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Oklahoma City

KOCO Names Bryan Keating Sports Director

Bryan Keating has been named sports director for Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO.

Keating announced the news on his twitter feed, “Just signed a contract to be the Sports Director for KOCO in OKC. Couldn’t have imagined this day when I just a kid growing up in Edmond.”

Keating has been at KOCO since 2012. He replaces former sports director Bob Irzyk, who recently left the station. Before coming to KOCO, Keating was the sports director at KTXS in Abilene, TX..

Former KOCO Sports Director Jerry Park Remembered

Jerry Park, former sports director for Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO, died Monday. He was 76.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who worked with Park at KOCO for more than 20 years, told The Oklahoman about a Cotton Bowl pregame show when Park was told producers had mistimed the show and he had to fill four minutes. “I remember thinking how calm and collected he was when they told him he had four minutes,” said Cornett. “I adopted a quote, ‘Nobody says nothing better than Jerry.’ He talked for four minutes about absolutely nothing, but you wouldn’t necessarily would have picked up on it.”

Park worked at KOCO from 1974 until his retirement in 1999. He started his career in broadcasting in Forth Worth, TX, in 1956 as a disc jockey. He also worked in television in Lubbock, TX, and Dallas.

Talking about a heart attack he suffered in 1993, Park himself is quoted by The Oklahoman giving some insight into how he looked at the world.

“After the heart attack, those things that were seemingly important to me, were no longer important at all — like being in front of a TV camera,” Park said. “The values of my family and the ones I care about were more important.”

KOKH Anchor Wendy Suares Diagnosed With Skin Cancer

KOKH anchor Wendy Suares has been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a non-deadly form of skin cancer, she announced this week on the Oklahoma City Fox affiliate’s morning newscast (video above).

“As journalists, we’re taught not to make ourselves the story, but I wanted to share my experience to bring awareness, taking you from diagnosis to treatment,” she said. Suares, who anchors the morning newscast, is undergoing surgery today.

Sports Director Bob Irzyk Leaving KOCO

Sports director Bob Irzyk is leaving KOCO after three years with the Oklahoma City ABC affiliate, The Oklahoman reports.

Irzyk, who appears on the station’s weekday evening newscasts, officially signs off today. Before joining KOCO, he worked at WFLD in Chicago, WFTS in Tampa and KDAF in Dallas.

“I’m exploring other opportunities right now,” Irzyk told The Oklahoman in an email.

KWTV Meteorologist Gary England Promoted to Corporate Role at Griffin Communications

KWTV chief meteorologist Gary England is moving into a corporate role at the station’s parent company, Griffin Communications.

England will focus on “severe storm mitigation, technology innovation, and audience relations” as he transitions to vice president for corporate relations and weather development. His daily on-air forecasts at the Oklahoma City CBS affiliate will end August 30.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to do something that I love for over 40 years and have always enjoyed the challenge of change,” England said in a statement. “All of this represents a new, fresh and bold approach on my road of life and business. I am therefore very enthusiastic about the future.”

England joined KWTV in 1972. He will continue to appear on the station in his new role as in a series of reports called “Gary’s I’ll Keep You Advised,” focusing on long-term weather patterns and events.

“Gary England is an icon. The impact that he has had on Oklahoma and the field of meteorology is unparalleled,” Griffin Communications chairman and CEO David Griffin said in a statement. “His dedication and passion for weather has revolutionized severe weather systems and coverage not only in Oklahoma but throughout the world. When you see television weather across America, you are seeing the results of Gary’s work.”

Video of England talking about his promotion is after the jump. Read more

Man Shoots at KWTV Chopper During Police Standoff

A man fired a shot at the KWTV helicopter during a police standoff Friday, the Oklahoma City CBS affiliate reports. Jim Gardner, the pilot for KWTV’s chopper, was covering ongoing negotiations between the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office and Troy Shackelford, who was feared to be suicidal:

Authorities set up their command center at the Hilltop Baptist Church. After a few hours of negotiations, authorities were able to bring the situation to a safe conclusion.

On Monday, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office reported that Shackelford actually fired a shot at our chopper. No one was hurt.

The Sheriff’s office will pursue federal charges against Shackelford, according to KWTV.

KOKH Viewers Miss Part of All-Star Game After Station Knocked Off-Air

Some viewers of Oklahoma City FOX affiliate KOKH missed nearly an hour of last night’s MLB All-Star Game broadcast because of a power outage brought on by a thunderstorm.

The station posted the news to its facebook page, “Right now it appears we are transmitting but we have no power here at the station. We are sorry if this has interrupted your viewing of the All-Star Game. We are told some are seeing it and other are not. We are working on the power issue so if you are missing the game, we apologize.”

According to broadcast monitoring site TVEyes, the station was knocked off the air shortly after 9:09 pm right after the end of the sixth inning. KOKH was without a signal until 10:15 pm when the station re-joined the All-Star Game in the ninth inning after a few stops and starts.

On the newscast following the All-Star Game, KOKH anchor Jaime Ceretta told viewers thousands of Oklahoma Gas & Electric customers were left without power after a storm hit the area. KOKH said at one point 15,000 homes were without power.

TVSpy has contacted the station for more details but hasn’t heard back. We will update when we do.

Oklahoma TV Pioneer Bill Thrash Dies

 

Bill Thrash, described as Oklahoma’s “premier television producer, director, programmer” has died at the age of 73.

“We are very sad to say that we have lost an important member of our Newschannel 4 family,” said Kevin Ogle, anchor for the Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR. “You may not immediately recognize his name but his imprint was all over the shows you enjoyed on Newschannel 4 over the years,” added anchor Meg Alexander.

Thrash started at WKY (now KFOR) in 1971 eventually becoming the station’s program and station manager. He is credited with launching shows such as “The Stars and Stripes Show,” “Danny’s Day,” and “The Butch and Ben McCain Show.”

In 2010, Thrash received the Gold Circle Emmy Award from the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, making him the second Oklahoman to have received the award. In 2009, the William C. Thrash Television Studio was opened on the campus of East Central University in Ada, OK.

KOCO Names Rebecca Gaylord News Director

Rebecca Gaylord has been named news director at KOCO, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City.

“The opportunity to lead a group as talented as the KOCO newsroom is a dream come true,” Gaylord said in a statement. “I’m excited to be part of such a top-notch team, in such a dynamic city.”

Gaylord comes from KOAT, the ABC affiliate in Albuquerque, where she has been assistant news director for the past four years.

“Rebecca’s track record of success speaks for itself,” KOCO president and general manager Brent Hensley said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that she is joining our team and will bring all of those positive experiences to our newsroom as we work to serve the viewers in Oklahoma.”

Bridget Young Named National Sales Manager at KOCO

Bridget Young has been promoted to national sales manager at KOCO, Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate in Oklahoma City.

“Bridget has been a standout performer in our sales department since the day she arrived,” KOCO president and general manager Brent Hensley said in a statement. “Her leadership by example and drive to succeed will be a real asset to the station and department in her new role.”

Young joined the station as an account executive in 2005. She has a five-time recipient of the Hearst Eagle Award for sales excellence.

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