Austinite appears on Friday’s ‘Jeopardy!’

Paul Cox (Jeopardy Productions Inc.)
Paul Cox (Jeopardy Productions Inc.)

Look for yet another Central Texan to pop up on “Jeopardy!”

Paul Cox, a portfolio manager from Austin, will be on the hit game show Friday, producers said this week.

The show airs at 4 p.m. weekdays on KXAN, Austin’s NBC affiliate.

How’d he do? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

Cox’s appearance comes just a few weeks after another Austinite was on the show. Cindy Stowell, who died of cancer between when the show was taped and when it aired, won six straight episodes, collecting more than $100,000 – money she had said she would give to cancer-related causes.

Austin Huns rugby matches to air on Spectrum Sports network

austin-huns-logo-pngCan’t make it out to see the Austin Huns rugby team in person this weekend?

No sweat. Now you can see them play in the comfort of your own home, thanks to Spectrum Sports.

The cable network, which can be found on Channel 323,  said this week it will carry all seven of the team’s home games this season, including one Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against San Diego’s OMBAC Rugby.

“Myself and the entire Huns organization could not be more thrilled to unveil this exciting partnership with Spectrum Sports,” Austin Huns general manager Thierry Daupin said. “We expect an exciting season ahead, and our club cannot wait to share Huns rugby with even more sports fans across Texas. The Huns very much look forward to growing our fan base hand-in-hand with the Spectrum Sports team.”

The Huns play at Huns Field, 4107 Nixon Lane. For more details on the team, visit

2017 Austin Huns home games

  • Saturday, 3:30 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. OMBAC Rugby
  • Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. Dallas Reds
  • Feb. 18 at 3:30 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. Austin Blacks
  • March 18 at 3:30 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. Dallas Harlequins
  • April 1 at 3:30 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. Rugby Utah
  • April 15 at 3:30 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. Glendale Raptors
  • April 29 at 5 p.m.: Austin Huns vs. New Orleans Rugby

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.

Former Austin TV meteorologist dies of heart attack

Connor Vernon (KTBC screengrab)
Connor Vernon (KTBC screengrab)

A former weatherman for KTBC Channel 7 has died of an apparent heart attack.

Connor Vernon served as KTBC’s chief meteorologist from 1989 to 1995, when the station was still a CBS affiliate.

He died Saturday, according to media reports. Vernon was 63.

After leaving KTBC, Vernon served as morning host at now-defunct Austin radio station Oldies 103. But he still popped up on occasion on KTBC, doing fill-in work.

Vernon’s replacement at KTBC, Troy Kimmel, described him as “a good friend and colleague.”

Most recently, Vernon served as a meteorologist for WTVY and WDHN, both in Dothan, Ala.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Sun­set Fu­neral Home Chapel near Dothan, with burial to fol­low at Friend­ship Ceme­tery in Don­al­sonville, Ga.

With $4.6 billion deal complete, 3 Austin TV stations get new owner

kxanA year after it was first announced, Irving-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. said Tuesday that it has completed its acquisition of fellow broadcaster Media General Inc.

Richmond, Va.-based Media General operates three Austin TV stations: NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO.

The $4.6 billion deal makes Nexstar the second-largest broadcaster in the nation, the company said, with 171 TV stations in 100 TV markets. Its holdings reach 39 percent of the United States – twice its pre-merger reach.

In Texas, KXAN, KNVA and KBVO join existing Nexstar stations in Abilene, Amarillo, Brownsville, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland, San Angelo, Tyler and Wichita Falls.

Already, Nexstar has established a Capitol news bureau based out of the KXAN studios near the University of Texas campus.

“Our acquisition of Media General marks a significant milestone in Nexstar’s 20-year history of growth, which has been predicated on our unwavering commitment to deliver exceptional service to the local communities where we operate and value to our shareholders,” Nexstar chairman, president and CEO Perry Sook said in a written statement.

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

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)


‘The Price Is Right Live’ coming to Cedar Park

photos-medleyphoto-11794931Come on down to H-E-B Center at Cedar Park on March 9 and you could be the next contestant on “The Price Is Right Live.”

The traveling version of the popular CBS daytime program features many of the same games we know and love, such as Plinko and Cliffhangers, plus an opportunity to take part in the oh-so-fabulous Showcase Showdown.

“The Price Is Right Live” has been touring the country for more than a decade, producers say, and has given away more than $12 million in cash and prizes – everything from appliances to vacations and, yes, even a car or two.

It all happens March 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster outlets, or the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park box office.

(And, as our old pal Bob Barker would say, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.”)

Austin radio station signs morning team to new, multi-year deal

KVET 98.1 morning hosts Bama Brown, Rob Mason and Heather White
KVET 98.1 morning hosts Bama Brown, Heather White and Rob Mason

You know them. You love them. And you’ll be glad to hear they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

Austin radio station KVET 98.1 said Friday that it has signed its morning team – Bama Brown, Rob Mason and Heather White – to a multi-year contract extension.

Terms of the new contract weren’t released.

“We are so fortunate to have this amazing team in the iHeartMedia family,” said Breeanna Malik, president of the Central Texas region for iHeartMedia, the station’s owner. “They are true Austin celebrities and we know our listeners and sponsors are ecstatic that they will be here for many years to come.”

“The Bama, Rob & Heather Show” airs weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Prior to joining KVET 98.1, the show aired on sister station KASE 101.

“We are thrilled to continue doing what we love on KVET-FM,” Mason said. “We are proud to have called iHeartMedia home for many years, and knowing this relationship will continue is simply amazing.”

In addition to KVET 98.1 and KASE 101, San Antonio-based iHeartMedia owns several other Austin radio stations, including 96.7 Kiss FM, 97.5 Pride Radio, 102.3 The Beat and AM 1300 The Zone.

Top 20 most-read TV & Radio Blog posts of 2016

Mark Murray
Mark Murray

2016 was, as always, a busy year on the TV and radio beat, with plenty of comings and goings.

The biggest story of the year, based upon your clicks, was the departure of Mark Murray, KVUE’s longtime meteorologist.

Below you’ll find the year’s top 20 most-read posts on the TV & Radio Blog. (Some were 2015 posts that still had staying power a year later.)

As the Central Texas media landscape continues to change and evolve in 2017, count on us to keep you up to date.

Happy New Year!

  1. Meteorologist Mark Murray leaving KVUE after 26 years
  2. Kiss FM morning host: ‘They pulled the plug on us’
  3. Summer shakeup: Familiar faces depart Austin TV stations (2015)
  4. Morning host JB Hager leaves Classic 105.3
  5. Austin radio station goes ‘All Prince, all day’ following musician’s death
  6. KVUE offering buyouts to selected employees
  7. ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant from Austin dies before show airs
  8. KVUE news director leaving after 16 years
  9. ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ celebrates Season 8 premiere in Austin with local contestant Cynthia Lee Fontaine
  10. Christine Haas leaves Fox 7 to start new business (2015)
  11. Austin’s Kiss FM names new morning hosts
  12. Texas firm buys 3 Austin TV stations as part of $4.6B deal
  13. New Austin radio station targets area’s LGBT community
  14. From temp to perm: Jenni Lee staying at KVUE (2015)
  15. All Christmas, all the time on 2 Austin radio stations
  16. ‘Game of Thrones’ star books 2 DJ sets at Austin nightclub
  17. KXAN adds meteorologist to its weather team
  18. KVUE hires new meteorologist (2015)
  19. New AMC show ‘The Son’ holding Austin casting call
  20. Austin native among this season’s ‘Bachelor’ contestants (2015)