Back in January, we let everyone know that Mary Ann Eckstein was stepping down as the news director at KFOR Newschannel 4. The report came as a shock to many. Mary Ann had been with KFOR for 33-years; long enough to remember when Mike Morgan wore regular ties, the Ogle men were just the Ogle boys, and Gene Wheatley had a farm report.
Carlton Houston, who worked his way up through the news ranks as a reporter and anchor to become news director at Allbritton’s KTUL-8-ABC in Tulsa (Market #59), starts May 28 as news director at Local TV’s KFOR-4-NBC and KAUT-43-MyTV in Oklahoma City (Market #41).
He replaces Mary Ann Eckstein, the longtime vice president of news at KFOR, who unexpectedly resigned in January, ending 33 years at the station. Natalie Hughes and Steve Johnson have been filling in as co-interim news directors during the selection process.
Houston is a RTDNA board member for Oklahoma and Texas.
This sucks. If you remember correctly, I threw my name into the ring as a dark horse candidate for the position. I promised a new style of local news that was basically a reality show starring Emily and JoJo mixed with a little weather and sports coverage. As Mike Morgan would say, I guess KFOR brass didn’t have the balls to go through with it. Instead, they went the safe route and decided to stick with the typical KFOR schtick. Need proof? Just check out this pic Carlton posted to Twitter last year:
— Carlton Houston (@Carlton_Houston) October 25, 2012
Yep, he’s going to fit-in great. He’s probably going to force Ashton Edwards to abandon “Frugal Friday” for “Where’s My Pet Wednesday.” Hopefully nobody tells him about Maddox the Missing Pincher. I bet he sends Scott Hines to Lake Hefner to join a search party. Granted, I’d do the same thing if I were in charge. The only catch is I’d make Scott go as J’Ordy.
Outside of all that, I don’t know a thing about Carlton Houston. I would make some jokes that he looks nerdier than Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bell Aire, but that would probably get me in trouble. Besides, Carlton from the Fresh Prince was kind of cool and dated Ashlynn Brooke for a little while. I’m not sure if this Carlton would be able to pull that off.
I tried to search KTUL.com to see if I could dig up any information, but I got distracted by their morning show host Laura Moss. Here are some pics:
Well, at least Carlton has an eye for talent. That’s probably the best trait a news director can have. We wish him the best of luck in the Big Town. Maybe someday he’ll let us ride around in the Dominator.