politics

A Final Word on Session ’11

May 29th, 2011 at 12:17 pm by under Politics

Session '11 Newsmakers: Reps. Leo Berman and Rafael Anchia created some buzz over the difference between transgender and transvestite.

As the 82nd Texas Legislative Session draws to a close, so does KXAN’s Session ’11 program (watch the final episode here). I’ve been very happy with the our crew’s accomplishments and efforts to enhance our station’s political coverage and share what’s happening at the Capitol with viewers in a unique way. I am so proud of the Session ’11 team, and they have my utmost respect for their hard work, dedication, and creativity.

Thank you to everyone who watched, chatted with us online, answered our polls, read our blogs, and took part in our program each week.

I especially want to thank our Newsmakers – the policy leaders, the elected officials, the lawmakers. You all made Session ’11 what it was. Also, I really appreciate the members of our onpolitix Panel – an amazing slew of Capitol journalists and industry insiders. I certainly learned a lot from your experience and expertise. Thank you.

Our show’s host, Robert Hadlock, closes each week with a “Final Word.” His final “Final Word” is below, and I couldn’t have said it better.

This is our 21st and final broadcast of Session ’11. As we say goodbye for now – take a look at the names of our KXAN crew who helped put together this broadcast since January. We want to thank all of our guests who have taken time to appear on our program – especially those who gave up part of their Sunday morning to be with us here live in the studio. We know there are a lot of political and news programs to choose from – especially in this 9:30 half hour. Session ’11 is the only broadcast television program in Austin dedicated to Texas politics. If you’re watching – you obviously care about what happens to Texas – and so do we here at KXAN.

  • News Director – Michael Fabac
  • Executive Producer – Josh Hinkle
  • Photojournalist – Mark Batchelder
  • Producer – Shermayne Crawford
  • Director – Chris Wilkerson
  • Robert Hadlock – Host
  • Web Producer – Kimberly Reeves
  • Floor Director – Kip McCubbin
  • Floor Director – Issiaga Traore
  • Floor Director – Daniel Gravois
  • Assignments Editor – John Bumgardner
  • Assignments Editor – Terra Sullivan
  • Video Editor – Jon Bowne
  • Master Control – Matt Corley
  • Production Intern – Matt Dring

Session ’13 is right around the corner!


5/1/11 A Date to Remember

May 2nd, 2011 at 1:28 am by under Photo/Video, Politics

5/1/11 A Date to Remember

Ten years ago this September, I was sitting in my high school mass media class. I was a senior at the time. I already knew I was on my way to becoming a reporter. A little after class started my principal at Hinsdale South High School took to the intercom and announced to the school that a plane had hit the one of the Twin Towers in NYC.  About 30 minutes later, we got the announcement that another plane had hit the other tower and both had collapsed. We were not allowed to turn on the televisions in the classroom and were instructed to go about our day. No one knew at the time it was terrorism or that Osama Bin Laden was behind it.

I can remember almost every detail of that day.  I was wearing a black skirt and blue sweater.   I remember gathering around the television when I got home with my parents and watching the airplanes slam into the towers.  I remember thinking how it looked like a video game and that it couldn’t be real.

I went for a drive that night to the local Walgreens and I remember hearing fighter jets fly overhead. For the first time, I was scared. I kept thinking, you hear fighter jets fly over in war torn countries, NOT in suburban Burr Ridge, Illinois.  Falling asleep that night was impossible.

It has been nearly a decade since that horrific day.  I first learned of Osama’s death on Facebook. My email was literally pinging, alerting me to comment after comment. Ironically, I was sitting in the live truck wearing a black skirt and blue sweater.  I know that just like 9/11, I will remember exactly where I was when this news broke.  I hustled back to the station from Elgin where there was a brush fire and hit 6th street for reaction. There was a man who had an American flag draped around his shoulders….he told me he just couldn’t stay home.

Osama bin Laden

Marching down MLK Blvd, I met a former Naval Officer.  He was carrying a flag and in partial uniform.  He nearly broke down when I interviewed him.  At the same time, a car full of fraternity guys rolled up in a pickup truck and were honking and screaming, “America!”

All that I kept thinking in my own head was that Americans persevered.  We never forgot 9/11 and we never gave up on finding Osama. He may have run and hid for a decade, but in the end, we got him. I think there is a huge message coming out of America tonight and that is if you commit such a heinous act and terrorize and kill innocent people, we will hunt you down and never ever give up.   The events that unfolded after 9/11 have cost American lives and left behind heartache. I commend all of our military men and women who have sacrificed for our country, spent time away from loved ones while deployed and those who gave their lives so that this day of justice could come for our country.

I know I will always remember where I was on 5/1/11.

Where were you when you heard and will you remember?