Fox 7 has promoted from within to fill a vacant anchor position.
Reporter Destiny Chance has been upped to weekend evening anchor, taking over for Ashley Paredez, who is now at sister station KDFW in Dallas.
Chance joined Fox 7 in February.
“In her time here at Fox 7, Destiny has proven a desire to learn and grow,” Fox 7 vice president and news director Pam Vaught said in a written statement. “She has been committed to extensively covering our community in the field, and we know that will carry through to the anchor desk.”
Earlier in her career, Chance worked at stations in Columbia, S.C.; and Augusta, Ga. She has a journalism degree from the University of South Carolina.
“Austin has always felt like home, and each day the stories I cover make me fall even more in love with this amazing city,” she said. “I thank the viewers for welcoming me with open arms, and I hope you’ll continue to welcome me in this new role.”
Volpicella, who served as managing editor at WJXT in Jacksonville, Fla., and news director at WGCL in Atlanta since leaving Austin, is set to become the next general manager of Community Impact’s Cedar Park-Leander edition.
“After two and a half years of being away from the best city in the country, I’m returning in mid-October,” Volpicella said. “I am thrilled to be able to return home and be close to family and friends. Our son and daughter-in-law live in Dallas, and my wife and I couldn’t stand being so far away from them. I am also excited to be able to serve the community I love once again.”
Volpicella says he’s excited about what’s ahead. He partnered with Community Impact on several occasions while at KVUE, and is well acquainted with the publication’s founder, John Garrett.
“I am leaving TV news after a long career in broadcast journalism to now work for a company and a publication that I admire and respect,” he said. “The company leaders share the same vision I have, of serving our communities with quality journalism in order to make our communities a better place to live. I spent 16 years in the Cedar Park-Leander area, making friends and developing business partners. I hope to renew those friendships when I return this fall.
“On a personal note, I look forward to seeing a Texas sunset again over Lake Travis and to eating the best barbecue and Tex-Mex anywhere. But most of all I look forward to being close to family and to renew the friendships that I made during my 16 years here.”
Austin’s Spectrum News is scaling back its sports coverage.
The 24-hour cable news network available exclusively to Spectrum subscribers will stop airing “Sports Night,” a nightly 30-minute sports show, this week.
The last broadcast for the show, which airs at 10:30 p.m. with a repeat at midnight, is Friday.
Some Spectrum News sports staffers will be reassigned as a part of the change.
The station does still plan to have some sports coverage, according to a spokesperson for Charter, which formed Spectrum after acquiring Time Warner Cable.
“As with any network, from time to time our programming and staffing will change as we strive to better engage our viewers,” the spokesperson said. “We’ll still have sports coverage, including our ‘High School Blitz’ show, but we have decided to change some programming to offer viewers more information that is relevant to them.”
Mix 94.7 morning co-host Alex Franco was on the road back to Austin after a visit to Dallas when he learned from a hospital chaplain that his brother, David, had just had a massive heart attack.
“I was at an exit right outside of Waco,” Franco said. “My heart just dropped when I heard the news. It just kind of came out of nowhere. It didn’t sound good.”
The situation was so severe, Franco learned, that David had to be flown from a Houston hospital to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston by helicopter for treatment.
Franco says his brother didn’t really meet any of the common risk factors. He wasn’t overweight. He wasn’t overly stressed. And he was only 47 years old at the time.
None of that mattered though.
“He had a pacemaker put in,” Franco said. “He had to change his whole lifestyle – and he didn’t have a bad lifestyle before.”
It was that scare that ultimately prompted the radio host to get his own heart checked out at Heart Hospital of Austin, where he underwent the HeartSaver CT test.
“As a male, we tend to procrastinate,” Franco said. “I realized I was taking my heart for granted. I was taking my body, my health for granted. It’s not just me. I have a wife, a 3-year-old boy and a 1-year-old daughter.”
The test only took about five minutes and when he got the results, there was no cause for alarm.
“I’m good,” he said. “I’m clear.”
Dr. Vivek Goswami was Franco’s doctor at Heart Hospital of Austin, where the HeartSaver CT has been performed for about a decade. He says the test is a noncontrasted CT scan that looks for calcium in arteries. It provides patient and doctor both with a numeric score – the higher the score, the higher the risk.
Dr. Goswami suggests the procedure become common practice, much like mammograms and prostate exams.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, killing more people than cancer, car accidents, infections and suicide,” Dr. Goswami said. “We aren’t routinely doing anything to screen heart disease, even though it’s more likely to kill Americans.”
Everyone eventually develops plaque, Dr. Goswami said, but the amount can vary greatly. Ways to combat the risks it poses include better eating, aerobic exercise and, in some cases, taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
First, though, before determining a course of action, doctors need facts – facts Franco says the HeartSaver CT provides.
“I know, in Austin, we’re all busy, but I really hope others will do this,” Franco said. “If something bad turns up, it can be handled. I don’t want anyone to ever have to deal with the alternative. Nobody should have to go through that.”
Austin CW affiliate KNVA will air five Texas State University football games this year.
The matchups set to be broadcast include:
Sept. 8: Texas Southern (6 p.m.)
Oct. 6: Louisiana (6 p.m.)
Oct. 27: New Mexico State (6 p.m.)
Nov. 10: Appalachian State (3 p.m.)
Nov. 24: Arkansas State (3 p.m.)
David Saltzman and Keith Moreland will anchor the broadcasts, joined by sideline reporter Megan Birdsong.
“KXAN and The CW Austin are committed to bringing more exciting local programming and sports content to the local communities that we proudly serve across Central Texas,” Eric Lassberg, vice president and general manager of sister stations KXAN, KNVA and KBVO, said in a written statement. “College athletics are unique in that strong bonds are formed between students and alumni across multiple generations based on shared traditions and a continued passion for their athletic teams. As a result, we are thrilled to partner with Texas State University to deliver unprecedented viewing experiences and coverage of these five exciting games to local viewers and Bobcats fans throughout Central Texas.”
Univision stations have gone dark for Dish Network subscribers in Austin and a number of other cities.
The satellite provider removed the channels over the weekend, even though Univision says it had offered a two-week extension while contract talks continued.
Dish subscribers no longer have access to Univision, UniMás and Galavision, while folks who subscribe to Dish’s Sling streaming service have lost Univision, UniMás, Galavision, Univision Deportes Network and El Rey.
“It is outrageous that Dish has rejected our offer of a two-week contract extension to allow its customers and our viewers to continue to have access to Univision’s highly rated networks and stations,” Univision said in a written statement. “While Dish has routinely used blackouts against broadcasters – its 68 broadcast blackouts since 2010 are significantly more than any other distributor in that time – Univision expected Dish to take our negotiations and its commitment to Hispanic consumers seriously when it told its customers this week that it wanted to ‘reach a mutually beneficial deal’ for Univision’s ‘high quality content.’
“Instead of fulfilling its promise to its customers, Dish has chosen to devalue our programming, disingenuously offering a fraction of what it pays our English-language peers. We stand ready to continue negotiations and enter into a short-term extension to restore service, especially with Dish customers missing our coverage of the Mexican presidential election, which many are calling ‘the biggest election in Mexican history.’ Dish should do right by its Spanish-speaking audiences, agree to restore service, and negotiate a good faith agreement.”
Univision says it is the No. 3 most-watched network that Dish carries, regardless of language, and that its various networks combined account for 60 percent of Spanish-language viewership on the Dish Latino package.
TV stations across the country wrapped up the all-important May “sweeps” period Wednesday, pulling out all the stops to get viewers to tune in.
Looking at total households and the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults ages 25-54, NBC affiliate KXAN and ABC affiliate KVUE were the frontrunners, for the most part.
KVUE was the station to beat in the morning, while KXAN was the frontrunner in the evening.
CBS Austin, meanwhile, reported that it saw year-over-year growth for six of the seven newscasts it produces weekdays, including a 27 percent increase in households at 10 p.m. That was enough to push “CBS Austin News at 10 p.m.” into second place, behind KXAN and ahead of KVUE.
“I am proud of this team’s hard work,” said Amy Villarreal, vice president and general manager for CBS Austin and Telemundo Austin. “CBS Austin News is committed to winning breaking news on all platforms, providing important consumer advocacy reports and producing exclusive content in all newscasts. We will continue to work hard to be a trusted news source for our Central Texas viewers.”
TV stations use Nielsen ratings from sweeps months to set the price they charge for commercials. More viewers mean higher ad rates.
May Nielsen ratings: Total households
Each ratings point equals 7,915 Central Texas households. The first number is ratings points and the second is total households.
KVUE: 1 / 7,915
KTBC: .7 / 5,541
KXAN: .3 / 2,375
KEYE: .3 / 2,375
KVUE: 1.5 / 11,873
KXAN: 1 / 7,915
KTBC: 1 / 7,915
KEYE: .5 / 3,958
KVUE: 2.8 / 22,162
KXAN: 2.3 / 18,205
KTBC: 1.7 / 13,456
KEYE: .9 / 7,124
KVUE: 2 / 15,830
KXAN: 2.1 / 16,622
KTBC: 1.2 / 9,498
KXAN: 4.4 / 34,826
KVUE: 4.1 / 32,452
KTBC: 2.4 / 18,996
KEYE: 1.3 / 10,290
KXAN: 5.9 / 46,699
KVUE: 4.4 / 34,826
KEYE: 1.9 / 15,039
KTBC: 2.7 / 21,371
KNVA: .8 / 6,332
KNVA: .5 / 3,958 (‘KXAN Sports: More Than the Score’)
KXAN: 4.8 / 37,992
KEYE: 3.2 / 25,328
KVUE: 2.8 / 22,162
KTBC: 2 / 15,830
May Nielsen ratings: Adults ages 25-54
Each ratings point equals 8,456 Central Texans ages 25-54. The first number is ratings points and the second is total in-demo viewers.
KVUE: .4 / 3,382
KTBC: .1 / 846
KXAN: .1 / 846
KEYE: .1 / 846
KVUE: .6 / 5,074
KXAN: .6 / 5,074
KTBC: .2 / 1,691
KEYE: .1 / 846
KVUE: 1.8 / 15,221
KXAN: 1.5 / 12,684
KTBC: .6 / 5,074
KEYE: .4 / 3,382
KVUE: .6 / 5,074
KXAN: .5 / 4,228
KTBC: .4 / 3,382
KVUE: 1.3 / 10,993
KTBC: 1.2 / 10,147
KXAN: 1 / 8,456
KEYE: .2 / 1,691
KXAN: 1.8 / 15,221
KVUE: 1.7 / 14,375
KEYE: .4 / 3,382
KTBC: 1.4 / 11,838
KNVA: .3 / 2,537
KNVA: .2 / 1,691 (‘KXAN Sports: More Than the Score’)
“In my role as interim executive director of KUT and KUTX, my goal is to support and enhance the longstanding legacy of excellence established at each station to ensure they continue to serve our local listeners and communities,” Smith said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with the outstanding staff at both stations to address the ever-changing landscape of the media industry. I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity.”
Smith will start Monday, shadowing Vanderwilt during his final month before taking over.
“I’m very pleased Patti has agreed to serve as our interim executive director while we complete a national search for a new permanent director of these two amazing and important stations,” said Jay Bernhardt, dean of the Moody College of Communication, home to KUT and KUTX. “Patti’s extensive experience in media operations and executive management will provide strong leadership during this period of transition.”