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Amarillo

Boston Celtics Hire Amarillo Reporter

austen_kamrEmily Austen is not only moving across country, she’s also moving from local television to the NBA.

According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the weekend sports anchor and reporter for Amarillo, TX, NBC and FOX affiliate KAMR-KCIT has recently been added as a web reporter for the professional men’s basketball team, the Boston Celtics.

Austen said she’s not exactly sure what she’ll be doing but told the Globe-News, “I think my job will be interviewing the Celtics players and helping put up media coverage of the website. That should be fun.”

Before coming to KAMR-KCIT in February 2012, she was a producer at the Golf Channel in Orlando, FL.

“I’m kind of still in shock,” Austen added. “I think it’s finally hit me I’m leaving Amarillo but it hasn’t hit me I’m moving to Boston.”

[FTVLive]

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KAMR Broadcasts From Station Bathroom During Tornado Alert

Amarillo, TX, NBC affiliate KAMR found itself in the center of the severe storms sweeping through Texas last night. The area was hit with winds up to 70 MPH, baseball sized hail and, according to KAMR chief meteorologist John Harris, tornadoes touching down in Amarillo.

Last night at around 11:45 p.m. reports of a tornado developing near the station sent the anchors and crew scrambling for shelter while they were still on the air. NBC’s “Today” show aired what looked like cell phone video of the KAMR weather team broadcasting from the station bathroom. The station was also broadcasting on FOX affiliate KCIT at the time. That video leaves out the one scene setter viewers at home could hear during the broadcast, the sound of hail hitting the building. Read more

Former KVII Anchor Killed in Head-On Collision

A.J. Swope, former anchor and reporter for KVII was killed in a head-on car crash Tuesday morning.

State Troopers told the Amarillo, TX, ABC affiliate 36-year-old Melissa Flores was driving the wrong way in the Northbound lane of Highway 287 when she struck Swope’s pickup truck head-on.

On its website, KVII posted a video of community members remembering Swope along with a short bio.  You can watch the video after the jump.

Known as “A.J.” by friends and family members, he began working at K-V-I-I after graduating from West Texas A&M University. He served as a Reporter/Anchor for Pronews 7, and eventually became the Assignment Editor.>

For the past 4 years, A.J. was the Executive Director of the wind-energy company, Class Four Winds. He is also known for his musical talents. A musician with his band, A.J. Swope and The Last Train Home, A.J. had a passion for the craft.

He was 27 years old. Read more

Amarillo Sees Anchor Shuffle

Viewers in Amarillo, TX will see some familiar faces in new places beginning this morning, according to the Amarillo Globe-News.

KVII will see the most changes.  Former morning reporter Adam Snider and reporter/anchor Emily Griffin have left the ABC affiliate for rival stations, while Steve Myers, longtime KVII anchor, has moved to the mornings from his 5, 6 and 10 p.m. slot.

Snider, will begin anchoring weekends for Amarillo’s NBC affiliate KAMR while Griffin will anchor the weekends for CBS affiliate KFDA.

KAMR’s news director, Ny Lynn Nichols told the Globe-News, “(Snyder) has a lot of talent, he is local (from Stinnett) … and a WT grad, and he’s smart.  We’re very excited to have him as part of the team.”

Griffin, who will make her debut next weekend, told the Globe-News, “It’s a good opportunity.”

Ryan Hazelwood Named News Director at KVII

Ryan Hazelwood has been named news director at KVII, the ABC-affiliate in Amarillo, TX.

Hazelwood worked as a photojournalist at KVII from 1998-99. He has also worked as a photojournalist at KFDA in Amarillo and KVUE in Austin. Most recently, he was a broadcast engineer and instructor at West Texas A&M University. He also owns his own production company.

“We are very excited to have Ryan on board,” KVII president and CEO Thom Pritz said in a statement. “We already have the best news team in Texas and it just got better.” Read more

Brandy Sanchez Named VP-GM of KAMR

Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced today that Brandy Sanchez has been named vice president and general manager of KAMR, the company’s NBC-affiliate in Amarillo, TX.

Sanchez will also oversee KCIT and KCPN, the market’s Mission Broadcasting stations, under Nexstar’s joint operating agreement with Mission.

Sanchez has spent the past 18 years working in Amarillo TV. She joined KCIT in 1994 as a traffic assistant, eventually climbing the ranks to become director of sales for KAMR, KCIT, and KCPN.

“I am proud to have the opportunity to work with the outstanding teams here at KAMR, KCIT, and KCPN,” Sanchez said in a statement. Read more

Amarillo’s KFDA Set to Broadcast First HD Newscast in West Texas

Amarillo’s KFDA will begin broadcasting its newscasts in HD next week, becoming the first station in the area to do so.

“Geographically, there’s no high-def TV station right now between Dallas and Albuquerque (N.M.), Oklahoma City and San Antonio,” Brent McClure, KFDA’s general manager, told the Amarillo Globe-News. “There’s nobody doing this. We’re the first in the whole West Texas region.”

The CBS-affiliate, which is owned by Drewry Communications Group, began the transition to HD two years ago, adding HD equipment to their studio and educating their team about the new technology.

The switch will officially occur next Wednesday.

“We are trying to stay on the edge and bring people what they want,” McClure said.