SNEAK PEEK: Check out the H-E-B Super Bowl ad

Cowboy Troy

The Super Bowl is just around the corner – and H-E-B is ready with its annual “big game” TV ad.

This year’s 60-second spot, set to air this Sunday between the third and fourth quarters in selected markets across Texas, features Cowboy Troy, a Texas-based country rapper.

The commercial, which will be seen during a number of other programs airing in the days and weeks after the Super Bowl, helps kick off the San Antonio-based grocery chain’s annual Primo Picks Quest for Texas’ Best contest.

Winners of the competition will have a chance to have their creations sold in H-E-B’s nearly 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, plus a $25,000 cash prize and a Toyota Tundra truck.

“At H-E-B, we’re committed to searching every inch of the Lone Star State to find the finest, most unique items that showcase the flavors of Texas,” said Cory Basso, H-E-B’s group vice president of marketing and advertising. “We’re on a mission, and Cowboy Troy’s hip hop-country tunes provide a great backdrop for our Quest for Texas’ Best.”

To enter the contest, or learn more, visit

Super Bowl LII

5:30 p.m. Sunday

KXAN, Channel 36


Pride Radio Austin gone from 97.5 FM; new format debuts

After two years on the air, the plug has been pulled on 97.5 FM Pride Radio Austin.

Owner iHeartMedia on Friday replaced the format, which targeted the Central Texas gay community, with the new Alt 97.5.

Alt 97.5, which is launching with 5,000 commercial-free songs in a row, features music from alternative acts such as Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Muse and more.

“We’re thrilled to bring Alt 97.5 to the Austin airwaves,” said Brian Gann, regional senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Austin and San Antonio stations. “We know this format will resonate with our listeners, and we are beyond happy to show Austin the new alternative, Alt 97.5.”

The station’s weekday lineup includes the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” from 6 to 10 a.m. The rest of the schedule:

  • Wendy Rollins: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Klinger: 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Mike Jones: 7 p.m. to midnight

Officials with iHeartMedia said that while Pride Radio is gone from the 97.5 FM frequency, it can still be heard on the HD2 signal of sister station 102.3 The Beat, online at or on the iHeartRadio app.


KVUE debuts new set

KVUE took the wraps off its new set Sunday night.

The set, from Jack Morton Worldwide, replaces one that first debuted in 2001 and underwent a refresh in 2008.

Jack Morton Worldwide has designed similar sets for a number of KVUE’s sister stations across the country.

“We’re so thankful that our parent company Tegna believes deeply in quality, local journalism,” KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “Their investment in KVUE allowed us to build a state-of-the-art set, inspired by Austin.”

Construction on the set started in mid-2017 in a secondary studio, allowing the ABC affiliate to continue broadcasting from its old set without interruption.

The focal point of the new 360-degree set is an array of flat-screens that sits behind the news anchors. Aside from the main anchor desk, there’s also a weather center and an interview area.

“KVUE has always set the standard in Austin for innovation,” news director Tim Ryan said. “We’ve integrated all the tools at our disposal to tell Austin’s story in real time, help the KVUE Storm Team keep you on top of the ever-changing weather in Central Texas and have a little fun, too.”

Now that the new set has debuted, the studio where the old set is located will be converted into production space.


Lead investigative reporter Brian Collister departs KXAN

Brian Collister

Brian Collister, KXAN’s lead investigative reporter, has departed the station.

In an interview with the American-Statesman, Collister, who spent nearly four years at the city’s NBC affiliate, said he’s already busy looking for his next opportunity.

“Like any relationship, sometimes the parties decide they need to go in a new direction – and that’s what we decided to do,” he said.

Before arriving at KXAN, he spent time as an investigative reporter at KTRK in Houston and WOAI in San Antonio. Earlier in his career, he helped start the 7 On Your Side unit at Austin’s KTBC.

“I’ve been an investigative reporter for 20 years,” Collister said. “Whether it’s here in Austin, elsewhere in Texas or beyond, I’m going to continue to fight for the public’s right to know.”

While at KXAN, Collister and the station’s heavily promoted investigative team won a slew of awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for their coverage of racial profiling by Texas law enforcement officers.

“Viewers and tipsters were confident we’d tell their stories,” Collister said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to do some really great things at KXAN. I appreciate every opportunity they gave me.”

While he’s not sure what’s next, Collister said there’s one thing he wants viewers to know no matter where he lands.

“Regardless of where I am, I want people to realize they can still reach out and I can help them,” he said.

KVUE adding an hour of weekend news

KVUE weekend anchor Kris Betts (John Gusky photo / KVUE)

KVUE is adding an hour of weekend news starting this month.

Both the additions at the city’s ABC affiliate are on Saturdays.

A new 5 p.m. Saturday newscast debuts this weekend, while the station took the wraps off a newly expanded, hour-long 10 p.m. Saturday newscast last weekend.

KVUE already airs an hour-long 10 p.m. newscast on Sundays.

Current weekend anchor Kris Betts will add the new broadcasts to her existing schedule.

KVUE weekend newscasts

  • Saturday: 7 to 9 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday: 7 to 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 10 to 11 p.m.

KUT kicks off 2018 by offering more local news

Austin NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM started off 2018 by adding more local programming to its lineup.

The station has expanded “Morning Edition,” which now ends at 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Jennifer Stayton hosts the new 9 a.m. hour.

That means NPR’s “On Point,” which had been heard at 9 a.m., is now off the KUT schedule.

The 9 a.m. hour will have a heavy local emphasis, the station said, with more news breaks, as well as long-form interviews with local newsmakers.

“Austin’s interest in public radio journalism has never been higher, as shown by the increasing numbers of Austinites turning to KUT 90.5 for news each day,” said Hawk Mendenhall, associate general manager of broadcast and content services for KUT. “And as Austin has grown, so has the need for more news coverage. This additional hour of ‘Morning Edition’ will enable us to deliver more news from our community, the nation and the world on a daily basis.”

In other KUT programming news, Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” will replace “The Dinner Party Download,” which has ended production, Fridays at 9 p.m.

Top 10 Austin TV/radio posts of 2017: Jenni Lee, Quita Culpepper, Terri Gruca and more

Jenni Lee

Another year is in the record books – and it was a busy one on the TV/radio beat here in Austin.

In 2017, we waved farewell to a number of beloved personalities who moved on, while also welcoming a new crop of broadcasters to the city’s airwaves.

Here’s a look at the 10 most-read TV/radio stories of 2017 on, and

And, of course, be sure to stop by regularly in 2018 as we work to keep you updated on comings, goings – and a whole lot more.

  1. After health scare, KVUE anchor ready to return to work
  2. Updated with photos: UT students get all Beyonce’d up for ‘Ellen’ TV crew
  3. KVUE anchor swap: Terri Gruca, Quita Culpepper trading spots
  4. KVUE meteorologist Jared Plushnick leaving at week’s end
  5. Jordan Steele leaving CBS Austin for Seattle gig
  6. ‘The Price Is Right Live’ coming to Cedar Park
  7. All Christmas, all the time on 2 Austin radio stations
  8. CBS Austin traffic anchor Chrisdyann Uribe leaving for Houston
  9. ‘Stripped’ at SXSW: Bravo TV shows some skin
  10. Darius Rucker prowls Austin in new ‘Undercover Boss’ episode