Former KVUE anchor Olga Campos Benz announces new gig

Olga Campos Benz

Longtime Austin newscaster Olga Campos Benz has segued into a new career, joining Austin-based Bloom Communications as community development director.

Campos Benz, who published a book last year, “It’s News to Me,” will work to raise Bloom’s profile in the Austin area by forging connections with community organizations.

“I am thrilled to join a team with such an active and meaningful role in our local community,” she said. “Bloom’s absolute commitment to giving back is more than an organizational program – it’s a foundational principle apparent in everything they do, and I’m proud to be a part of such a smart and genuinely kind agency.”

Bloom, which has offices in Austin and Portland, Ore., specializes in working with clients in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors.

“The addition of Olga to our team is an extraordinary complement to our success and how much we’ve accomplished over the last six years,” said Brianna McKinney, founder and president of Bloom Communications. “Olga’s ties to the Austin community, the extent of her experience, and her shared passion for philanthropy will be incredibly valuable to Bloom and our clients as we continue to grow.”

Learn more about Bloom at

‘Bobby Bones Show’ expanding outside U.S., bound for Canada

Bobby Bones

“The Bobby Bones Show” is bound for Canada.

Bones, who hosted mornings at Austin’s 96.7 Kiss FM before landing a nationally syndicated show heard on country stations in 130 U.S. cities, has inked a deal that will make his highly rated program available throughout Canada.

In Austin, his show airs mornings on KASE 101.

“The Bobby Bones Show” is now based in Nashville, Tenn., featuring sidekicks Amy and Lunchbox.

“‘The Bobby Bones Show’ is the most popular country radio show in the world,” said Rob Farina, Bell Media’s head of radio content, strategy and iHeartRadio Canada. “We are so proud to support ‘The Bobby Bones Show’ as they expand their reach and audience in Canada.”

Another show hosted by Bones, the weekly “Country Top 30 with Bobby Bones” program, is already heard in several Canadian markets across Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Manitoba.

KUT, KUTX general manager leaving for Colorado job

Stewart Vanderwilt (KUT photo)

The general manager of Austin public radio stations 90.5 KUT-FM and 98.9 KUTX-FM will depart this summer.

Colorado Public Radio said Friday that it has hired Stewart Vanderwilt as its next president and CEO.

Vandwerwilt, who has been in his current role since 2000, will start his new job in June.

“Colorado Public Radio is already a leader in the public radio industry and across Colorado, as evidenced by its statewide reach, strong membership base and dedicated staff,” Vanderwilt said in a written statement. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute my expertise in content creation, management and fundraising to help CPR further its mission and become an even more vital resource to the Colorado community.”

KUT and KUTX expect to name an interim general manager prior to Vanderwilt’s departure, according to Jay Bernhardt, dean of the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas, where the stations are based.

“Stewart has led KUT and KUTX on a continuous path of growth, innovation and public service for 18 years and we wish him the best with Colorado Public Radio,” Bernhardt said. “Our two public radio stations play a critical role in our community and in our college and we will do everything we can to strongly support our talented team during this time of leadership transition.”

In addition to his role as general manager of the two stations, Vanderwilt was named UT’s assistant dean for media operations in 2014.

“Working with the team at KUT, KUTX and the Moody College has been an exceptionally rewarding experience,” Vanderwilt said. “The listeners and community of Austin and Texas deserve the best that public radio has to offer, and they have provided the support to make it so.”


KUT hosting live forum on Austin bombings this Thursday

The suspected bomber killed himself last week as officers approached. (Jay Janner photo / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Austin NPR affiliate 90.5 KUT-FM will host a “community conversation” on the recent Austin bombings this Thursday.

The event, set to run from 9 to 10 a.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum, will look at how law enforcement, members of the media and the community at large responded to the bombings, which killed two people and injured several others.

The suspect in the case detonated a bomb as police and federal agents closed in, killing himself.

The George Washington Carver Museum is located at 1165 Angelina St. in East Austin.

KUT requests that attendees RSVP using this link. The event will also air live on KUT.

The panel will feature Chas Moore from the Austin Justice Coalition, Emlyn Lee from Brave Communities, Gilbert Rivera with the Rosewood Neighborhood Association, interim Austin police chief Brian Manley and University of Texas professor S. Craig Watkins.

KUT’s Jennifer Stayton will serve as moderator.

‘Big Brother’ auditions happening this weekend in Austin

Julie Chen hosts ‘Big Brother’ on CBS.

Producers of “Big Brother” are looking to cash in on all the out-of-towners here for South by Southwest.

The hit CBS show, which has been on the air for 20 seasons, will be hosting an open casting call here this Sunday.

The casting call will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Parlor & Yard, 601 W. Sixth St. in downtown Austin.

To be considered you must be at least 21 years, a U.S. citizen and be in “excellent physical and mental shape,” among other qualifications.

To learn more, head here.

Austin TV ratings: KXAN grabs February gold

KXAN’s evening anchor team includes sports director Roger Wallace, left, news anchors Sydney Benter and Robert Hadlock and chief forecaster Jim Spencer.

Powered by the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, Austin NBC affiliate KXAN took home the ratings gold in February, airing the city’s most-watched newscasts in most time periods.

The station’s 6 a.m. newscast, for example, was up 87 percent in the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults ages 25-54 — the largest year-over-year increase of any newscast in Central Texas.

But even without the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics, Austin ABC affiliate KVUE was still in hot pursuit, posting its own double-digit year-over-year gains in many time periods among total households and with adults ages 25-54.

At 5 a.m., for instance, KVUE was up 32 percent in total households and 78 percent among adults ages 25-54.

Fox-owned KTBC typically landed in third place in most competitive time periods, while CBS Austin tended to rank fourth.

KXAN’s 6 p.m. broadcast was the market’s most-watched newscast, regardless of timeslot, in February with 60,946 total households and 24,522 in-demo viewers, according to Nielsen.

February Nielsen ratings: Total households

Each ratings point equals 7,915 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.

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.4/ 12 / 11,081
  • KVUE: 1.3 / 11 / 10,290
  • KTBC: .9 / 8 / 7,124
  • KEYE: .3 / 3 / 2,375

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 2.9 / 16 / 22,954
  • KVUE: 2.7 / 14 / 21,371
  • KTBC: 1.3 / 7 / 10,290
  • KEYE: .9 / 5 / 7,124

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: 1.8 / 7 / 14,247


  • KXAN: 2.7 / 10 / 21,371
  • KTBC: 1.1 / 4 / 8,707

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6 / 15 / 47,490
  • KVUE: 4.5 / 11 / 35,618
  • KTBC: 2.3 / 5 / 18,205
  • KEYE: 1.3 / 3 / 10,290

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 7.7 / 16 / 60,946
  • KVUE: 5.3 / 11 / 41,950
  • KEYE: 1.9 / 4 / 15,039

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 2.5 / 4 / 19,788

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 6.9 / 14 / 54,614
  • KVUE: 3.4 / 7 / 26,911
  • KEYE: 2.5 / 5 / 19,788

February Nielsen ratings: Adults ages 25-54

Each ratings point equals 8,456 Central Texans ages 25-54. 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 in-demo viewers.

5 a.m.

  • KXAN: .8 / 17 / 6,765
  • KVUE: .7 / 13 / 5,919
  • KTBC: .2 / 3 / 1,691
  • KEYE: .1 / 2 / 846

6 a.m.

  • KXAN: 1.9 / 21 / 16,066
  • KVUE: 1.5 / 17 / 12,684
  • KTBC: .5 / 6 / 4,228
  • KEYE: .4 / 5 / 3,382

11 a.m.

  • KVUE: .5 / 5 / 4,228


  • KXAN: .9 / 8 / 7,610
  • KTBC: .4 / 4 / 3,382

5 p.m.

  • KXAN: 1.7 / 10 / 14,375
  • KVUE: 1.5 / 9 / 12,684
  • KTBC: .8 / 4 / 6,765
  • KEYE: .4 / 2 / 3,382

6 p.m.

  • KXAN: 2.9 / 13 / 24,522
  • KVUE: 2.2 / 10 / 18,603
  • KEYE: .5 / 2 / 4,228

9 p.m.

  • KTBC: 1.3 / 4 / 10,993

10 p.m.

  • KXAN: 3.3 / 12 / 27,905
  • KVUE: 1.5 / 5 / 12,684
  • KEYE: .8 / 3 / 6,765

Round Rock Express games move to different radio station this season

Round Rock Express games will be heard on a new radio station this season.

The team announced Monday it is moving the broadcasts from 104.9 The Horn to AM 1300 The Zone, one of several local stations owned by San Antonio-based iHeartMedia.

“We are thrilled to partner with the great team at iHeartMedia and AM 1300 The Zone to continue to expand the reach of the Express broadcasts across Central Texas,” Express president Chris Almendarez said. “In addition, our fans will have access to extended coverage of not only the team, but all of the happenings at Dell Diamond around our games. We are looking forward to an exciting partnership with the entire iHeartMedia family in 2018 and beyond.”

The deal gives AM 1300 The Zone exclusive rights to air all 140 regular season games, as well as playoff games, the Pacific Coast League all-star game and the Triple-A National Championship game.

In addition to being heard on the radio, the games will also air on the iHeartRadio app and at
“We are thrilled to announce this new partnership,” said Matt Martin, iHeartMedia’s president for the Austin/San Antonio region. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Ryan Sanders Baseball team in multiple markets, and they are a world-class organization. The Round Rock Express is a top-notch entertainment establishment and a community leader, and this partnership not only expands iHeartMedia’s sports footprint, but creates an amazing community synergy in the Austin area.”

Mike Capps will continue as the play-by-play voice of the Express, the team said.

The Express open their season April 5.

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.