Look for Buda man on Wednesday’s ‘The Price Is Right’

Trustin Volesky (FremantleMedia North America photo)

Look for a Buda man this week on “The Price Is Right.”

Trustin Volesky got to “come on down” during a recent taping of the popular game show hosted by Drew Carey.

You can catch the episode and see how he does Wednesday at 10 a.m. on CBS Austin.

CBS Austin, Telemundo Austin team up with Red Cross to host Harvey phone bank

CBS Austin and sister station Telemundo Austin will host a daylong phone bank Tuesday to raise money for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

The stations, which are both owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, have partnered with the American Red Cross, which will distribute funds that are raised.

English- and Spanish-speaking operators will be answering calls Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 10:35 p.m., when CBS Austin’s 10 p.m. newscast wraps up.

The number to call is (512) 832-7575.

Denver TV exec to lead KVUE’s newsroom

Tim Ryan (KVUE photo)

A new boss will soon be calling the shots in the KVUE newsroom.

The city’s ABC affiliate has hired Tim Ryan to serve as news director.

Ryan arrives from KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver, where he’s been assistant news director since 2000.

Both KUSA and KVUE are owned by Tegna.

Ryan replaces Mike Redding, who is departing after less than a year on the job for another position with Tegna.

“Tim has been on the forefront of innovation and excellence at KUSA,” KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said. “We’re happy to have his immense skillset in the building to continue the ratings and digital momentum at KVUE.”

Prior to Denver, Ryan worked as an anchor, reporter, photographer, producer and assignment editor at TV stations in Wichita, Kan., and Fort Smith, Ark.

Ryan has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and a master’s from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview: Chase pulls ads from NBC News

Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones has sparked controversy.

The largest bank in the nation has reportedly yanked its ads from all NBC News broadcasts on a temporary basis amid an uproar over host Megyn Kelly’s upcoming interview with controversial Austin-based radio host Alex Jones, according to published reports.
The Hollywood Reporter and other news outlets reported Monday evening that JPMorgan Chase & Co. had advised NBC it was pulling all scheduled on-air and digital ads until after Kelly’s interview with Jones airs.
The banking giant reportedly wants to ensure its ads don’t air adjacent to promos for the Father’s Day interview with Jones, who has previously claimed that the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left more than two dozen students and staff dead was a made-up news event. The interview was the subject of considerable anger on social media Monday after Kelly heavily promoted it during her Sunday night news show.
Kristin Lemkau, the chief marketing officer for Chase, tweeted Monday that she was “repulsed” that Jones was getting airtime on NBC.
Chase is, thus far, the only business to publicly announce plans to pull ads from Kelly’s show and other NBC News broadcasts.
Jones has made Austin headlines several times in recent weeks. He was sued by Greek yogurt manufacturer Chobani, a case that was later settled. And Jones fought his ex-wife for custody of their children.

Reality show seeks contestants to ‘fearlessly tackle Austin’

Producers of a new reality show are in search of contestants ready to “fearlessly tackle Austin.”

That could include out-of-towners, they say, or even folks who already live here.

The unnamed show, which is set to air on a “major cable network” says it’s looking to cast “all types”: best friends, couples, families, roommates and even single folks.

Austin Skiyline from the boardwalk south of the lake in 2016. Nell Carroll/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

People selected will live rent-free in “the greatest apartment building in Austin.”

You must be at least 18 and a U.S. citizen to be considered.

Filming is expected to begin in May.

That’s about it in terms of details being provided by the casting company, Lime Pictures.

Interested? Head here to apply.

Texas TV veteran tapped to lead Spectrum News in Austin, San Antonio

Jennifer Dodd (Twitter photo)

There’s a new boss overseeing the Spectrum News operations in Austin and San Antonio.

Jennifer Dodd has been named news director of both cable channels. She’ll be based here in Austin, where both the Austin and San Antonio broadcasts originate.

Dodd replaces longtime news boss Michael Pearson, who left in February. Station management has steadfastly declined to comment on Pearson’s departure.

Most recently, Dodd served as news director at KYTX, the CBS affiliate in Tyler. Earlier in her career she was news director at KAVU in Victoria and assistant news director at KENS in San Antonio.

A Texas State University graduate, she also spent about a dozen years doing on-air reporting for TV stations in Beaumont, San Antonio and Dallas.

“Jennifer brings extensive leadership, newsroom management and journalism experience to Spectrum Networks,” said Alan Mason, group vice president for Spectrum News. “I’m confident her knowledge and track record in several Texas markets will be a great fit with our talented teams in Austin and San Antonio.”

Spectrum News – formerly known as Time Warner Cable News, YNN and, initially, News 8 Austin – delivers round-the-clock news, weather and traffic exclusively to Spectrum cable TV subscribers.

KUTX celebrating Willie Nelson’s birthday by playing 2 straight days of his music

All Willie, all weekend.

That’s what you’ll hear if you tune to 98.9 KUTX-FM April 29-30.

Willie Nelson (Suzanne Cordeiro photo)

In honor of Willie Nelson’s 84th birthday, the radio station will air “wall-to-wall” Willie from 6 a.m. April 29 to 6 p.m. April 30. That’s 36 straight hours of Nelson’s music – everything from the classics we all know to deep album tracks and even two airings of “Amazing Grace: The Story of Willie Nelson,” a documentary.

From a KUTX news release: “Were it not for Nelson, the Austin music scene would not be as vibrant. As Joe Nick Patoski wrote in the ‘Texas Music Almanac,’ ‘… it wasn’t until the night of Aug. 12, 1972, when Willie Nelson walked onto the stage of the Armadillo (World Headquarters) that everything changed. That performance in front of a mixed crowd of hippies and rednecks is recognized as the starting point of the modern Austin music scene.’”

The full schedule:

Saturday, April 29

  • 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Wall-to-wall Willie Nelson
  • 6 to 7 p.m.: “Amazing Grace” documentary
  • 7 to 11 p.m.: Willie Nelson tribute with Rick Daddy

Sunday, April 30

  • 6 to 7 a.m.: “Amazing Grace” documentary
  • 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Gospel/jazz Willie Nelson with Jay Trachtenberg
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Wall-to-wall Willie Nelson

RELATED: Details on the 2017 Willie Nelson’s Picnic


KVUE news director departing after less than a year

Mike Redding

KVUE news director Mike Redding is leaving for a new opportunity within Tegna, the company that owns the TV station, after less than a year on the job here in Austin.

Redding, who joined KVUE in August, will depart in late June. He came from the two Tegna-owned stations in Maine, where he’d been news director for three years.

KVUE didn’t immediately specify where Redding will be transferring.

“We wish Mike all the best and are searching for new leadership to continue our tradition of serving the Austin community,” KVUE president and general manager Kristie Gonzales said in a message sent to staffers.

Redding is out of town until Monday and didn’t immediately respond to a message from the American-Statesman seeking comment.

At KVUE, Redding replaced Frank Volpicella, who spent 16 years leading the ABC affiliate’s newsroom. Volpicella, who is now news director at WGCL in Atlanta, was one of several KVUE employees who took early buyouts offered by Tegna last year.

During his time at KVUE, Redding has worked to fill a number of vacancies, including selecting a new chief meteorologist to replace Mark Murray, who also took a Tegna buyout.

In addition, Redding recently added an in-studio traffic anchor to the station’s morning newscast.

Austinite to appear on Friday’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Vanna White and Pat Sajak host ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Look for a Central Texan to pop up on Friday’s “Wheel of Fortune.”

Austinite Ellison Thomas was selected to appear on the long-running game show, which airs at 6:30 p.m. weekdays on KXAN.

Here’s some background information on Thomas courtesy of the show’s producers: “She is an IT project manager who enjoys cooking and traveling in her free time. She has fond memories of watching the show with her grandmother and continues the tradition by tuning in every night with her fiancé. Being such a huge fan, it only made sense for her to apply online to become a contestant. After 12 years of applying, she was thrilled to finally be chosen. Ellison hopes to use her winnings to have the wedding of her dreams.”

How will she do? You’ll have to tune in Friday to find out.

CBS Austin names new ‘We Are Austin’ co-host

‘We Are Austin’ hosts Trevor Scott and Taylor Ellison


CBS Austin has selected a new co-host for “We Are Austin,” its weekday lifestyle show.

Trevor Scott is set to slide into the chair recently vacated by Jordan Steele. His first day on air will be April 17.

“Trevor has called Austin home for four years now, but spent three years before that splitting his time between Oklahoma City and Austin, so he is no stranger to Central Texas,” CBS Austin vice president and general manager Amy Villarreal said. “His love for food, the Austin volunteer community and the creative side of life will complement the commitment to Austin and the surrounding areas that ‘We Are Austin’ focuses on.”

Scott has 18 years in the TV business, most recently working as a promotions producer at CBS Austin.

“I love this city and I’m so excited to explore and share the local businesses, stories and products that make Central Texas so great,” Scott said.

“We Are Austin” airs weekdays at 9 a.m., following “CBS This Morning.”