KXAN wins prestigious journalism award

kxanAn Austin television station has been awarded one of the broadcast industry’s most prestigious honors.

Local NBC affiliate KXAN is one of the recipients of this year’s Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia University Awards for its investigation into racial profiling records kept by law enforcement agencies.

Other winners are NBC stations in Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; and Atlanta.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for KXAN’s commitment to investigative journalism that holds the powerful accountable and gets results for our viewers,” KXAN president and general manager Eric Lassberg said.

According to KXAN, the station’s coverage led to audits and prompted policy changes.

Staffers involved in the investigation included reporter Brian Collister, investigative producer Joe Ellis, investigative photojournalist Ben Friberg, executive producer Josh Hinkle, news director Chad Cross and digital media manager Robert Sims.

“We’re committed to serving our community by reporting on issues that directly impact people’s lives,” Cross said. “We’re grateful for this recognition of the important work by KXAN’s team of investigators.”

Report: 53 percent of viewers in Austin TV market voted for Clinton

Hillary Clinton (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Austin TV market, which includes 12 Central Texas counties, favored Hillary Clinton in the recent presidential election – but president-elect Donald Trump wasn’t far behind.

New data released this week by Echelon Insights shows that 53.27 percent of voters in Nielsen’s Austin designated market area (or DMA) – Travis, Williamson, Hays, Mason, Llano, Gillespie, Burnet, Blanco, Caldwell, Bastrop, Fayette and Lee counties – cast ballots for Clinton, compared to 40.01 percent for Trump.

The results in other Texas TV markets were, in many cases, much, much different. Abilene, for example, had the highest percentage of Trump votes in the entire country: 79.13 percent.

Here are the results from a few other Texas DMAs:

  • Dallas: 53.50 percent Trump, 41.80 percent Clinton
  • Houston: 49.76 percent Trump, 46.06 percent Clinton
  • San Antonio: 49.36 percent Trump, 46.03 percent Clinton
  • Bryan/College Station: 61.59 percent Trump, 33.17 percent Clinton
  • El Paso: 65.17 percent Clinton, 28.53 percent Trump
  • Harlingen: 67.62 percent Clinton, 29.00 percent Trump
  • Tyler/Longview: 72.80 percent Trump, 24.07 percent Clinton
  • Corpus Christi: 51.18 percent Trump, 45.08 percent Clinton
  • Amarillo: 77.54 percent Trump, 17.73 percent Clinton
  • Beaumont: 64.65 percent Trump, 33.04 percent Clinton
  • Lubbock: 69.69 percent Trump, 25.58 percent Clinton
  • Midland: 70.44 percent Trump, 25.54 percent Clinton
  • Laredo: 73.89 percent Clinton, 23.28 percent Trump

‘Jeopardy!’ contestant from Austin dies before show airs

12/21 update: After winning six straight episodes, Austinite Cindy Stowell lost on Wednesday’s “Jeopardy!”

She won more than $105,000, money she’d told producers she intended to donate to cancer charities.

Stowell, who died days before her first “Jeopardy!” episode aired earlier this month, had been battling Stage 4 cancer when the shows were taped in late August.

Her boyfriend told KXAN being on the show was Stowell’s lifelong dream.

12/15 update: Cindy Stowell picked up another $8,600 in winnings today.

12/14 update: In her second day on “Jeopardy!” Austin’s Cindy Stowell won $8,199, placing first. Stowell, who taped the episodes in the fall, died earlier this month, before they aired. She’ll be back on tomorrow’s episode.

12/13 update: Austinite Cindy Stowell, who died before an episode of “Jeopardy!” she taped earlier this year could air, placed first on Tuesday’s show, winning $22,801 and a chance to return for another matchup tomorrow.

Original post: An Austin woman battling cancer passed away before she could watch herself compete on “Jeopardy!”

'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek with Austinite Cindy Stowell. Stowell died shortly after appearing on the show.
‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek with Austinite Cindy Stowell. Stowell died shortly after appearing on the show. (Photo courtesy of ‘Jeopardy!’)

The episode featuring Cindy Stowell was taped in August and is set to air Tuesday, according to CNN.

Stowell was 41.

In Austin, “Jeopardy!” airs weekdays at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on KXAN.

Producers of the long-running game show told CNN they believe this is the first time a contestant who taped an episode has died before it aired.

Stowell auditioned earlier this year in Oklahoma City.

From CNN:

“Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in-person interview and the taping date?” Stowell asked in a message to “Jeopardy!” contestant producer Maggie Speak.

“I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about six months,” Stowell wrote.

“If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of ‘Jeopardy!’ if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research.”

While producers and host Alex Trebek knew Stowell was battling cancer, her fellow contestants weren’t told. As is typically the case, the show did not say ahead of time how Stowell fared.

“Competing on ‘Jeopardy!’ was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so,” Trebek told CNN in a written statement.

Daughter of CBS Austin anchor Adela Uchida has role in ‘Nutcracker’

CBS Austin news anchor Adela Uchida and her daughter Siobhan
CBS Austin news anchor Adela Uchida and her daughter Siobhan

For decades, Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker’ has served as a valuable training ground for up-and-coming dancers.

This year’s no exception, with about 140 Ballet Austin Academy students set to take part.

One of those dancers is the daughter of CBS Austin news anchor Adela Uchida.

Siobhan, 9, said she’s long wanted to be in “The Nutcracker.”

“I wanted to do this because I like to perform,” the fourth-grader said. “And when I heard in second grade that I could be in ‘The Nutcracker,’ but I had to work hard, my mom told me I could probably do it.”

“I’m very proud of her,” Uchida said. “I had this idea that allowing her to audition would teach her some lessons about hard work paying off, so I was worried about what I was going to say if she didn’t make it. Her reaction when she found out was priceless, though. It was the first time I have seen my child cry in happiness.”

While Uchida said she danced for a time when she was younger, she later switched to running, swimming and soccer. Siobhan, though, looks like she’s sticking with dancing for now.

“I started taking her to see ‘The Nutcracker’ when she was 4,” Uchida said. “We lived in Houston at the time, so it was the Houston Ballet production. We continued the tradition here in Austin – last year we saw the Ballet Austin production at the Long Center and it was so much fun.

“She liked watching the ballerinas in ‘The Nutcracker’ and pre-ballet was offered at her school in the Houston area, so it was a natural thing that she wanted to do. She really started focusing on it this year though, when she realized she could be a part of this production.”

Siobhan, who will dance the role of an angel, said she finds the costumes, in particular, appealing. But that’s not all.

“I love watching people en pointe or trying to get higher (on her feet) and closer to pointe, even though I can’t do pointe yet,” she said. “I want to become famous one day.”

“The Nutcracker” runs through Dec. 23 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, visit balletaustin.org.

November TV ratings: KXAN wins most news time slots

KXAN's newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
KXAN’s newscasts were No. 1 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

KXAN continues to be Austin’s No. 1 choice for TV news, according to the latest Nielsen ratings.

In November, the city’s NBC affiliate had the top-ranked English-language newscasts at 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

ABC affiliate KVUE placed first at 5 a.m. and in the midday news competition.

Other highlights:

  • ABC’s “Good Morning America” is the network morning show to beat, while “NBC Nightly News” rules the roost at 5:30 p.m. weeknights.
  • CBS Austin’s new 6:30 p.m. newscast is off to a strong start, already delivering more viewers than “Modern Family,” the program it replaced.
  • NBC is the top-ranked network in prime time, followed by Fox, ABC, CBS, The CW and then MyNetworkTV.
  • It was a strong month for sports on Fox 7. Ratings for the Dallas Cowboys grew 26 percent year over year, while Game 7 of the World Series drew more than 180,000 Central Texas households.

November Nielsen ratings

Each ratings point equals 7,712 Central Texas households. The first number is ratings points, the second is share (the percentage of in-use TV sets tuned to a particular channel) and the third is total households.

4:30 a.m.

  • KXAN: .5 / 6 / 3,856
  • KVUE: .5 / 5.2 / 3,856
  • KTBC: .4 / 4 / 3,085
  • KEYE: .2 / 2.1 / 1,542

5 a.m.

  • KVUE: 1.2 / 10.6 / 9,254
  • KXAN: 1.1 / 9.7 / 8,483
  • KEYE: .6 / 5.8 / 4,627
  • KTBC: .6 / 5.4 / 4,627

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.7 / 15.5 / 20,822
  • KVUE: 2.2 / 12.7 / 16,966
  • KTBC: 1.4 / 7.7 / 10,797
  • KEYE: .9 / 5.2 / 6,941

7 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.8 / 8 / 13,882
  • KNVA: .4 / 1.7 / 3,085

8 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.6 / 6.9 / 12,339

9 a.m.

  • KTBC: 1.6 / 6.7 / 12,339
  • KEYE: 1 / 4 / 7,712 (‘We Are Austin’)

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 2.5 / 9.9 / 19,280


  • KXAN: 2 / 7.4 / 15,424
  • KTBC: .9 / 3.3 / 6,941

12:30 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1.3 / 5 / 10,026 (‘Studio 512’)

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.9 / 15 / 45,501
  • KVUE: 4.2 / 10.7 / 32,390
  • KTBC: 2.5 / 6.2 / 19,280
  • KEYE: 1.6 / 4 / 12,339

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 7.3 / 16.1 / 56,298
  • KVUE: 4.2 / 9.2 / 32,390
  • KEYE: 1.8 / 4 / 13,882

6:30 p.m.

  • KEYE: 1.6 / 3.3 / 12,339

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 2.2 / 4.1 / 16,966
  • KNVA: 1 / 1.7 / 7,712

9:45 p.m.

  • KNVA: .8 / 1.4  / 6,170 (‘KXAN Sports: More Than the Score’)

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 5.9 / 11.3 / 45,501
  • KVUE: 3.4 / 6.5 / 26,221
  • KEYE: 2.7 / 5.1 / 20,822
  • KTBC: 2.1 / 4.1 / 16,195


KBVO to air Friday’s Lake Travis-Westlake playoff game

The Lake Travis football team celebrates its 54-7 victory over Los Fresnos on Nov. 25. (John Gutierrez photo / for American-Statesman)
The Lake Travis football team celebrates its 54-7 victory over Los Fresnos on Nov. 25. (John Gutierrez photo / for American-Statesman)

One of the biggest high school football rivalries in Central Texas will unfold Friday night on live TV.

That’s when Austin MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO will air the 6A Division 1 quarter-final matchup between powerhouses Lake Travis and Westlake.

The game, which will be played at Round Rock’s Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex, starts at 7:30 p.m.

Westlake fans got some bad news Thursday when they learned star Chaparral quarterback Sam Ehlinger wouldn’t play in the game because of a wrist injury.