Congratulations are in order for KTBC’s Dennis de la Pena and John Hygh, who’ve been promoted to sports director and weekend sports anchor, respectively.
De la Pena, who had been Fox 7’s weekend sports anchor, takes over for Dave Cody, who retired earlier this month after 28 years at the station.
“Dennis and John are integral parts of our sports team, and I’m excited to offer them both these expanded roles at our station,” news director Pam Vaught said. “They have worked hard. I’m proud of their work and leadership.”
A University of Texas graduate, de la Pena joined Fox 7 in 1999 after a stint in Amarillo. He is married to KXAN morning and noon news anchor Sally Hernandez.
Hygh previously served as Fox 7’s sports reporter. He, too, came to Austin from Amarillo.
Hygh joined Fox 7 in 2006 after spending time at KVUE and Time Warner Cable’s YNN. He graduated from Southwest Texas State University, now known as Texas State University.
Fox 7 anchor departing
KTBC morning news anchor Katherine Kisiel will leave the station later this month.
A Fox 7 employee since 2000, her final day will be June 28.
Kisiel is set to follow her husband, former KXAN investigative reporter Chris Willis, to Portland, where he’s been hired by NBC affiliate KGW.
Both Kisiel and Willis have ties to the Northwest. Willis went to Washington State University, while Kisiel previously worked for stations in Yakima and the Tri Cities.
KXAN news director Chad Cross and general manager Eric Lassberg have not responded to multiple inquiries about Willis’ departure and possible plans to replace him.
A Fox 7 spokesperson says the station plans to salute Kisiel with an on-air tribute on her final day.
Kiss FM tops radio ratings
Austin’s 96.7 KHFI-FM, better known as Kiss FM, remains the city’s No. 1 radio station, according to the latest Arbitron ratings.
A little further down the list, 98.1 KVET-FM continues to impress, landing in fifth place this time around. Since a fairly dramatic schedule shakeup earlier this year, the country station has seen its numbers double and in some cases even triple.
Average quarter-hour ratings as of April 24, courtesy of allaccess.com (numbers in parentheses indicate rank as of March 27):
1.) 96.7 KHFI-FM (1, tie)
2.) 100.7 KASE-FM (1, tie)
3.) 103.5 KBPA-FM (2)
4.) 107.1 KLZT-FM (4)
5.) 98.1 KVET-FM (3)
6.) 93.7 KLBJ-FM (7)
7.) 95.5 KKMJ-FM (6)
8.) 590 KLBJ-AM (8)
9.) 102.3 KPEZ-FM (5)
10.) 101.5 KROX-FM (10)
KLBJ-AM producer moving on
Thomas McDonald, producer of “The Jeff Ward Show” on 590 KLBJ-AM, has left the station he’s worked at for more than a decade.
“I have nothing but fondness and adoration for this station, which I grew up listening to and have been privileged enough to work at,” he said. “While excited for the opportunities ahead, I am heartbroken for what — and who — I am leaving behind.”
Stay tuned for details on what’s next for McDonald.
Static is on the move
We’re doing some rejiggering of the American-Statesman Life & Arts section.
One change: My Static column, featuring updates on local TV and radio stations, will move from Saturdays to Mondays beginning June 24.
See ya then!
Read my blog at austin360.com/tvblog or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.