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San Antonio

Fire Knocks San Antonio’s WOAI Off the Air

WOAI was knocked off the air during the morning newscast Tuesday when a fire broke out in the building that houses the San Antonio NBC affiliate. The station was airing NBC’s special report on the celebration mass for Pope Francis when the programming went to black.

“At approximately 5:00 a.m. a fire alarm was triggered at WOAI-TV, and the building was evacuated. Fire units arrived shortly thereafter. The fire was contained to second floor offices. We expect to have electricity restored to the building by noon, and we anticipate having WOAI-TV on the air later this afternoon,” WOAI general manager John Seabers said in a statement. “We are grateful no one was injured.”

In the station’s slideshow of the fire, flames can be seen in the second floor window of the WOAI building. WOAI reporters and anchors did live reports from the scene on Fox affiliate KABB, which is also owned by WOAI parent company Sinclair Broadcasting.

Brian Collister Joins KTRK From WOAI

Investigative reporter Brian Collister is joining KTRK, the ABC O&O in Houston. Collister joins the station after 13 years at WOAI, the NBC affiliate in San Antonio.

“I am thrilled and honored to join 13-Eyewitness News and to be a part of one of the most prestigious investigative teams in the country,” Collister said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. “I look forward to adding to its legacy.”

Collister, who is a seven-time Lone Star Emmy award winner, replaces Wayne Dolcefino at the ABC O&O.

KENS Live Report Interrupted by Gunfire

Marvin Hurst, reporter for KENS, the San Antonio CBS affiliate, was live on the scene of a standoff involving a SWAT team and an armed man when gunfire interrupted his report. You can watch the video of the report after the jump.

Multiple gunshots can be heard at 2:03 into the video. “As you can hear in the background as this situation is going off, that was gun fire of some sort,” said Hurst who kept his cool despite being close to the scene. “Something has occurred.”

The photographer zoomed in on the property in question, revealing the silhouette of a SWAT team member skirting the house.  When the photographer upped the gain on his camera, viewers could see more of the SWAT team approaching the house in force. See the video inside. Read more

KABB Anchor Karen Martinez Dies After Long Battle With Breast Cancer

KABB anchor Karen Martinez has died from breast cancer, according to the San Antonio Fox affiliate. She was 37.

“Karen’s courage in her battle inspired us all,” the station said in a statement. “She loved each of her Fox San Antonio viewers.”

Martinez was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and has raised awareness of the disease and its treatments on the air for the past four years. In November, the anchor underwent radioembolization treatments to treat the cancer, which had spread to her liver.

Watch KABB’s tribute to Martinez here (the station’s video player does not allow embedding).

Jennifer Dodd Leaving San Antonio for Green Bay

Jennifer Dodd, a general assignment reporter at KSAT, is leaving the San Antonio ABC affiliate for an anchor job in Green Bay.

Dodd will be the solo morning anchor at NBC affiliate WGBA, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

“Jennifer wanted to pursue anchoring,” WGBA news director Bob Healey said. “”Part of her allure is that she understands what it’s like to be a working mom.”

Dodd will start at WGBA after Christmas, she wrote on Twitter.

KENS Shines a Spotlight on Military Issues in Week Long Web Series

TVNewsCheck speaks to Jan Boyd, director of digital media at KENS, about the station’s recent web-exclusive series, “Seven Days in Military City, USA.” In San Antonio, where 18 percent of the population has military ties, Boyd said the seven-part series is part of the station’s quest for a digital identity:

The series — using video, photo slideshows and written stories — included stories about the “wounded warriors” who for the second year rode bikes 500 miles across Texas; homeless veterans who reportedly make up nearly one-quarter of the homeless in San Antonio counted as head of households; and Tim Williams, a veteran who now is a maintenance crew work leader at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery, the country’s seventh busiest national cemetery.

The series was filmed, photographed, written and posted entirely by KENS5.com’s four-person digital content-creation team, says Jan Boyd, the station’s director of digital media. It reflects Boyd’s vision of a TV station website that has its own editorial voice while still meeting its obligations of supporting, and supplementing, on-air content. Read more

KABB Anchor Karen Martinez Continues Her Fight Against Stage Four Breast Cancer

KABB anchor Karen Martinez is entering a new phase in her fight against stage four breast cancer that has spread to her liver.

Martinez, who has has sought to raise awareness of breast cancer since she was diagnosed in 2009, has begun radioembolization treatments for her disease. She shared her story with KABB’s Yami Virgin in a report that aired Thursday.

“To be a part of this is amazing because it is so new to San Antonio. I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to do this story and to let people know that this is an option,” Martinez said.

Watch KABB’s report on radioembolization here (the station’s video player does not allow embedding).

WOAI Reporter Donates Kidney to Mom, Documents It In Series

San Antonio NBC affiliate WOAI will begin airing a three part series tonight about reporter Kristina De Leon and her mother’s battle with kidney disease.  De Leon (pictured left) donated one of her kidneys to her ailing mother (pictured right) and documented the process to shed some light on the procedure.

“The reason for documenting all of this is because I wanted people to know that donating a kidney isn’t as scary as you think,” De Leon said.  “You don’t have to take medications for the rest of your life. You can drink alcohol afterwards. You can have children, run a marathon, and live a perfectly normal life, as long as you are reasonably healthy.”

De Leon, whose mother had been on kidney dialysis three times a week for 15 months before it was decided she needed a transplant, told TVSpy her mother is on the mend, “Mom is doing great! She’s no longer on dialysis, and at this point, goes to the (doctor) once a week to make sure her new kidney is functioning properly. We are so blessed everything worked out!” Read more

Jeff Vaughn Out, Jeff Goldblatt In at KENS

Just a week after saying goodbye to WMAQ in Chicago, Jeff Goldblatt has been announced as the new primary anchor at KENS in San Antonio.

“I’m very pleased to have someone of Jeff’s experience not only on the anchor desk but on the reporting front,” KENS president and general manager Bob McGann said in a statement. “He has tremendous experience covering national and international stories.”

Goldblatt replaces Jeff Vaughn, who was let go from the CBS-affiliate last week, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

“I was disappointed,” Vaughn said. “I’m sad I’m not going to do news there anymore … but I’m ready for the next chapter, and happy to spend time with my son.” Read more

KSAT Names Colorado Shooting Victim Jessica Ghawi Honorary Sportscaster

San Antonio ABC-affiliate KSAT has named Jessica Ghawi, one of the 12 victims in the Colorado movie theater shooting, an honorary member of the sports department.

Ghawi was an aspiring sportscaster who had interned at KABB in San Antonio and KDVR in Denver. In making the announcement, KSAT sports director Greg Simmons said that Ghawi was “a friend to many, not only at this station, but to others as well.”

“Her dream was to cover the NHL and I’m telling you she was on her way — no doubt about it,” sports anchor Larry Ramirez, who Simmons described as “one of those closest to Jessica here at KSAT,” said. “Tonight we honor Jessie by making her an honorary member of the KSAT 12 sports team.” Read more

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