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Gray Moves News Directors in Texas and Wisconsin

laszewski y lauberMikel Lauber has been named news director for Gray TV’s CBS affiliate in Waco, TX, KWTX.

The move opens up a slot at his former station WSAW which will be filled by Jessica Laszewski who comes from WISC in Madison.

Lauber has been news director at WSAW since 2011. According to Rick Gevers, he replaces Virgil Teter at KWTX who was named special projects director after nearly 25 years at the station.

Laszewski is currently executive producer at WISC. She has also worked in Green Bay, WI, and Eau Claire, WI.

[Rick Gevers]

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Jim Hice Named News Director at KCEN

kcen logoJim Hice has been named news director at KCEN, the NBC affiliate in Waco, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.

“We’re extremely lucky to have a news director of Jim’s caliber to continue KCEN-HD’s mission: the pursuit of reporting excellence with a tradition of community involvement,” KCEN VP-GM Gayle Kiger said.

Hice comes from WHAS, the ABC affiliate in Louisville, where he has been the assistant news director for four years. He succeeds Jim Holland, who has been the KCEN news director for five years.

KBTX Statement on Bob French Discrimination Charge: ‘Allegations Are Utterly Without Merit’

bob french kbtxHouston media blogger Mike McGuff gets a statement from KBTX about the discrimination allegations by former chief meteorologist Bob French:

The KBTX family is disappointed to learn from other media outlets that our former colleague and friend Bob French has chosen to file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stemming from his employment here. KBTX and Gray Television respect the privacy of the employment relationship, and accordingly, will not litigate matters related to Mr. French’s employment in the press. KBTX, however, will defend itself vigorously against Mr. French’s allegations and is confident that upon reviewing the record, the EEOC will conclude that Mr. French’s allegations are utterly without merit.

Former Meteorologist Files Age and Disability Discrimination Charge Against KBTX

kbtx logoBob French, a former chief meteorologist at KBTX in Bryan-College Station, has filed a charge of age and disability discrimination against the CBS affiliate and its parent company, Gray Television, with the EEOC and the Texas Workforce Commission.

French worked at KBTX for 23 years. In a statement released by Houston law firm Peckham PLLC, French, who is “over the age of 40,” claims he was overworked during the 2012 holidays while younger employees were granted time off. French says the strain resulted in in-patient treatment for exhaustion and stress in mid-January, causing a three-month absence from the station under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

When he returned to KBTX in April 2013, French’s attorney says the weathercaster was “reprimanded … for matters relating to his disability and FMLA leave,” according to the statement. He was fired in July and replaced “by a weathercaster under 40 years of age.”

A lawsuit is is expected to be filed on the allegations as soon as the EEOC federal investigation of KBTX and Gray Television is complete, according to his attorney. See the statement after the jump. Read more

Leadership Changes at KWTX and KBTX as Robert Bunch Announces Retirement

kwtx logoKWTX general manager Robert Bunch has announced he will retire from Gray Television’s CBS affiliate in Waco, Texas at the end of the year. He has worked in radio and television broadcasting for 45 years, including the past ten at Gray.

Mike Wright, the general manager at sister station KBTX in College Station, will take over as vice president and general manager at KWTX. In his new role, he will oversee daily operations in Waco will maintaining oversight of KBTX. As Wright transitions into his new role, Lori Bruffett, the general sales manager at KBTX, will add station manager to her title.

“Mike and Lori bring a history of knowledge and insight from this very unique market. We are thrilled to have such excellent talent in-house able to step forward upon Bob’s retirement to bring KWTX and KBTX to the next level,” Bob Smith, senior vice president for Gray’s Midwest and West region, said in a statement. “Together, the leadership team will expand the synergies between the properties and, importantly, enhance our history of service to the communities of Central Texas.”

Watch KBTX’s report on the changes after the jump. Read more

KBTX Brings HD News to Brazos Valley

KBTX, a Gray Television-owned station in Bryan-College Station, TX, began airing its newscasts in high definition this week.   The CBS-affiliate produces six newscasts Monday through Friday and three on the weekends–all of which will now be broadcast in HD, making them the first HD newscasts in the Brazos Valley.

“The Brazos Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in Texas and deserves the latest in HD technology,” KBTX vice president and general manager Mike Wright said recently.  “KBTX has been partners with this area since 1957 and will always work to improve the product we air.”

KBTX is currently working to install a new, HD-optimized set by the end of the year. Read more

Veteran Texas Anchor John Gilbert Returns to Roots at KBTX

Veteran anchor John Gilbert has landed at KBTX in the Bryan-College Station, TX. For the past eight years, Gilbert has worked as a reporter and anchor for nearby KCEN. He left the Waco NBC-affiliate just over two weeks ago.

“KBTX is honored to welcome a journalist like John who brings invaluable experience and leadership qualities to our news operation,” said Mike Wright, KBTX Media vice president and general manager.

Gilbert has worked in local TV news for nearly three decades. After stints in Las Vegas, Knoxville, and Chattanooga, Gilbert landed at Waco’s KCEN, where he anchored the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts. The move to KBTX is a homecoming of sorts for Gilbert. He’s a graduate of Texas A&M–located in College Station–and started his TV career at the the on-campus station KAMU.
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