Remembering a pioneer in East Texas television history

Hudson Collins, the first chief engineer of KLTV, has died at age 94.

This week, we learned of the passing of KLTV’s first chief engineer, Hudson Collins, who lived a long life of 94 years. While I never had the opportunity to meet him, I’m fascinated by many of the details of his pioneering career.

An engineer is an important position in any television station, but he holds the distinction of being a true pioneer in local television.

After speaking with his family, former colleagues, and even the workers at a Whataburger restaurant, I quickly developed great admiration for “Hud,” as he was known. Continue reading

Celebrating 60 years of broadcasting in East Texas

Celebrating 60 years of broadcasting in East TexasHappy birthday KTRE! This weekend our station, serving Deep East Texas, celebrated 60 years of broadcasting excellence and service to the community. Hundreds of East Texans, local and state dignitaries, along with KTRE staffers, both past and present, gathered at the studios north of Lufkin for a Texas-sized celebration.

A few families even camped out in the parking lot, hoping to be first in line to register for contests an get autographs from the news team. It proved to be a wise decision, as the winding line snaked across the lot and down the street. We carted folks across the Lufkin State-Supported Living Center campus in golf carts for a first-class arrival. The reward was worth it — hot dogs, snow cones, and all the fixings waited under a tent that felt like a big-top circus was in town. Bounce houses helped the kids burn off energy after pigging out on cookies, cake, and sweets. Continue reading

Jimmy Kimmel Live returns to Texas for South By Southwest

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live returned to South By Southwest in Austin for a week of shows.

Austin’s iconic South by Southwest festival has gone from an eclectic festival featuring arts and entertainment to a showcase of innovation and ideas.

Techies, foodies, and celebrities have also found a home at SXSW, including late-night TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel. This year, the funnyman brought Jimmy Kimmel Live back to Austin for a week of shows, March 16-20, 2015.

Joining Jimmy for the 29th annual South By Southwest, an impressive list of A-list guests. Some of the standouts included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Romo, and Willie Nelson. Continue reading

I’m on the move…

I have accepted a job as a general assignments reporter at KTAL-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana. I’ve lived in the viewing area for the last four years, so it will be an excellent opportunity to cover stories affecting my friends and neighbors.

I hope to continue my government reporting at KTAL, as the focus turns to the upcoming 4th District Congressional race and the presidential election.

I’m planning to update you with stories of my first few days of work, then continue with my regular features and opinions posts.

Day 2: “I Can See Clearly Now…the Rain is Gone”

Before I start, let me apologize for the cliche song reference in the headline. I can’t help but be thankful that the monsoon is over, but also shrug at the scorching week ahead. Today’s hot, dry weather is closer to the normal weather patterns for north Texas.

Upon arrival at work, I finally worked out the kinks with my employee log-in to the Belo corporate intranet. I figured out how to file my electronic time sheet and smoothed-out the details of their direct deposit system.

I was immediately struck by the size of the WFAA newsroom. Located at the entrance of the room is the assignments desk, the “nerve center” of any news operation.

Continue reading