance on tonight’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

The show has been taping in Austin all week as part of South by Southwest.

A rep for West offered this explanation to Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton: “We were never confirmed … We took extraordinary steps and worked directly with the show to make it happen. Logistics were insurmountable.”

Other websites, though, are saying West bailed because he didn’t want to poke fun at himself. Kimmel’s show is known for having celebrities read mean tweets about themselves, something many viewers had hoped to see West do during his appearance.

Kimmel and his team seem hopeful West will reconsider and one day appear on the show, with a rep telling Page Six, “We look forward to having Kanye West back on the show.”

Meanwhile, Colin Hanks and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have been added to tonight’s lineup, joining Austin’s own Willie Nelson.

Catch “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at 10:35 p.m. on KVUE.

Cast of NBC’s ‘Undateable’ visits Austin for SXSW

‘Undateable’ creator Bill Lawrence has some on-stage fun with Bridgit Mendler, a new addition to the sitcom, during a stop in Austin.
‘Undateable’ creator Bill Lawrence has some on-stage fun with Bridgit Mendler, a new addition to the sitcom, during a stop in Austin.

They’re “Undateable” — and proud of it.

The NBC sitcom that excels at magnifying all the quirks that have kept so many of us single for so long made its way to Austin for South by Southwest, where series creator Bill Lawrence and several cast members took the stage at Esther’s Follies for an official comedy showcase.

While they were here, they also dropped a few hints about what’s ahead during the show’s second season, which kicked off this week. There’s a new time slot, an addition to the cast and perhaps the biggest news of all: a live broadcast set for May 5.

Usually 30 minutes long, “Undateable” will expand to an hour for the live show, with two editions planned – one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast.

Lawrence, the man behind “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and “Spin City,” said he’s especially pleased about the new time slot, which is 8 p.m. Tuesdays. “Undateable” now airs after “The Voice,” a ratings powerhouse, and he’s hoping viewers will stick around and sample his latest show.

“There’s a nervous excitement,” he said. “If we fail, it’s our fault because we’ve got the eyeballs.”

So far, so good. The season premiere did very well, according to the TV by the Numbers website. “Undateable” was second in its time slot among viewers of all ages, with an audience of 6.43 million people. It ranked first among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic many advertisers covet.

The new cast member is Bridgit Mendler. She joins Bianca Kajlich, who had been the show’s only regular female presence.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of something people are believing in,” Mendler said. “This show really is like the lightning in the bottle you always hear about. The guys are all like brothers. They’re so ridiculously fun to be around.”

Returning cast members say that, in many cases, they’ve known each other for years or even decades. Those off-camera friendships have helped give “Undateable” a chemistry that many other primetime shows could only hope for.

“I keep waiting for it to end,” said Chris D’Elia, who plays Danny. “It feels too special to be happening.”

Landing a TV gig wasn’t something D’Elia said he expected, but clearly he’s enjoying it.

“I never saw myself doing this,” he said. “I thought I was too weird.”

While the goal is to make us laugh — it’s a sitcom, after all — “Undateable” does a have a warm-and-fuzzy side to it, as well, adding to its appeal.

“It’s about friends who, if they didn’t have each other, would be very, very lonely,” said David Fynn, who plays Brett.

And when you’re considered “Undateable,” there’s no shortage of times when you’re in need of some companionship.

“When the world beats you up, it’s the people around you who pick you back up,” said Brent Morin, who plays Justin.


8 p.m. Tuesday

KXAN Channel 36

SXSW: KGSR takes over Facebook’s music page

KGSR has taken over the 'Music on Facebook' page today.
KGSR has taken over the ‘Music on Facebook’ page today.

Austin’s 93.3 KGSR-FM is getting some international exposure today.

For one day only, the radio station is taking over “Music on Facebook,” Facebook’s official page for all things music, to help kick off the music portion of South by Southwest.

Stop by to see plenty of Austin-centric content, including videos from KGSR’s live SXSW broadcasts at the W Austin Hotel, as well as artist interviews and other tidbits from KGSR hosts Kristen Kurtis, Kelly Jordan and Andy Langer.

KGSR’s annual SXSW broadcasts feature a mix of established acts and up-and-comers. Performers this year include Milky Chance, Bob Schneider, Charlie Mars, Big Data, Max Frost, The Ting Tings, Heartless Bastards and Best Coast.

“The KGSR ‘takeover’ of the Music on Facebook page is one additional, and very large, avenue for sharing this exclusive and very special experience with music fans who can’t make it to the standing-room-only event,” Langer said. “And I think a lot of folks are like me, in that as much as we’re all in the thick of SXSW, I never disconnect from Facebook. So this all feels very natural.”

Get more details on the KGSR live broadcasts at


SXSW scene report: Kimmel’s first Austin show goes off without a hitch

One down, four more to go.

ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, whose late-night show will broadcast from the Long Center for the Performing Arts this week, taped the first of five episodes Monday afternoon.

Tonight’s show, which airs at 10:35 p.m. on KVUE, features comedian Kevin Hart and country musician Brad Paisley.

This is the second year “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has originated from Austin during South by Southwest. Near the top of the show, Kimmel promised the audience, “No brisket will go unsmoked, no queso will go undipped and no horns will go unhooked” during his time here.

Kimmel, who has praised the city’s food scene on numerous occasions, recited a long list of restaurants where he and his crew have dined since arriving here Friday, including Perla’s, Olamaie and Chez Zee. There are many more they’d still like to check out, Kimmel said.

The 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' set (Gary Dinges photo)
The ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ set (Gary Dinges photo)

Like last year, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” set features neon signs from a host of Austin businesses, past and present, including Sexy Scissors, the Broken Spoke, Alamo Drafthouse, Magnolia Café and Lucy’s Fried Chicken.

Another uniquely Austin touch: University of Texas cheerleaders escorted Hart on stage, in addition to popping up at other times during the broadcast.

Also on Monday’s show, Kimmel and pal Matthew McConaughey unveiled a trio of commercials they’d created for Vulcan Video, the local business that won an online contest.

The ads poked fun at streaming videos and gave a nod to Vulcan’s large assortment of obscure DVDs and, yes, VHS tapes, with McConaughey at one point proclaiming, “Quit streaming, start dreaming.”

About 800 people were on hand for the taping, with many lining up hours in advance to get the best seats. Tickets for the entire week have already been distributed.

Guests later this week include Julia Louis Dreyfus, Kanye West and the cast of “The Walking Dead.”

Day-by-day ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ lineup released

kimmel2The full lineup is out for Jimmy Kimmel’s week-long Austin visit and, as promised, there are indeed a few surprises.

New additions include Robert Rodriguez, Dale Watson, Spoon, Kanye West, Willie Nelson and the cast of “The Walking Dead.”

Here’s the full schedule, courtesy of ABC:

  • Monday: Kevin Hart and Brad Paisley.
  • Tuesday: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Rodriguez and Spoon.
  • Wednesday: Dale Watson, Tony Romo and James Bay.
  • Thursday: Cast of “The Walking Dead.”
  • Friday: Kanye West and Willie Nelson.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs weeknights at 10:35 p.m. on KVUE.